There’s no secret that redfish are my favorite fish to catch when fishing inshore out of my kayak or SUP. Redfish, commonly referred to as reds, are some of the best fighting fish you can find in my opinion. Quite easily the Roy Jones, Jr. of the inshore saltwater world, reds are pound for pound some of the best fishing fish around. Reds are quite abundant here in Northeast Florida and when they’re chewing the bite is definitely on! Add in the fact that the Fall features some of the best fishing for reds and you’ve got yourself a winning combination. My wife loves kayak fishing almost as much as I do, and especially loves when the bite is on like fire and the reds are hot. The unfortunate part is it’s not that often that we get the opportunity to get out on the water together due to our having 2 small boys. Don’t get me wrong, we both love our sons like there’s no tomorrow, but it’s nice to be able to get out and spend some quality time out on the water together. You parents out there can definitely attest to this! When we first became addicted to the sport of kayak fishing many years ago (of course, this was prior to having kids), we’d often load up the kayaks, pick a place, and go away for the weekend to kayak fish.
Recently, we were blessed with some “free” time, as the grandparents watched the kids for us for the night. We took full advantage with a nice night on the town that Saturday night, then headed home to get the kayaks and gear ready to go chase some reds that Sunday morning. We were both excited that with it finally being Fall, that we’d have a great day on the water chasing reds. With our gear loaded we headed to grab some bait and hit the launch. As we were unloading the Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 and the Old Town Predator MX, we both noticed it was a bit windy. Windy doesn’t necessarily affect the fishing, but it does and can make for a tough day paddling. Unfazed, we set off from the launch in search of some great fishing.
We hit our first spot and Kaycee quickly landed a small sea trout. We had to deal with a bunch of pinfish, so we picked up and headed to another spot. I’d brought my Okuma Fishing Helios fly reel and rod, and wanted to try fly casting on a flat that I noticed had a nice school of redfish on it a few weeks back. I’ve long wanted to learn the art of fly fishing, and catching reds on fly could only be a heck of a good time. I’d decided to fish out of my Predator MX for just this reason. It has a clean open deck, so I wouldn’t have to worry about snags when stripping line (yeah, while I may have the “lingo” down, my expertise is pretty much nonexistent!). Add in the fact that I had my Power Pole Micro on it meant I could stop on a dime to cast.
We head back to the flat and I immediately see a nice upper slot redfish cruising along. I grabbed my fly rod, and let’s just say I’m glad the wife didn’t have her GoPro on to capture the inadequacy that had taken place. I looked nothing like the pros that you see on TV, probably the complete opposite. Needless to say there weren’t any reds on fly this day, but with more practice my time will come. The tide had started turning back in, so we decided to head over to a favorite hole for reds and test our luck on the incoming tide. We set up and anchor up and Kaycee lands a couple of smaller redfish. I was still reeking of the skunk that was taking place. The bite was extremely slow, and we were about to set off for another area, when Kaycee said one more cast. No sooner than it hit the water, her Okuma Helios rod doubled over. After a quick fight, she landed a stud 24″ redfish. Of course, this meant we’d have to stay and fish this spot for a little while longer. We repositioned ourselves and that’s when the bite went crazy, as we were catching reds with each cast.
We were having a blast, the reds were chewing and we were laughing with each fight. We had our kayaks side by side catching red after red. We even had about half a dozen double hook-ups, which only brought more giggles and smiles to our faces. We sat there for about an hour or so catching reds, before pulling up to head over to the grandparents to see the kids, watch some football, and enjoy some barbecue. While we didn’t tear into a ton of bull reds, we both had a great time on the water together, and ended the weekend perfectly. We tallied around 40 redfish that morning, both of us with smiles from ear to ear. I will admit that I was out-fished that day, but with as much fun as we had together, who cares about numbers. I can’t wait to get back out on the water, enjoy the amazing Fall weather, and lay into some reds again.