Fall brings wonderful gifts to people able to enjoy the outdoors, and for anglers who devote the majority of their efforts to redfish, it’s prime time to connect with their favorite rival close to the surface in the waters around Georgetown, S.C.
Guide Jeff Lattig of Living Water Guide Service welcomes the cooler weather with open arms and loves to work a surface lure during the fall’s earliest hours of light.
“Redfish start ganging up and herding shrimp this time of year,” said Lattig (843-997-4655). “They are more aggressive in the fall, trying to put on the pounds for winter, and (they) will readily feed on top.”
While redfish are filling up on shrimp, they won’t pass up a juicy finger mullet skimming down the edge of the spartina grass, and that’s where Lattig looks for a topwater take. He will target redfish in feeder creeks and sometimes in main creeks on the lower end of the tide unless he is searching for a topwater opportunity.
“I prefer to fish the upper end of the falling tide, because the bait is coming out of the grass, and it makes a great ambush position for redfish,” he said.
Banks with submerged shells along grassy shorelines are some of the best places to find late-fall reds. Small creek mouths, secondary points and shell islands are also prime places to find a redfish set up to pounce on a tasty critter carried by the current. Lattig will set up tight to the bank and cast parallel to it so his lure mimics natural movement.
“I like to cast down the bank within 3 feet of the bank or less to keep the lure in the strike zone longer. When you cast perpendicular to the bank, you are only in the strike zone for a short time and end up working the lure in dead water,” he said.
Catching redfish on a topwater plug isn’t a standard tactic; anyone can see by the position of the fish’s mouth that they can have trouble feeding on baits above their heads. While fall readily brings redfish to the surface, the first-strike hookup ratio is marginal at best. Lattig recommends anglers work their bait continuously during blow-ups until the line tightens.
“They usually miss it the first couple of times, but never stop it, because it will give them time to study it. Keep it moving until they take it,” he said.
Lattig prefers plugs that resemble finger mullet: Zara Spooks or She Dogs. He prefers bright colors on bright days and darker colors on cloudy/overcast days.