September is a good month to target redfish. It is common to find several different schools in the south Pinellas county area. Because we live in a heavily populated area, the key is to be as quiet as possible. Redfishing in our area will never be the same. The days of catching 70-100 out of one school are long gone. Fish adapt and realize when trouble is around. Redfish sense when boats are approaching long before they are seen, and will move off of a flat. Reds are probably the most wary fish in our area. Use a trolling motor's lowest setting to get close to the school. I take my time and figure out what direction the school wants to travel. I then place my bait in front of the fish and hope for the best. If I did it right, I will get a bite every time; wrong and the school spooks away. I target reds with 10-pound braided tackle. The braided line allows me to set up with the wind behind my back and make long casts. The farther away from the fish the better. Use 20-pound camouflage leader with a 2/0 circle hook. A circle hook is designed to slowly set itself, the fish picks up the bait and moves off. When the line comes tight, the hook slides into the corner of the fish's mouth.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.