The other day, someone stopped me in Publix and asked if I always catch fish. After I quit laughing, I replied, “not always.”
Sunday was a good example. Elliott and David Peralta, Brody (the fish-finding dog), and I launched the Pathfinder around 9 a.m. The tide was falling, and we were a bit surprised that the surface water temperature was 49.5 degrees. Our plan was to target redfish in the shallows.
On the ride to our first fishing area, Elliott commented that finding fish would be easy, getting them to eat a lure in 49-degree water was going to be tough. As it turned out, that was an understatement.
Upon arriving in an area with a bunch of oyster bars in one to two feet of water, I deployed the trolling motor and Elliott jumped up on the Pathfinder t-top. When sight fishing for redfish, elevation is your friend. Elliott immediately spotted a small school of fish way off in the distance.
We quietly moved the boat into casting position and set the powerpole. David cast a Z-Man 4-inch PaddlerZ on a 1/8-ounce flutter hook a few feet ahead of the school.
The entire school ignored it.
I cast a Z-Man Finesse TRD on a 1/6- ounce NedLockZ jig to the school, no dice.
The school swam by without so much as a look.
Elliott cast a Z-Man MinnowZ on a ¼-ounce jig and the school spooked.
This process was repeated several times. In the cold water, the redfish were simply not eating. We decided to look for warmer water. Good thing the Pathfinder is a fast boat because we covered a lot of water and cast to a lot of redfish. No warm water and no takers.
Eventually, the sun came out, the tide came in and the water temperature began to rise. With the NFL divisional championship getting ready to kick off, we had time for one more stop before heading home to watch the game. I told the guys we need to catch at
least one fish. Thankfully, at our last stop the water temperature was 52 degrees and the redfish were more active.
We cast our lures ahead of the school and all three of us hooked up. My fish was the smallest and I took a lot of abuse from David and Elliott. Even Brody gave me the “I am embarrassed for you” look.
However, in the picture, we all look pretty happy.