Of all the pages on the calendar, September might be the best for chasing redfish, because of cooling water and more stable weather — as long as the tropics behave. With fishing in inland lakes still below average, a bass fisherman might find that an early fall trip to the coast might just scratch his fishing itch.
That was exactly what happened several years ago to start Glenn Finley, a dyed-in-the-wool bass fisherman from Belton, S.C., on his way to becoming a champion in redfish tournaments.
With water temperatures soaring on his home waters of Lake Hartwell — a good 4- to 5-hour haul from any saltwater — when it was family vacation time, he decided he’s pull his bass rig with him and see what he could find.
“I pulled my boat with us to the beach and just went down the bank casting like I was back home bass fishing,” Finley said. “I had about a 5-pound redfish smack the spinnerbait I was throwing, and he fought me all the way to the boat; they just don’t give up. That’s when I realized I could get used to this.”
That was the start of Finley’s trip with partner Dodd Wood, also from Belton, to the 2008 IFA Redfish Tour Championship and multiple redfish wins in the past nine years.
Finley credits his experience as a bass tournament angler that gave him a different mentality and approach to chasing redfish.
“It’s very close to bass fishing,” he said. “The tactics are nearly the same. Equipment is basically the same. I catch redfish on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, a little bit of topwater, deep-diving crankbaits. Where I believe my bass-fishing background really pays off fishing for redfish is because I rely on my electronics and watch for drops and break