Plenty of fishing opportunities are out there for anglers willing to pursue them. Redfish have been the best and most consistent bite lately, and fish of all sizes are being caught.
In many of the bayous, the redfish have been really thick, but they are mostly small fish (up to about 23”) with occasional big fish (upwards of 30”). Slow suspending twitch-baits with a loud rattle have been working very well in the darker water. Expect to catch lots of speckled trout in these areas right now, too.
On the flats, there are many schools of decent-sized redfish as well as several bigger fish that are just cruising alone or in pairs. Most of these redfish will range between 22”-28” with some of the bigger cruising fish coming in at 30” or more. Meanwhile, lots of sheepshead and black drum are also prevalent on the flats.
With the water getting back to being clear in most places, these fish have become increasingly skittish and easily spooked. It is extremely important to approach the fish quietly and use light fluorocarbon leaders to improve your chances of getting them to bite. Free-lined live shrimp work best for a wider variety of fish, but you can also put some D.O.A. shrimp, jigs, and spoons in your tackle box, because they have been working very well.
Once you get off of the flats you’ll find that in slightly deeper water around drop offs and deeper structure, the average size of the redfish increases a good bit – with the average being 30”-36” and lots of fish in the 40” range. Several of the bridges around town, as well as the St. Andrew Pass, have been laden with nice big over-slot redfish. Deep holes just off of shallow points have also been thick with big mature reds. Fish tend to eat in these areas even when conditions are less than ideal – if it’s really cold or the water levels are way down, for example. Deep running lipless crankbaits like Rat-L-Traps and Live Target Pinfish Rattlebaits have been reliable “go to” baits, as well as the D.O.A. Swimmin’ Mullet and Unfair Lures’ SuperFast Suspend Shrimp.