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High Tide Reds- Fernandina Beach, July 16, 2016

Jared DJared D Fernandina Beach Posts: 399 Deckhand
We had a 7:30 AM high tide on Saturday so I made my little brother get up and show me how it was done. He works on Tugs out in Texas and was in town for the weekend. He also tends to be better at the redfishing than I am. This was his sport for some time while I was always chasing the offshore beasts.
It was an average tide, no chance of flooding, but I have found a new location that tends to hold fish pretty good in some grass on the mid to high tides.

We went there only to find them so far in the grass, we couldn't get a bait down to them. We could only see the grass banging around as they plowed through it. After spending 30 minutes trying to coax a bite out of three different fish in the thick stuff, we decide to change venues. He tells me about a spot near where we were and leads the way.
This is all fishing from shore as his boat is being repaired.

We get to the new spot and immediately see two reds cruising down the cove towards us. One goes down and the other is coming in hot with his back out of the water.

I cast a white popper in front of the fish I can see only to land the line right on the red that was no longer visible. It spooks causing the other to cut and run. The tide was hitting max high at this point.
20 minutes later we spread out and I move across the point to a big horseshoe bay. As soon as I get there, I see a big school of reds cruising along the far end of the horseshoe to my right. These are coming in with no subtlety. There were at least 6, but more likely 10-15 fish. Two or three would cruise in the 3-5 feet of submerged grass (the water depth was 10-12 inches deep, but the grass extended into the water 3-5 feet) spooking out mullet and shrimp which would flick out of the grass only to be destroyed by the ones outside of the grass. I watched them feed towards me for 3-4 minutes pounding the bait every 10-15 seconds.

It was really cool to watch. The shrimp would get spooked and start flicking only to end in a big splash. It almost looked like a coordinated attack. I had never seen that before but my brother had seen them work like a team before. There was one really big one in the pack that I could see halfway out of the water as he busted through the grass.

They finally feed in front of me where I was able to nab one on a white popper fly I made up the night prior. Good fish- 26.5" and pretty chunky. He took me almost to the backing before I was able to subdue him. He was invited home for lunch. Left my camera at home so no action shots.

The school moved back the other way to the same point I had seen them and then headed back towards me.
I was able to get another one about 22 inches, but my stringer was so far away I let him go to grow 4.5 inches bigger!

Unfortunately, the tide dropped below the grass line and they moved out to some oyster bars outside our range. We watched them work for a bit before calling it a day.

One pic of the red at the house and pic of the popper.


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