Fall Tides and Frenzy-Feeding Reds

Fall Tides and Frenzy-Feeding Reds
Ahh, the fresh smell of fall air. Don't you just love waking up in the morning and feeling the crisp air outside? Me too!

As the fall rolls in, there is also a special phenomenon happening in the marshes along the coast. Shrimp have been growing in the marshes all summer and when the north wind blows, the mighty redfish go into a feeding frenzy. From my experience it is this time of the year when the reds group up and cruise grassy shorelines most reliably. Pods of redfish can be found moving along in shallow water devouring every hapless shrimp within their feeding zone. If you have not witnessed such an event, you are really missing out on an exciting outdoor experience.

At this season of the year, the tides are still manageable and sometimes the water is even fairly deep when runoff pairs with a high tide. I have seen this play exceptionally well in the favor of fishing conditions in many places. The higher water level allows the redfish opportunity to invade flooded cord grass regions where shrimp and mullet take cover, sometimes I find a pod of half a dozen rooting in there the same as they will cruise the shorelines. All of this plays right into the hand of paddling anglers as we do not have to worry much about super skinny areas where you can't paddle through. What's not to love about frenzy-feeding reds crushing shrimp in water that is so easy to paddle?

It seems you almost cannot go wrong with lure choice. Recently I have been throwing some of the new Voodoo Mullets by Egret. They have an awesome action and work well when the tides are a little higher than normal. Whatever it is you throw at the redfish, try to lead them. Put the lure in front of them a few yards and let them work to it. Casting directly into a feeding or cruising pod should be avoided as even though they are intent on feeding, a direct hit in their midst will almost always spook them. When the fish approach the lure it is time to lift the rod tip and give it some twitching action. More than likely this will yield a quick strike. What follows is an immediate dispersal of the pod, wakes zooming away in all directions. Then there is the fish that attacked your lure, if the water is shallow enough, the fish you hooked will be rooster tailing it across the flat. Regardless, you will be taking a sleigh ride of sorts as the red attempts to fight its way loose.

If you are fortunate enough, this can be repeated multiple times through a fishing trip as you come across more and more pods of fish. Sometimes the reds will regroup after being spooked and continue on their journey of feeding on shrimp. A sight to behold for sure. If you want to pick a season of the year to chase redfish in the marshes, do it now.

READER INQUIRY: I was recently contacted by a new resident to Texas and new reader of the magazine, a Mr. R. Starr. In summary, Mr. Starr is looking to get into kayak fishing as a means of introducing his family to a healthy outdoor activity. He asked if there is a guide I would recommend in the Corpus/Portland, TX area.

Mr. Starr, my answer is YES! The southern coastal area has fabulous fishing opportunities. I would need every page of this magazine to discuss them all. I believe you are on the right track in wanting to learn from a guide. I recommend you contact Dean Thomas out of Aransas Pass, he owns and operates Slow Ride Guide Service. He is a kayak fishing guru and provides guided trips as well as various kayaking lessons. Dean will definitely be able to help you and outfit you to your needs.

Thank you for submitting your questions. Don't forget to send me photos as you progress in your kayak fishing endeavors.

Until next time,