Our good friend from the Houston, Texas area, Jay Martin, gives us a great report about chasing redfish and persevering in tough conditions this winter to land quality fish.
This past Saturday I left my house at O’ dark thirty with two things on my mind. Put some redfish meet in the freezer and put my new rod and reel to
work. I’m happy to report, mission accomplished! Let’s rewind a bit to the previous weekend. I went to the Houston Fishing Show in search of a new rod to pair with my Lew’s Speed Spool Tournament Laser. If I had to guess, I handled between 50-60 rods that day in search of “the one”. I wanted a rod that is able to sling soft plastics a mile accurately and be sensitive enough to feel the slightest bump, all the while having enough backbone reached quickly to set the hook on my unsuspecting fishy friend. Enter The Tempest 6’10” MXF. If you want to look more into the rod then go to www.hookspit.com cause it’s time to get back to fishing.
Fishing here on the upper Texas coast has been a bit perplexing the past few months. You really don’t know if you’re fishing winter, spring or fall
because Mother Nature has been throwing some curveballs this year. So when I contacted my fishing partner Scott Story, AKA Fish Whisperer (that’s a
whole other story) earlier in the week to see if he wanted to chase some fish, he was game. Now the start of this week temperatures were in the
80’s with a cold front blowing in Wednesday driving temps into the 30’s. The Saturday forecast was showing high of mid 50’s and overcast. It’s hard
to “pattern” fish when Mother Nature is being so erratic, but we settled on a spot we fished back in mid January. We had an epic day there landing
more than 40 redfish between the both of us. We figured with the low ambient light and water temp coupled with a low tide, the fish would be there.
It’s also a spot that has the biggest common denominator for redfish on the Texas coast winter; a deep channel or drain that connects to some back lakes.
The fish tend to use this area as a highway between the lakes, but when the tide is low and the water temp is cold, the fish will stack up in this kind
of area. What was different about today versus our trip a couple of months is that the fish weren’t hungry like before. It was an extremely
frustrating type of bite that can drive a fisherman insane. My choice of weapon and technique was a quarter ounce jig head with a paddle tail soft
plastic. I found a darker color with a chartreuse all to be the best. In other words, one of the “chickens”. Slamming Chicken, mama’s chicken, hot
chicken; what the freak ever just not fried chicken! As for my retrieve, it was a slow drag the bottom action. Whenever I would think to myself
this is a slow retrieve, I’d slow it up even more. Now here is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. While working my lure I would feel a
slight bump and then gone….nothing, nada. After multiple times of this happening with no results, I changed things up a bit. I would cast, drag
the bottom with my ever so slow retrieve, but as soon as I would feel a bump, I would yank back on my rod to set the hook. By adjusting to this
technique, it yielded me 9 solid slot redfish and one over the slot. I kept a pair of 23″ers and a 25″er; perfect eating size.
All in all it was a good day on the water for people and a bad day for redfish. The Fish Whisperer took the big fish of the day at 32 plus inches and 13.9 pounds. Me? I kept my limit and savored the fact that my newest weapon in the arsenal is a fish catching machine!
I’m an avid saltwater angler that lives in Houston and fishes the upper
Texas coast. My favorite species to target is redfish and I throw only
artificial lures. Follow me on instagram at rajuncajun_yakfishn