15 Minutes with: Capt. Ross Gallagher
Location: Pine Island Sound, FL
Tides: Negative low tide and halfway through incoming tide.
Approach: I prefer to start looking for winter redfish close to a dead low tide. There are usually good opportunities to fish for tailing reds in very shallow water. As the tide rises, I’ll move towards the mangrove bushes and target snook. It’s always a good bet to start fishing around the mullet schools to narrow
Rigging Selection: For a shallow water – weedless presentation, the 4/0 Unweighted Swim Bait Hook is perfect.
Bait Selection: The Hogy® Skinny Series 6inch and 4inch
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: Bone or amber are my favorite.
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.