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Recent studies have shown that redfish can spend their entire life span within six miles of their birth place. Most anglers don’t realize that a school of reds will often “double back” or “come back” to the original location – EVEN WHEN SCARED BY BOAT TRAFFIC. The reds will find an area they like and granted they will be scared away, but they will come back. The tides also affect them, they may have to move to deeper areas of water if the tides fall too low, but they will come back. I can look at my calendars from years past and tell you by looking at almost any given date where I can find the reds, I have noted what baits they will be biting. They are an aggressive fighter and are an absolute blast to any angler (young or old) to catch.  The redfish are found throughout our bay systems in and around Rockport, Texas, and they live here year ‘round.

I used to fish Estes Flats which covers a lot of territory. Estes Flats has lots of different names for different spots. The local anglers give certain names which never appear on the fishing maps. I guess I’m from the old school, and have never used a GPS in my boat until recently. I have the spots marked down in my brain.  My grandson Aerich has become quite a young man. He has taken over the reigns as captain. He uses the GPS and marks down all the spots I taught him and some he has discovered on his own. He is my best fishing buddy and really has a passionate desire to learn more and more about fishing. He’s one “Fine fishing machine”!   


One method of catching redfish is to pole or troll along in 10″-12″ water looking for the sand holes that should be within casting distance ahead.  While doing this, try to be as quiet as humanly possible and sneak-up on our favorite fish to catch. When the weather is hot and the water temperature is up the redfish would prefer to lay in ambush for their food rather than use their energy actively pursuing it. If you find them, you can catch them. The schools of reds as I mentioned above (with the summer heat) will tend to break up into “pods” of 2 or 3 redfish. You will encounter more singles than anything in the late summer months. There are too many variables to be absolutely sure of when reds will “rodeo” or school up. Redfish Rodeo’s are fun and exciting. This is when one boat seems to find a big school of reds and the other boats join in on the fun. They kinda circle around the school and everyone is catching their limit in no time, usually when a boat catches their limit they will pole out as quietly as possible and give another boat their spot. If you’re lucky enough to find a school of reds and they get spooked, be patient they won’t go far, they will come back, keep the trolling motor off and wait.


Redfishing is a waiting game on lots of days.  Redfish bite on numerous types of bait. We use a casting net to catch our own bait and usually use mullet. Mullet can be used live or cut. We also at times use mud minnows when we find them with the cast net. Perch are also a good option. Certain times of the year and late summer months being included in that we buy shrimp and use them. When we use shrimp, we nearly always kill them by pulling the heads back (but leaving it connected) and coiling them up on the hooks. This seems to be a favorite of the redfish. We use 12-15 lb. test line and a #3 or #4 wide gap hook. We make a leader out of 30 lb. test line first. We also use a 1 oz. egg slip sinker. This aids in the distance of casting. 

Now that you have caught the redfish, I’ll share several of my wife Beverly’s recipes with you. These are all my favorite because I love redfish cooked any way I can get it. Actually I just love to eat especially redfish that we have caught.

Redfish On The Half Shell:  Fillet the fish off of the backbone leaving the rib bones attached, and leaving the skin and scales on the other side. I pull the belly skin off the rib area. OK now the fish is prepared. Fire up the BBQ pit and put the redfish meat side down for approximately 1-2 minutes, depending on how hot your fire, flip the half shell over so the scales are toward the fire. Then pour Ranch Dressing all over
the redfish and the skin will curl-up and kinda make a bowl. Continue to cook for several more minutes until the redfish is flaky and done. Another favorite topping is to pour Picante Sauce instead of Ranch Dressing over the redfish meat and squeeze a fresh lemon on top. Cook as above.

Blackened Redfish Fillet: Prepare the redfish by removing the rib section. Roll the redfish fillet in unsalted, melted butter then sprinkle with Blackened Redfish Magic,(McCormick’s Seafood Seasoning or Creole Seasoning) to taste. These spices can be hot, so use sparingly. Cook OUTSIDE on a HOT cast iron skillet, turning as you cook for about 3 minutes, until the thickest portion of the redfi h can be broken and flaked.


Sea 5         SEA 8        

Fried Redfish Sticks: Cut the redfish fillets into finger size sticks. Mix approximately 1 cup of half and half (or evaporated milk) and 2 eggs beaten together. Roll fish sticks in the milk & egg mixture then into cornmeal with McCormick’s Seafood Seasoning mixed in the cornmeal. (Season to taste) Fry in hot oil and enjoy.

Remember with the hot sun beaming down on your body use plenty of sunscreen. I recommend “Smart Shield” which doesn’t bother the bait when you get it on your hands then bait your hook. Check out our website www.redfi shcharters.com click on the Smart Shield emblem and it will take you directly to their website. I have added Texas Parks & Wildlife rules and regulations on the site also, it’s just a click away. Another link on my website is the FAQ page (frequently asked questions).

Give my wife Beverly a call to set-up your fun fishing adventure with Capt. Aerich @ (361) 729-8220. Check out all the pictures on the website also and use the link to access our Facebook page – Redfish Charters, Rockport, Texas.  IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY TO GO FISHING!!!
Only hire a USCG Licensed/TPWD Certified Fishing Captain!