, Port Arthur, Texas

June 9, 2013

Schooling reds move quickly

Chester's Sunday Column

Chester Moore, Jr.
The Port Arthur News

ORANGE —   Schools of redfish move quickly.

    In water three feet deep and greater, schooling reds often surface, send baitfish into the air for 10-20 seconds and then go down.

    Anglers unprepared to fire into the fracas are often disappointed they missed the fish. How     could no fish bite when they were just feeding so aggressively?

    The answer is the fish were probably 100 yards away by this point.

     Reds on the prowl move super fast and anglers must be prepared to strike quickly if they want to seize the opportunity.

    Preparation for this kind of fishing begins at home.

    It is good idea to make up a tackle box or bag with some key lures for targeting fast moving reds.

    Start with spoons. A gold or bronze spoon is arguable the best overall redfish lure and they offer the advantage of being easy to cast accurately at long distances. For most settings a ?-ounce is perfect.

    Next go to topwaters.

    There is nothing more exciting in local waters than watching big reds attack a topwater and when they are feeding on the surface, they are suckers for surface lures. Walking lures are great but do not overlook chuggers. They can extremely effective on reds.

    Rig these up on a spinning rod rigged with braided line and keep them handy. The spinning rod is to save you from frustrating backlashes, which can occur when you are trying to hit fish at long distances in a very short time window.

    If you for example are working a plastic, put down that stick, grab your spinning rod and chunk the spoon or topwater right where you saw the action. If the fish already under, then throw it as far as you can down current of the spot and work it back up. The reds usually follow the tidal flow.

If you keep missing the time window and want to make blind casts, consider using one of the numerous redfish ready spinnerbaits on the market. Everyone from Strike King to Bomber Saltwater Grade has solid product out at this point.

    Throwing the spinner is a great way to cover lots of water and will keep small trout off your line if they are in the area. Spinners are very effective for reds, but catch few specks.

    Finally, your soft plastics can come in handy.

   If the school pops up right in front of you, the reds will gladly hit just about anything that mimics a baitfish or shrimp. Additionally if someone in the boat gets hooked up, there may be reds following the one on the line. If you see them, chunk a plastic their directions and hold on tight.

    A red hooked close to the boat has a habit of running under it or expending all of its energy on a mind-boggling run of pure power and intensity.

    That is one of the many reasons I love redfish.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail me at You can hear him on "Moore Outdoors" Fridays from 6-7 p.m.)