Winter Redfish Season is Here!
This year has flown by, and I can't believe that it's already mid-December. I barely just finished Albacore season and the winter Redfish fishery has already started up. The water temperature is between 57 and 60 degrees, the water is really clearing up, and the fish are schooling together in their winter haunts. If you haven't experienced this type of fishery, I can confidently say that the next couple of months will produce some of the best sightfishing you can experience in the Carolinas.
Each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, our backwaters clean up to the point where we have several feet of visiblity in the creeks and bays. There have been trips in the winter where we can see the bottom in 6ft of water. The cool thing is that most of our fishing isn't occuring in 6ft of water, it's happening in 6 to 18 inches of depth where the water is gin clear! Long gone are the days of seeing Redfish magically appear 10ft in front of the boat, and now we can sometimes spot fish as far as 100ft away.
So far this winter we have seen small groups of a half dozen Redfish, up to schools of close to a hundred fish in shallow water. During the winter we can see schools of up to 500 fish in inches of water, although 50 to 150 is more the norm.
These winter Redfish are very aware of their surroundings and are always on the lookout for predators. The good news though, is that there isn't an abundance of food during the winter, so these Redfish are happy to eat if you can sneak up on them. There is a little bit of planning when fishing a group of winter Redfish...how to approach them, where to place your cast so as not to spook them, etc. If you can figure out those variables, you can have an unbelivable day of fishing.
Both fly and spin work for sightcasting to these schools of fish. I love fishing them on fly, tossing a lightly weighted streamer at close range and watching them enhale it. That being said, we have plenty of fun targeting them with light tackle spin too, pitching lightly weighted soft plastic twitch baits to them.
Reds aren't the only fish we find inshore during the winter. It's not unusual to catch Speckled Trout and Flounder throughout the winter also.
Our winter season is just starting up and will last through March, and possibly into early April. I especially love January and February for this type of fishing, but March can be equally as good if the wind isn't blowing too hard. Sunshine, low winds, moderate temperatures and clean water are the keys to great sightfishing, so as a guide I try to stay flexible with my anglers to give them the best weather days possible.
If you'd like to learn more about our winter Redfish fishery, or book a trip for the upcoming months, give me a call or shoot me an email and we can talk about putting together a fun experience on the water. Most anglers have hung up their fishing gear at this point, and won't grab it again until next spring, but they are missing out on some of the best fishing of the year.
Leave a Reply.