Those are the great big redfish you might encounter out over a shallow area traveling along in a school of a dozen or so. Thats what happened to my fishing crew last July 10th on the west side of North Key, here in Cedar Key, Fl.
We were fishing for trout and mackerel in about 4-5ft of water when 1 of my crew points out a big splashing and swirling action on the surface of the water out about 50 yards. It was real calm so we had great visibility.
At first I thought it was a manatee or a dolphin, then I heard a reel screaming line off. On the stern, Frank had something large on his line. As I moved aft to assist him, Steve on the bow started yelling. In a minute we could tell we had hooked 2 big bull Redfish. From a distance I knew we would release them from the size of them. You may keep a redfish between 18in. and 27in. Over 27in. is considered a `breeder` and under 18in. is considered a juvenile. I could see these weren`t `slot` fish.
The color of the water was brown. Not that pretty green we normally see. It`s brown because of all the rain we sufferred from hurricane/tropical storm Debby. All that rain filled up the Suwannee river which dumps out just north of us 12 miles or so, and then falls down here into Cedar Key. The water is chocolate brown everywhere. It doesn`t affect fishing too much. I had brought along bright neon yellow jigs to show up in the dark water. They worked pretty good with speckled trout.
There`s a picture of Werner Tammer with a 19.5in. whopper and Frank with an 18in. trout.
We did not land either of the bull Reds. Lines got tangled up and the tension of the fish pulling was too great for our tackle and leaders and hooks broke. I tried to ease my friends grief with the law. They were just too big. Over the 27in. maximum.
Folks, you can find them schooling over the `flats` this time year when the water temp is high. (90 degrees F.) The fishing is good and the water will turn that aqua green soon. With my shade top up and a little breeze it`s real comfortable. Call me at 352-221-5463 and lets go angling for a few fresh fish. thanks, Capt. Dan