Every October the pumpkin patches start popping up everywhere in preparation for Halloween. But, for us, our favorite pumpkin patch is the one that appears in skinny water, that would be Fall Redfish.
In most Southeastern coastal states Fall marks the time when inshore anglers really begin to focus on Redfish. Depending on where you are, a lot of the summertime flats fishing favorites migrate to different waters. Redfish, on the other hand, stick around and become the target of many shallow water enthusiasts.
Fall Redfish begin to move into different feeding patterns, usually from white bait(fish) to small crabs and shrimp. Due to this, this is also the time of year where sight fishing for “tailers” becomes the mission. Since Redfish mill their nose around the bottom in search of their next crunchy snack in shallow water, their tails end up sticking out of the water. This is referred to as “tailing” Redfish.
If you want to try your luck at Fall Redfish and have never tried it, the easiest access bait is usually live or even frozen shrimp. You can set up a simple 12-20lb mono or flouro leader, a 2/0-4/0 short shank hook, and a popping cork. Throwing this in grass pockets, along oyster beds, or off the marsh grass – will usually land you a Redfish in the area (along with a plethora of other species). For more finite targeting, and depending on availability, give small live crabs a go.
For artificial baits you can use a shrimp or crab pattern soft plastic (of fly). But when the sun is out, a small twitch bait will work as well. Topwater lures can still be used, but in cooler temps this can really be hit or miss. However, on those glass calm days, I love throwing a topwater at day break- no matter the time of year. Just remember with lower temps a good key is to slow everything down. The Redfish are there and hungry, they just might be a little slower in terms of reaction time. It’s also quite wise to be as stealthy as possible, and a shallow drafting boat is just the right tool for cruising the flats.