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dgatorgrad

Redfish

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As some of you know, I'm relatively new to kayak fishing. Next Sunday, I'm going fishing with my oldest son and I want to target redfish and trout (big surprise, right?!). I've never caught a redfish, so I don't know where I should head. I'm not asking anyone to give up their "honey hole," but some general direction would be appreciated. I live in Palm Harbor, so I was thinking about putting in at Pop Stansel and fishing Sutherland Bayou, or going to Honeymoon and fishing along the mangroves on the east side right past the guard stand. Based on what I understand about reds (not much), those seem like they would be decent spots.Thanks, all! :)

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Here's TOF's fishy spot map of the area to give you a good look.http://www.theonlinefisherman.com/west-central-sp-1986775602/fishing-map-saint-joseph-soundGive HMI flats a try and see if you can spot anything good. Its always a nice excursion to be out there and you are buffered from the Googans and PWCs by the NMZ.Leaving out of Pop Stansel - you can try different areas in Southerland Bayou. It looks pretty awesome for reds in there with multiple oyster beds spread out all over if you look at it on Google earth. But Southerland ramp gets a pretty good amount of boat traffic coming and going- so I imagine whatever's there is constantly on alert. Maybe - dunno. Try it. Coming West out of Southerland Bayou - Try around and behind the island to your right (north) - then come around the corner a bit farther west and north and there is a pier with mangroves along the east shoreline and leading to a canal/creek at the north end. Try fishing around in that area for reds. There are often times lots of mullet swimming around there which can sometimes be neutral - but can never be bad. If you head straight west following the main "channel" out of Southerland - you will see 2 big long islands to your left (south) once you get out there. Fishing around them could yield a red or maybe a snook. If you continue to head straight west (and perhaps a little north) out into St Joseph Sound - towards the spoil islands you see in front of you to the west - there are tons and tons of potholes in a lot of areas out there - with deep rich thick grass - and 3-5 feet depth getting progressively deeper as you near the spoil islands. In other words - trout heaven. many are 12-15" and some are in the slot and above - but when conditions are right and you are in the right area out there on those grass flats east of the islands - and the bite is on - you can literally hook a trout with almost every cast out there sometimes. There is also some good variety out there on those deeper thick grass flats. I catch sea bass, mackeral, sharks, bluefish, baby grouper sometimes. try different baits. Shrimp - white baits - pinfish live or cut - cal shad or similar plastic on a 1/8oz jighead. Catching reds even if you find them can sometimes be a challenge - but things you should look for to hope they might be close by include:- water less than 2 1/2' deep- a nice mixture of patchy grass and sand - oyster beds/bars- mullet- docks- deep mangroves at high tide- slightly to somewhat deeper channel nearbyIf you find at least 3 or 4 of these elements all together in one place - there are probably reds hanging around there at certain times of the tide progression. Keep a close eye out in front of you as you cover ground paddling or drifting over shallow water looking for reds. If you see one or more reds dart away in front of you - pin/anchor up and wait just a bit and they may well come back towards you. Throw out a nice chunk of cut ladyfish or pinfish on a 2/0 or 3/0 circle hook and put that rod in the rodholder while you fancast a jig or spoon or topwater or mirrodine with another rod.Hope some of that is helpful.

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I was always told throw outside of the mullet school .. that's where the reds and trout are :-) see I'm learning ...

For the most part Amanda, that is very true... I just like to see mullet in general when targeting reds. Usually they will be very near

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