Nearshore and Offshore Redfishing….A Whole Different Game
With inshore fishing becoming more popular and as a result, more crowded, we’re always looking for other spots that have not been overfished, are less crowded, and are more productive. This is especially true for Redfish. One of the places that we tend to forget about is the nearshore and offshore reefs and structures. Many inshore anglers don’t consider this option because they prefer the traditional casting for Redfish near the surface as well as topwater casting. However, fishing in the ocean for Reds is a great option.
Redfish will often seek the reefs and structures in the ocean as an alternative. It’s a great location for their food source with lots of smaller baitfish swimming around the structure. This environment not only attracts Redfish, but many times other species like Flounder and Speckled Trout are more prevalent in the inshore environment.
It’s important to understand that Redfish and other inshore natives act a bit differently at these nearshore and offshore locations. They are frequently deeper and circling the structure rather than seeking food in a smaller location. It will require a change in your bait choice. It also means that you will find that a Redfish bite can suddenly end, but it will pick back up after a while. This is due to the fish swimming around the structure looking for food and scouting for predators. The good news is that these Redfish will most likely run in schools like many other ocean fish, and when the bite starts, it really starts. You can move out from some, because the Reds will be near the structure, but not necessarily close to it.
Fishing these structures is relatively easy, but you need to consider a few things, like the size of your boat. Make sure it’s a safe size to head out the inlet and into the ocean. I wouldn’t recommend it for a small flats boat or jon boat. Next, make sure you have an underwater map (Maps Unique) that gives you the locations close to shore that will draw these many times massive Reds. Also recommended is that you have a fish finder that gives you a good image of the bottom to effectively see the structure below.
Pick a good day and head out. You’re likely to be surprised.