Winter redfish tactics with Fred MyersAngler Tips
The only angler to win three IFA championships, longtime Power-Pole ambassador Captain Fred Myers regularly plies the waters of West Bay and St. Andrews Bay in the Panama City, Florida, area for redfish during the winter months — but cold water conditions demand a change in tactics.
“Wintertime redfishing is about being slow and subtle,” Myers says. “Reds are super spooky in winter and will hear everything and anything this time of year, so it’s necessary to be ultra quiet. The silent deployment of my Power-Pole shallow water anchors allow me to check numerous areas without disturbing the waters or the fish.”
Myers searches out subtle differences in the flats that attract reds to congregate.
“Reds want to bunch up in the winter — not necessarily because they are feeding, but because they are all searching for areas to warm up, which could be a flat, a hole or where the sun is hitting the water at the right angle,” he says. “Reds are rarely roaming solitary during the winter.”
Myers may drift over 10 to 15 holes before he finds the right one.
“Generally, a 1- to 2-foot change in depth is enough to attract redfish, and when we find them holing up, I can put my two Power-Pole Blade shallow water anchors down far away and point the bow to make the right cast,” he says.
The key to winter redfish success is to dial down the speed and size of the lures. Myers will tie on a 3- to 4-inch Bass Assassin Elite Shiner or Shrimp to mimic a shrimp or minnow, two main winter baits. The rubber bait is lanced on a 1/8– to ¼-ounce leadhead — enough weight to cast, but not so much that it sinks to the bottom too fast. A properly weighted jig will be twitched, then will slowly drop through the strike zone.
As most winter redfish average in the 5- to 10-pound bracket in the Panhandle area, Myers uses medium-action, 7’ to 7’ 2” Phenix Feather rods matched with Shimano Stradic 3000 reels spooled with 8- to 10-pound braid.
“You need to go with thinner braid for more casting distance in Florida, as the fish are way more spooky than in a place like Louisiana, where I would make shorter casts with 40-pound braid,” Myers says. “Stay as far away from the school as possible, while still being able to reach them with a cast.”
Slow, subtle and silent — the three tactical characteristics of a successful winter redfish angler. With Power-Pole shallow water anchors all three facets can be achieved.
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