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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...

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  • 2 Post By gshankuf
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:19 AM
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Default Chasing Reds

I'm going to let my ignorance of fly fishing and low country gamefish shine through pretty loud and clear here. Im stationed in Savannah, pretty new to the area. (Im aware how many posts start with statements just like that) Also pretty new to flly fishing. That's my preface. There is a TON of opinions regarding the location and fishability or reds in anything below 65 degree water. I've heard "they wont bite till 70 degrees", "at 65 they come alive", well heck I used to fish for bulls right in the surf the day after st. patricks day when the water was mid fifties or so".

Now, I've explored on foot and in a kayak in the past three weeks a whole lot of coastline and marsh and I haven't seen a single tailing fin, puff of sand, nervous water etc etc. Is it possible to fish for reds now and I'm just as bad at this game as I originally thought or are they pretty much impossible in 60 degree water? Can you only catch them in the surf at these temps or are they going to be on the spartina flats as well? Any and all input is much appreciated here. Thanks a million.
Jake.

Last edited by jjw89; 04-09-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: Chasing Reds

I think what you may be experiencing is that the Redfish have not migrated into that area yet. They stay out in deep(er) water until the water temp. tells them to run in. Can anybody verify or debunk this?
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Chasing Reds

I am in Jacksonville, Fl. We fish all winter long and have great success. When the water is cold we wait till the sun comes up. Preferably low tide around mid day to warm up the mud and oysters. Low incoming tide...fish the oysters and staging areas in front of creek mouths and mud flats. You just need to put your time in on the water and find the fish. Go get em. It's about to get really good in the creeks so keep at it. Low Tide.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Chasing Reds

gshankuf,
Thanks a million, I tried that, but because my access to boats is really limited I only got to work the staging areas for one afternoon and the wind was up, and I was working with the wrong kind of gear for that. Duly noted, thats where I need to be. I was actually planning on going to Jacksonville this weekend for a day to try it down there, the water temp is 5 degrees warmer there and my thought was it might be worth the trip to try some new spots and fish some slightly warmer waters. Thanks again for the replies.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Chasing Reds

We chase reds down here on the Gulf coast. Almost all year they can be found in very skinny water, even in very cold water.

They seem far more tolerant to water temp than many fish. However they can be darn hard to see on overcast and very windy days. Bright sunny days can be fantastic, however the easier you can see them they can see you.

Tidal movement is a very important factor. I love a strong falling tide with strong rising tide second. No tidal movement is often a waste of time. A strong falling tide with max movement at 8-9AM should be superbe.

They patrol the weed edges for food flushing from the grass. I seldom see the classic tail sticking up. More often it is weeds moving, V-wakes, shrimp/smaller bait fish jumping. They are constantly on the move so if they aren't there now they could be through anytime. Patience.

Below is a pick of my youngest with a red from 1.5' of water with water & air temp in the 50's from east of New Orleans.

Pete A.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Chasing Reds

Pete nailed it, especially about not normally seeing the tails but the other indicators to watch for. Tide movement usually makes or breaks the fishing.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Chasing Reds

Hey bud. I'm here in Savannah as well. 3rd generation. I grew up fishing across the river in Carolina. You're wasting your time searching for reds in the grass until that water temp gets above 65 degrees and "them fiddlers" come out of the mud. It's still pretty to be out there though in a kayak. Hope that helps. Good luck.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: Chasing Reds

Cold slows their metabolism, slows down the appearance and movement of prey items, and can vary a lot between an inshore marsh and water of the same depth a bit further out. In short Reds still eat, but a lot less as water cools and they move less. I've just spent a couple months not seeing fish in close here where water temps have been ranging from 60-65 degrees but a short bit away where the water temps are closer to that magic number of 70 Reds are being caught.
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