My clients and I have experienced some of the best red fishing in recent years this week on the August full moon. Most fish were caught on artificial lures but found with cork and shrimp.
Traditionally the full moon in August is the start of our fall redfish schools. Sometimes it’s late or the fish will not stay and it becomes a hit or miss situation, but at this point it has been game on.
The key to finding a a good school of reds is to learn to read the water. If it is calm the dead give away is a thick push of water, not a riffle of mullet. To determine one from the other can differ from day to day because of conditions. On calm days look for mullet and porpoise, they both like the same areas that redfish will be. The porpoise can help keep a bunch of redfish in your casting range.
On the Nature Coast our porpoise are very wild and most of the time will give a boat a wide berth when herding mullet. They will hit the points left and right of the boat so most redfish will stay towards the middle. I believe porpoise eat mostly mullet and occasionally small redfish this time of year, but tend to leave mid to upper slot red’s alone because (if you have ever clean one you know) of how thickly scaled they are.
On days with a little chop it can be hard to pick out fish with the untrained eye. Again a jumping mullet along a mangrove shoreline can be the winning ticket. Another key I use to help me is a dark deep flash in the water. Redfish will flash under the surface, but so do mullet. A mullet will be up near the surface and silver, redfish will be near the bottom and golden in color. Also look for their white lips moving in formation if it is a big school.
The trout bite continues to be consistent south of Homosassa in the rock grass or bars near Bird Island. Dark colored soft plastics with red flake are the best bait.
Scalloping continues to be good west of St. Martins Keys in the thin grass about a mile or so from the keys. The water clarity is good. Incoming high tide will be in the afternoon this weekend.