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Monday, Sep 22, 2014
Sports

Redfish worth trip east

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 08:29 AM

GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Bill Miller.

I went over to Titusville this week to film on the world-famous Space Coast and went after redfish with captain Jim Ross. We started at daylight, with the space shuttle launch pad behind us, throwing topwaters into the mullet schools. Using She Dogs and Skitterwalks, Ross and I caught trout and slot-sized redfish on almost every cast.

While we were drifting, we thought we saw a tailing redfish. Ross threw his lure to the tailer and it exploded on the lure. When he landed it, it was a 5-pound trout. I don't know that in all of my fishing experiences I have ever seen a trout tailing.

When the mullet schools moved off the flat the reds and trout stopped biting, so Ross decided it was time to look for the big spawning schools of monster redfish that prowl the flats of the Indian River, Mosquito Lagoon and the Banana River. We looked at two places where Ross had found them earlier in the week, and the reds were not there. The third place we looked was the charm.

When we eased up on an Indian River flat and the water bubbled and turned a copper color before something started to move away, we knew we were in business.

Ross used his electric motor, on low power, to sneak up on the school of giant reds. Our first long casts into the school, with 11/2-ounce jig heads and 6-inch rubber tail jigs, produced a doubleheader of reds weighing 28 and 32 pounds. We followed the school for another hour and released four more of the big bull reds in the high 20- to low 30-pound range.

East Coast reds also will bite topwater lures and flies if conditions are right.


Captain Bill Miller hosts "Hooked on Fishing" on Bright House Sports Network, Channel 47. To book a charter with captain Bill or his son captain Billy, call (813) 363-9927.

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