Me and my buddy were suppose to go out and try and get some snook but when he ditched I brought the girlfriend along. We got a couple of hits but missed most until she hooked one (thank god for circle hooks) that she couldnt wind. Ended up being a great night with a fat 32 incher!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Redfish are one of the best light to medium tackle saltwater gamefish in the South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, attracts millions of fishermen of all persuasions. The fish, also known as channel bass or red drum, can be taken on heavy bait rigs in the pounding surf, on jigs and other lures in channels and inlets, and on flies in the grassy flats. They grow to tremendous proportions-the world record, taken in North Carolina in 1984, weighed 94 pounds 2 ounces-but a 5-pound redfish on an 8-weight fly rod or a 12-pound-test spinning outfit will put up a dogged, determined fight that you won't always win.
Luckily, anglers can still take advantage of this fine fishery. This wasn't always the case; in fact, redfish were once in trouble-big trouble.
The Redfish BattleThe Gulf of Mexico red drum fishery nearly collapsed-twice in the past quarter century-because of brazen, unapologetic commercial overharvest. Reds demonstrated remarkable resilience to that adversity, however, and responded positively to conservationists' efforts on their behalf.
About 20 years ago, almost two dozen Texans met in a Houston tackle shop to discuss commercial abuses in local waters and map out a solution. Veteran Field & Stream contributing editor Bob Brister, an avid sport fisherman as well as a shotgunning expert, was at that meeting. (Brister's September 1981 story in Field & Stream, "Winning the War on Netters," was among the first to shed national light on the dangers to redfish.) He was there, too, four years later, when the fledgling Gulf Coast Conservation Association (now the Coastal Conservation Association, or CCA; 713-626-4222) broke word that a GCCA-backed bill to grant gamefish status to reds had been signed into state law. Gill nets and other devastating gear types would no longer be allowed for redfish harvest.
Conservationists helped redfish again in the early 1980s, when a recipe for seared or "blackened" redfish by New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme became popular in thousands of restaurants, creating a huge demand for spawning-class reds. It was only when spotter planes and purse seines had nearly wiped out critical brood stocks, fish as old as 30 years, that federal managers listened to conservationists' pleas and enacted rules to shut down that relentless haul.
Strict recreational limits and severely restricted commercial harvest have helped the redfish recover. The creation of hatcheries-built with help and generous financial support from CCA-to supplement natural production also aided the cause. In Texas, two such facilities produce 30 million-plus redfish fingerlings and many times more fry every year for release in state water. Many are lost to predators. Some, within a few short years, are caught by sportsmen. A few reach full maturity and find their way eventually into the open Gulf, where they become integral parts of this ongoing success story.
Following are updates on the major redfish fisheries in the U.S.
TexasThe 10-gallon brag along Texas' 700-plus miles of coastline is that you "can't throw a rock without hitting a redfish." Bold talk. Make that rock a live shrimp, however, and you might have a chance-fishing has been that good.
While all of the state's major bay systems, inlets, and Gulf beaches can be highly productive, Texas boasts three classic shallow-water venues. From north to south (and with due respect for "fishy" water around every other launch ramp from the Sabine River to the Rio Grande), they are Port O'Connor, Rockport, and Port Mansfield.
Look hard enough, and you can find deep holes and channels at any of these three ports, but the majority of fishing for reds at each takes place over traditional, grassy flats or along protected shorelines where scattered oyster shell interrupts expanses of pale-sand bottom. Wading, drifting, and poling are equally effective, although locals have developed a strong preference for getting out of the boat and stalking these hard-fighting fish on foot.
Overall, redfish action usually is better in the morning hours, before wind whips up a chop and clutters the surface with lure-snagging strands of grass.
Soft plastics and gold spoons are the foundation on which every redfish tackle box is built. Any color plastic might draw fire, but a half dozen each of strawberry/white and pearl/chartreuse tails-with an appropriate stash of 1Ú4- and 1Ú8-ounce jigheads-will suffice often as not.
Alongside the spoons and jigs in most boxes now rest as many floating plugs, such as the Top Dog, Super Spook, Ghost, Chug Bug, and Spittin' Image. Surface lures didn't see much redfish duty in the past; anglers had no patience for or confidence in aiming high-riding lures at bottom-feeding fish. True to their body styling, big reds lack the predatory surface accuracy of a snook or speckled trout. However, redfish will knock a topwater lure several feet into the air-which often triggers an even more violent hit when the lure splashes back down.
This topwater-lure craze led to flyfishing, and all three ports offer tremendous potential for the long rod. Pack a box with small poppers, Clousers, and an assortment of imitation shrimp in several colors.
Sight-casting to reds is about as good as inshore fishing gets in Texas. Kneel low, and you can spot the upturned tails of fish rooting through the grass for tiny crustaceans and baitfish. Stand tall on a casting platform, and you can pick out the torpedo shapes of reds idling on the edges of sand holes in the grass beds.
Whether you can see them or not, the redfish are there. So long as you're on the water in Texas, cast with confidence.
Louisiana- Theophile Bourgeois looked his client right in the eye, and with his best guide's squint, painted a picture of the redfishing action south of Lafitte.
"Let me tell you, when the fish came up, the water just turned copper for a couple hundred yards," he said. "Nothing but backs and tails of redfish everywhere you looked."
A scene from the good old days? Yes-but the good old days are occurring right now in southeastern Louisiana. By almost any measure the resource in Louisiana has approached historical highs. Ground zero for the redfish explosion has been the southeastern coast including the Barataria-Terrebonne estuary west of the Mississippi River, and the Lake Borgne-St. Bernard parish marshes on the east side of the river. The area represents a vast wetlands complex of shallow interior lakes, lagoons, bays, and bayous. On high tide, juvenile reds-from the 16-inch minimum to hefty 25-inchers-feed in the shallow, grass-filled ponds. On low tide, reds pour out of the ponds to chase schools of mullet in the deeper lakes, bayous, and bays. The limit is five fish per day, but most anglers have little trouble catching and releasing many more.
Fishermen pursue them with light tackle or fly rods, sight-casting topwater baits and poppers for unforgettable action on fish between 3 and 15 pounds. Grubs such as plastic "cockahoe" minnows and gold weedless spoons also work well.
Mississippi- When Mississippi anglers decide to chase redfish, they often head across Mississippi Sound for Louisiana, where the marsh is bigger and the reds more plentiful. But Bay St. Louis is often a good reason to stay home. The northern reaches of the bay hold the small but beautiful Jourdan River marshes, a classical coastal marsh system, featuring winding bayous, shallow ponds, and lagoons-the kind of habitat that attracts reds. The fall and winter months can be excellent with reds feeding along grassy shorelines of the river or the Catfish Bayou.
Bring medium or light tackle and cast gold weedless spoons, topwater baits such as the Top Dog and Jumpin Minnow, and plastic touts such as the cockahoe or sparkle beetle.
Alabama- Redfishing in Alabama can be a pretty dependable thing-as long as the wind is down, and you can get to the Dixey Bar. The long, sandy shoal off Fort Morgan Point on the eastern approach to Mobile Bay attracts a permanent army of reds, from feisty 5-pounders to tackle-busting 30-pound bulls. Most anglers simply drift with the tide over the bar, floating live croakers behind the boat. Gold spoons, cut baits, fresh shrimp, and plastic touts will also work. If the south wind kicks up, fish the Dauphine Island bridge. Just anchor off one of the bridge supports, then drop the live croaker, fresh shrimp, or minnow to the bottom-and hold on.
Florida- The only part of this state's coastline that has very few redfish is the east coast from Palm Beach to Key West. On the other hand, the wide, shallow, protected saltwater rivers and lagoons in the Cape Canaveral area-right in the shadow of NASA rockets-have the best sight fishing for red drum in the 30- to 50-pound-plus range in the world. Like the rest of the Sunshine State, the fishing is good all year except during extreme cold spells.
The best shallow-water fishing for school-size redfish also takes place around Cape Canaveral, as well as in the flats in Florida Bay and such Gulf Coast areas as Pine Island Sound west of Ft. Myers, the mouths of the Homosassa and Crystal Rivers, and the startlingly clear bays of the Panhandle west of Apalachicola.
Georgia- The lower third of Georgia's short coastline, from St. Simons to Cumberland Island, gets the best rating for both "bull" reds (to 40 pounds or more) and "puppy" drum (under 20 pounds). The biggest fish show up in the surf during fall, from mid-September through mid-November. But redfish under 20 pounds are around all year (except during extreme cold spells), mostly in the marshy creeks and inlets, and in the shallows where they can be sight-fished during warmer weather.
South Carolina- While red drum of up to 40 pounds or more can be encountered in the surf and around the coastal inlets of South Carolina, perhaps the most exciting news of all is that in the last decade more and more shallow-water populations of 5- to 15-pound reds have been "discovered" inside the marshes, where they can be sight-fished for with light spinning, baitcasting, and fly tackle-just like in Florida Bay and Texas. While this occurs along most of the coast, the most popular area seems to be around Hilton Head Island.
North Carolina- The largest red drum of all, 50 pounds and up, are most likely to be encountered in the surf along North Carolina's Outer Banks. The center of this activity is from the tip of Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke Inlet, and the peak seasons are from April through June and again from November until cold weather finally arrives. Large numbers of puppy drum are around in the surf, inlets, and sounds of the entire state from March or April until late December.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Not less than 27” or more than 34”
Dec 15 - Jan 31 statewide;
June, July, Aug – Atlantic;
May, June, July, Aug - Gulf;
Monroe County, Everglades Nat. Park
2 per person per day-Atlantic;
1 per person per day- Gulf, Monroe County, Everglades Nat. Park
Snook permit required when saltwater license required. State regulations apply in federal waters. Illegal to buy or sell snook.