This is my absolute favorite, fishing the rips on the beach. Trout will gather in large numbers at certain times on the beach front. We mainly fish them with live croakers under a cork. Sometimes we have to free line the baits, which means you only have a hook on your line, no lead, no cork, no swivel, just a hook and your bait. Although the cork is my favorite, sometimes you just have to get the bait a bit deeper. Its best to fish late evening on an outgoing tide, or first thing in the morning, with the late afternoon being my preferred.
When fishing the afternoon on an outgoing tide, there is also an opportunity to drift for bull redfish on and around Dixie Bar or Sand Island Light House. Yesterdays trips were a prime example of what the beach has to offer, plenty of action, and good times had by all.
The first trip was a catch and release trip, they just wanted some fast action. So I figured we could just take the kids to chase schools of spanish mackerel and ladyfish. They bite really fast, and you can see large schools breaking the surface, which the kids love, cause they can actually see what they are casting at. After letting them play with those for a while, we decided to see if we could catch some larger fish. It didn’t take but one drift to find the bulls, and after a few drifts, with plenty of pictures, and memories made, we headed back.
After picking up an early dinner, I went to get the late evening trip. Since I had left the bulls just a half hour earlier, I thought it would be wise to make my first stop there. The limit on redfish is 3 per person, with one fish allowed over size, slot size being 16-26 inches. With only two people, it only took one drift and we had our limit plus one on bulls. We still had 98% of the trip left to go, so I advised them that maybe we should try to pick through the larger fish and try to find some smaller fish. We spent about an hour doing this and did manage to find three more slot size fish, with numerous bulls caught in the process.
With three hours left to go, we idled down the beach looking for a nice rip. We set up on the first one we come to. First bait that hit the water was a ladyfish, next bait lady fish, and so on. They started to get anxious to catch a trout, so I explained to them that we are just waiting on the school to swim out in rip, then we have to keep them there by keeping baits in front of them. No matter if you have to take a couple baits and just have somebody throw them out, keep some bait in the water! Sure enough, a few minutes later, they came out, and let me just say, that couple came to fish! They went to work on those trout, and in no time had their limit. We had a good bit of time left at that time, but they said they were satisfied and ready to go, so we idled our way back so they could get plenty of good pictures of dolphins, various birds, and even a turtle came up for a quick pic.
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