Winters in Northwest Florida are mild compared to those in other areas, but it does get cold from time to time. When the going gets tough, the tough still get out on the water – and that’s where Capt. Justin Leake and Capt. Travis Holeman can be found after a cold front brings high winds and a drop in temperatures.
This week, our hosts head for the flats in hopes that redfish are cruising the shallows in search of warmer water and food. “Redfish can be caught in just about any conditions,” says Capt. Leake. “The key is trying to figure out where they went and what they’re doing.”
Some anglers refer to redfish as the “largemouth bass of the flats” because their behavior is similar to that of the popular freshwater species. Both like to loiter around structure such as docks and submerged timber and ambush any live bait or artificial lure that ventures by.
Justin’s plan goes awry when another species of fish suddenly begins attacking the anglers’ topwater baits, but that’s okay with Travis because he’s willing to take whatever these waters will give. “The tug is the drug,” he says. “Anything that bites topwater baits is fun to catch because you get to watch the strike.”