Fall is one of the most exciting times for fishing all across the country. As the weather cools, fish in both fresh and saltwater start to migrate, fattening up for winter or venturing into more comfortable feeding waters. Almost all fish are on the move during the fall, including the popular redfish, which is busy with more than just feeding.
Fall is spawning season for red drum, so finding large groups of these fish, and enticing them to take your hook, is easier in autumn than any other season. With the right techniques, you catch more redfish than you could ever imagine.
LOOK FOR SCHOOLS OF MULLET
Redfish aren’t the only species spawning in the fall. Mullet, one of the top food sources for redfish, also spend their fall seasons spawning, and they usually can be found in large schools during September and early October. Their spawning season actually lasts longer than the redfish’s so once the reds wrap up their procreation, they will start to hammer the mullet schools. If you find a school of mullet in the fall, you are almost guaranteed that the redfish are close by, and your trophy fish should be pretty easy to entice.
APPROACH WITH CARE
Finding redfish in the fall is pretty simple, but actually approaching the fish and getting within casting distance can be a challenge, especially in clear water. Redfish can be very skittish, so take the time to slowly approach the area you want to target. If you have actually spotted the fish, use a long pole to gently and slowly work your way towards the fish. If there is a river inlet that you want to target, use a trolling motor once you are within 20 or 30 yards. Always remember to be nice and stealthy around redfish, and you’ll have more success not only during the fall, but the entire year.
LOOK TO JETTIES AND RIVER INLETS
Redfish in the fall will often be found in areas where rivers flow into bays and gulfs. These areas are often loaded with hungry redfish, both before and after the spawn, and an angler will often have no problem hooking multiple redfish, cast after cast after cast. This is often a good area to use lures, as the water from the river will be murkier, requiring more attention grabbing bait.
USE LIVE MULLET
It is common sense that you should use bait that the fish are eating. For redfish in the fall, this means mullet. You can use a whole mullet around four to eight inches, or you can use cut mullet if you have a larger one available. If using cut mullet, hooking chunks that are cut to about three inches is a good technique. Use a medium-sized hook and a light fishing line and you can accurately place bait in front of a coasting redfish.