If you haven’t been fishing lately and have the itch, now is the time to go.
On Saturday evening, I experienced one of the wildest fishing bites of my life. While fishing the mouth of the Manatee River with Capt. Jason Stock and Rob Chapman IV, we had no less than 90 minutes of nonstop snook and redfish action with big trout mixed in.
What made it so special was the sheer veracity of the schools of redfish.
Off in the distance, I noticed what looked like very nervous water. Fish were pushing wakes in 1 to 2 feet on a sandbar, and I had the sneaky feeling it was big redfish. They were chasing schools of bait, and to keep up with their quickness we began wading in pursuit.
The first time we got close, we could see them coming out of the water trying to eat mullet and other bait. It was indeed big redfish, hungry and eating everything in their path.
Rob Chapman IV somehow manages to hook a jack in the middle of the redfish school as they run into his feet.
When we were within casting range, it was only a matter of getting our whitebait into the school and a triple hookup occurred instantly. Trying to keep them interested and close by, Capt. Stock would throw out handfuls of chum, more whitebait, and the redfish would chase the baits all the way back to our feet creating an unbelievable showcase of the food chain! They would come out of the water then run into our feet, anything to eat as they were aggressively tracking down their next meal.
When a redfish school would move on looking for more food, the snook moved in. It was nonstop snook for a bit before we would see another school of redfish pop up in the near distance. We would wade to them, repeat triple hookup, chum and so on until the sun set.
Capt Stock said this behavior is typical of fall-schooling redfish. They school tightly looking to eat and often are on the move. We timed it well with the outgoing tide, approaching storm and setting sun giving us the perfect scenario for catching hungry fish.
Capt. Stock can be reached at 727-459-5899 or through his website at jmsnookykayakcharters.com. He specializes in evening bites and has the fish dialed in, so now is the time to get out!
Bonus footage: Catching bait has never been easier!