By CAPT. DOUG HEMMER
PAST TRIP: The tide was a long slow incoming. The wind blew out of the north and really slowed down the tide. We were sitting on a school of 200 redfish and could not get them to eat. The baits were alive, dead, free-lined, corked, belly-hooked, and sometimes slowly reeled through the school. These fish were not going to eat until the tide started pushing.
Finally after 3 hours of patience, the reds started to feed. The first two fish were landed and we thought this is going to be a great trip. How wrong we were. The first signs of trouble were the egrets. They were hungry and flew after every bait that was cast. This would spook the redfish school and scatter them in all directions. We tried to cast one bait away from the fish so the egret would follow that bait while we cast the next bait at the fish. It was a good idea until the seagulls showed up.
PRO TIP: One of the best ways to keep the birds off the reds is to not live chum. When a handful of live baits is tossed at the school, the sun will make the baits sparkle and this will lure in the birds. If you need to live chum the school to get them feeding, toss the baits low to the water. This will cut down on the sparkle time. Another tip is to use live shrimp. They won't flash during the cast and they'll blend into the grass, making it hard for the birds to see.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?