As the seasons change and the waters begin to warm in the Gulf of Mexico, anglers on the west coast of Florida break out or break in all of their inshore gear and tackle. Personally, this has meant spinning up a pair of 8ft custom rods, having a casting platform built, and installing a 6ft power pole on the flats boat. So it goes without saying, here at Covert Fishing we are very excited for Redfish Season! Whether you're a seasoned tournament fisherman, recreational angler, or charter captain, the hunt is definitely on for big bull reds in the Gulf. I wanted to take a moment to "tip my hat" or "show some love" to a species that I yearn to fish for. Believe it or not, Redfish was once considered a trash fish that was undesirable to eat and not really considered a game fish. The red drum has come a long way in that regard. These days you can find guide services, restaurants, artwork, fishing tackle, and entire clothing lines that stem from or heavily lean on the Redfish for their inspiration. It might be a face only a mother could love, but at Covert Fishing we think mama was right.
A game fish with all the accolades and respect it deserves, the bite or "strike" from a Redfish can range all over the spectrum. It can be as subtle as a lazy flick of the tail with a slow turn to inhale a soft plastic or rigged shrimp, to a dynamic full speed charge of your spoon or spinnerbait. They can be very aggressive and seemingly fearless at times, where you can throw almost anything and get hooked up. While other times they can be extremely wary and discerning, charging your bait only to give it a once over and think better of it, or spooking from the shadow of your lure flying overhead. The Redfish will make you change your tackle and strategies all day if it wants to, keeping you on your toes and making you second guess yourself. Am I in the right spot? Are my soft plastics the right flavor? Do I need to scale down my leader? Is there enough cloud cover to keep throwing this topwater? Is there enough sunlight to throw this spoon yet? This is why fishing for Red Drum doesn't get old.
I've had the opportunity and good fortune to fish for, and catch, a handful of wonderful and highly touted game fish over the course of my life. All are unique in their own way. The hook up and fight of each fish has its own nuances, from the tackle and bait, the ideal conditions, time of year, and even the financial burden to arrive at "the spot". Every game fish species offers up different challenges and logistics. My point is, "dollars to doughnuts" there is nothing quite like seeing a Redfish rise up out of the water to get its downward facing mouth wrapped around a topwater plug! Enjoy the water this season everyone, and tight lines!