Where Do All The Redfish Go When Cooler Weather Hits?

Louisiana offers some of the best inshore fishing anywhere in North America. There are some saltwater fish and fishing experiences throughout the region, so you are sure to find a great day out on the water no matter what season it is.

While each season offers its own challenges due to weather, temperature, and storms, winter fishing can be one of the most frustrating seasons because this is the time when redfish will move to different locations than they are typically located during the summer months.

One of the main factors to consider during redfish winter fishing is how these fish react to cooler temperatures. Often times redfish will leave shallow water because the temperatures in these areas drop quickly based on the outside temperature. As a result, almost all species of inshore fish will move to deeper water since these water temperatures will not drop as quickly as compared to shallow waters.

How Redfish React In Winter Months

It’s safe to say in almost all regions, winter weather drops the temperature several degrees, along with having shorter days and longer nights. In these conditions, many fish will seek deeper water looking for warmer water temperatures. At the same time, reds will also school tightly and become lethargic in an attempt to survive the hostile temperatures.

Even though redfish change their behavior during winter months, they still need to move in search for food. If you can find the baitfish and shellfish that redfish seek, then you are more likely than any other time of the year to see the reds. Identifying these locations will present you with hundreds of reds that are hungry, tired, and ready to eat!

You should also consider the time of day when fishing in the winter. Early in the winter days, you will notice that there is not much activity, but redfish activity will increase dramatically throughout the day.

Winter Fishing Tips To Land More Redfish

One of the most exciting elements of fishing that all anglers experience is the fact that fish are hard to predict and follow elemental cues throughout the year. This means that there is no “magic spot” to always find fish, and all anglers can struggle to land bites when the weather goes cold.

Water temperatures change three or four degrees throughout the day, especially in shallow areas without tidal flow or wind. This temperature change can be even more drastic in bays that are removed from the open water and protected by from prevailing winds.

Luckily, there are several steps you can take to predict where redfish will be located, and there is a chance that fish can be found in your area even if they are not biting. Here are some ideas to consider before you head out for the day. Use these tips to help you monitor the elements throughout the day to adapt your strategy accordingly.

1. Think About The Temperature

One of the first things to do before you head out on the water is to check your local weather to understand the air temperature, barometric pressure, and wind speeds over the past 24 hours. These factors can have a significant impact on how, when, and where fish will relocate in the face of a cold front. It is important that you are fishing with an experienced charter captain as your captain will have a greater understanding of the weather patterns and how it can affect your fishing trip. Listen to both inshore and offshore reports to find new opportunities that you may have missed.

For example, even if you are not getting hits throughout the day, then you should consider exploring reefs near shore or finding deep channels if your vessel and the weather allows you to access that water depth.

2. Change Bait And Adjust Retrieve

You could research and adapt your strategy based on the temperature by choosing the right water depth, but you could still experience limited bites throughout the day. If this is the case, you should consider changing to live bait and switch to a slower retrieve.

You can either use live shrimp or crab, but you should use crab in areas with pinfish or other bait stealers. In situations where you are seeing dormant redfish in the area, you should see good results by throwing fresh cut bait to sit at the bottom since this will likely produce fish.

3. Change Up Your Rod

Since reds move less during chilly winter months, you will want a slow retrieve, and this means you want to keep the bait in the water as long as possible. To achieve this you will want to land longer distance, and many anglers have found success with a medium-action spinning rod with a fast tip.

A 7-foot spinning rod with a fast rod tip flexes easily and helps propel smaller baits longer distances so you can draw in more reds with each cast.

4. Smaller Bait

In colder temperature reds will limit their movement throughout the day, and as they seek to conserve energy, you will notice success by using smaller lures. While most anglers find success with a 4-to-5 inch soft-plastic jerk, during the winter you will see progress with a 3-inch wobbling spoon with a single hook.

You can also look at using a spoon since redfish like the exact size and profile, and the wiggle will grab the attention of reds in the area. Retrieve the spoon slowly to keep them in the optimal strike zone for as long as possible, redfish will not pursue the bait since they don’t want to burn a lot of energy.

You can have a great time with winter fishing for reds, but you will need to think about how redfish react to the cooler temperatures throughout the day. Use these tips and idea to land great reds all year, and have a great fishing adventure even in cooler temperatures!

If you are ready to head out for a great fishing charter, contact us today for more information! Our experienced team will ensure you have a great time on the water, and we will help you land more reds even in the winter months!