• Rob Baker

Redfish Alert!

In the soon to be aftermath of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and with the easing of stay-at-home rigidity, I ventured out with my kayak into a new area on the Indian River and WOW! I caught a redfish along with a spotted seatrout! That's my first redfish, ever! That's my first time catching two fish in one outing!

"The fish and I were both stunned and disbelieving to find ourselves connected by a line."  

-William Humphrey in "The Armchair Angler"

My newfound and now trusty FishAngler app indicated a period of minor activity peaking at 9 AM and tailing off toward 11 AM. That was my window of opportunity where the moon phase and rising tide suggested fish might be biting if I could but find where that was. I was lucky. I caught the seatrout first around 8:25 AM and the redfish just after 9:05 AM. Sometime soon I'll make sure to fish a "major" activity time slot (geez, can you imagine), because I've had decent results when paying attention to the app (recent seatrout catch and some bass bites, plus today). Major activity at my location was forecast for around 5 PM but, alas, I wasn't planning on staying that long.

For both fish I opted to capture GoPro images without lifting them from the water. Whenever possible I'm choosing not to handle them. Seatrout slime layers are particularly sensitive, and they don't do well out of the water compared to most. If the catch is photo worthy then I'll risk it. The seatrout was my largest yet, and probably 15 inches long. It fought the hardest and made several runs before I could get it close to the kayak. It needed a little help getting unattached from my blue gill-colored $15 Whopper Plopper (first time anything has ever gone near it). The redfish was slightly shorter and had only one spot close to it's tail, so I'm guessing it was still juvenile. It struck within 10-feet of my kayak so never really had a chance to make runs, pull line and get tired. With a little slack in the line it managed to free itself rather easily with an energetic jump. I only got a few seconds of video before it was gone.

I like this kayak launch site and plan on going back often. The flats of Dummit Cove were broad and open and sheltered from an east wind, with very few other anglers before noon. Clearly my luck improved here. I still haven't actually "sight"-fished yet, but I'm getting a better feel for casting to ideal spots and making a decent presentation. Lately it does seem that if a predator fish just sees my lure move it strikes without hesitation. I'm not sure I need as much varied tackle quite frankly, although my supply is still relatively modest compared to most.

"I look into... my fly box, and think about all the elements I should consider in choosing the perfect fly: water temperature, what stage of development the bugs are in, what the fish are eating right now. Then I remember what a guide told me: 'Ninety percent of what a trout eats is brown and fuzzy and about five-eighths of an inch long."  

-Allison Moir

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