I get asked frequently, “What are some of the important things you search for while scouting for Redfish for your next inshore fishing charter.” I respond promptly, “Rocks and Docks”, rocks referring to our local oysters and docks… well docks. Redfish are instinctually bound to structure and finding it will help you find fish. The time of year usually decides what kind of structure the Redfish will be hanging around.
During the summer, I search for the oldest dock in the creek, preferably one that is partially collapsed into the creek. I like a lower tide for these docks because it pushes the fish into a more consolidated area. In summer you can use a lot of different bait and my favorites include live finger mullet, live shrimp, and cracked blue crab. If you’re in a creek with no docks, search for oysters beds. Oyster beds hold bait and provide a good source of food for the Redfish. I have the best luck searching for oyster beds on low tide. Mark them on your GPS and return on a higher tide when they are submerged, float bait (live mud minnows, shrimp, or a ZMan ShrimpZ would be good choices) over the oyster bed and watch for the cork to go under.
As the water cools the fish are still bound to structure, but I find them suspended around oyster beds on open shallow water flats in large schools. The mullet and shrimp also leave in colder temperatures and the redfish quickly become a food source for the Dolphins. Schooling is a defense mechanism and this is why they can be found congregating in large numbers. When Redfish school, it’s a great time to break out the artificials and fly rods to target them. Small jerk shads and small shrimp flies are a great choice of lures. When you are looking to book your next inshore fishing charter, look at the time of year it may assist you in choosing when to book your trip.