Getting Out of the Grass for Reds

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May 29, 2024
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This angler cast at grassbeds for hours with no takers, then found this puppy drum and many others just a few yards away.

Who doesn’t love fishing a nice grass flat when reds are the target? No one. Grassbeds are a prime zone to find these fish rooting around for small crabs and baitfish to munch. At times, however, those grasses seem bereft of predators. What’s going on, and where will you find those fish?

puppy drum in the channel

This angler cast at grassbeds for hours with no takers, then found this puppy drum and many others just a few yards away.

There are a number of reasons the reds might shuffle out of the grass. Often it’s abrupt temperature or pressure swings, usually following a significant front. At other times of the year it might grow too cold, or on occasion, even too hot. But the bottom line for you and me is figuring out how we’ll find them.

In most conditions most of the time (hey, this is fishing – of course there are exceptions!) it boils down to finding the closest deep water. “Deep” can mean many things, and in some areas three feet of water will be comparably deep. In others, it’ll be five feet or sometimes 10. The bottom line is finding water that’s deeper than the general surroundings, usually in the form of a channel. When you’re in an area you know fish have been frequenting recently you can often ID the likeliest “deep” spots simply by looking for the closest channel markers or channel on your GPS.

Now, about catching them: abandon the cork rigs, wobbling spoons, and uber-light jigheads you’ve been using up in the grasses. When the fish move to deep water most of the time they’ll be taking full advantage of that depth and sitting right at or near the bottom. Now’s the time to up-size the weight and bounce your offering down the edges of the channel and through the deepest water within range. Scented paddle-tails on jigs are a great bait for this game. Another that some anglers have been successfully experimenting with recently is the mule-style jig. Developed for freshwater fishing, this jig sits upright on its head so the tail sticks straight up off the bottom. It’s odd looking and finding heavy enough versions is a challenge, but rigged with a buoyant tail that sticks up and wiggles seductively, the reds will pound ’em.

Yes, we still love fishing the grass. But when the redfish abandon it for greener pastures, you should, too.




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