15 Minutes with: Capt. Ross Gallagher
Location: Matlacha, FL
Tides: An hour and a half on each side of a negative tide.
Approach: Winter fishing here in SW Florida can be a little tricky during a negative tide. Very low water and not much of it can make even the smallest boat anglers weary about heading in shallow. On these negative tides, I prefer to use my Hobie Pro Angler 14 to skim into small pot holes that hold schools of hungry redfish.
Rigging Selection: For a shallow water – weedless presentation, the 4/0 Unweighted Swim Bait Hook is perfect.
Bait Selection: The Hogy® Skinny Series 6inch
Why this bait? When the water cools down in the winter, I like to down size my presentation when fishing ultra skinny water. Subtly is key when casting to fish in less than 12″ of water.
Colors: The new Tinker Mac color is great for tannin stained water.
Retrieve: Just move the bait enough to keep it out of the grass. I slow my retrieve down quite a bit to try and elicit strikes from fish in cool water.
Keep your rod tip up and bounce the bait along the weed tips, if you let it sit for too long, it may become fouled in the grass and spook nearby fish. When fishing around pot holes, I will let the bait sink and bounce across the sand. Once I’m back in the grass, speed up to keep the bait up top.
Rod: Medium-Fast action 7′ 6″ Temple Fork Outfitters spinning rod with a medium fast tip. The slightly softer tip help cast a light weight bait further.
Reel: Shimano Sustain 5000
Line: 15lb power pro braid for my main line. For leader, 15lb – 20lb Fluorocarbon is perfect for redfish. Use an albright special knot for line to leader connection. I’ll bump my leader up to 30lb when fishing for snook.