Catching Winter Redfish
Captain Mark Henderson – Liquid Fire Fishing Team
Redfish galore!! This is a great time of year on the coast of North Carolina. As the pelagic species push further offshore or migrate south, this staple in our fishery stays near our beaches so near-shore fishermen are able to feed their appetite during the winter months.
Large schools of slot (18”-27”) or bull redfish roam our beaches from one to 40 feet of water, looking for nourishment in the forms of large schools of menhaden to random crabs, anchovies and mullet.
It’s hard to find a more exciting, plentiful and powerful species that can help scratch the itch of tugging on a challenging adversary during the chilly winter months. The redfish, regardless of size, has always been one of my most favorite fish to battle. The fight from strike to rod-tip is unmatched by most species. They just don’t know when to quit.
There’s nothing more exciting than cruising the beach, just behind the sets of small breakers rolling onto shore, looking for a hint of a dark red swath in the backs of one of the ocean swells. The thrill of finally finding “the school” is exhilarating! Then, the action starts…
This is the time my sons and I enjoy rigging our Accurate SR-6s and 7’ 6” medium-heavy, spinning rods with some 20-pound braid, or six-pound mono (your choice), an 18”, 15-20-pound fluorocarbon leader, three-inch rubber, paddle tail and positioning the lure just past the school. Pulling through the school with a very slow retrieve will soon require us to set the hook and hang on!!
The cool thing about our North Carolina fishery is that as long as the winds don’t keep us off the water, there is always excitement awaiting us just beyond the inlets!!