Stalking Redfish

Any day on the water in Southwest Florida is a good day, but sometimes, you gotta hop out of the boat and get IN the water, if you’re going to catch some of Pine Island Sound’s most exciting gamefish…tailing Redfish.

It was a late Fall afternoon. The sun was beginning to set, the moon was nearly full, the tide was pulling out fast and the water was warm, calm and low. Mullet were everywhere and we were hoping Redfish would be too.

Dan James was along for the ride, bringing along several of his custom rods for us to put to the test. We pulled up to a large flat on the back of Sanibel Island that was covered in grass and hard sandy bottom. After anchoring up the boat, we threw some live bait on and climbed overboard. We set out in different directions in search of ‘tails’.


The bay was alive with creatures. Stingrays, juvenile nurse sharks and baitfish cruised the clear water, along with the aforementioned schools of mullet. It didn’t take long to spot the first Redfish tails. They were dipping in and out of the water as a small group of 7 or 8 Reds buried their noses in the grasses, searching for shrimp, crabs and anything else unlucky enough to be on the evening menu.

Live pilchards produced little results. Artificial shrimp and some swim baits produced a few lethargic strikes but not the action we were hoping for. These Reds were happy to move slow and forage through the seagrass. That meant one thing…time to toss some cut bait at ‘em.

We pitched a few chunks of cut up bait towards the action and waited. BAM! That’s the ticket! They began chewing and we started pulling them in! Some slowly picked up the bait, others hammered it like a concrete block, but we put Dan’s lightest action rods to the test and hauled them in.

If you’ve never had a chance to get out of the boat and stalk some Redfish, you are really missing out! Come hang out with us on (or in!) the beautiful waters that surround Fort Myers and Sanibel and let us show you how many different, exciting things we can do!

Give us a shout to book your next fishing charter adventure! (239) 896-2341