For the last four days, we’ve guided local anglers and very experienced, vacationing bass anglers at Redfish University. A little instruction and a little pure catching. From our local bayous, in Pensacola Bay, Escambia Bay, Blackwater and East Bay, we are finding very good numbers of redfish and speckled trout. Late last week, we found nice numbers of speckled trout in the bayous and over the weekend and today, we found both redfish and speckled trout on warmer flats and uneven bottom. The most productive baits have continued to be Gulp! 5 Jerkshads, some Sand Eels and the Gulp! 3″ Shrimp in camo and rootbeer. Light Ultracast braid in 6-8# and light fluoro in 10-15# will increase the strike and catch rate most certainly. The fish are in very few specific areas but my best advice is local bayous, Blackwater and East Bay for the best concentrations of redfish, trout and flounder. We’re also seeing more striped bass as the water temperature drops. We’ve also switched over to my highly successful drop-shot rig in appropriate areas with silty, mud bottoms, numerous stumps and wood and even some deep, grass bottoms. Perhaps this week I will include a photo of the drop-shot rig that I like to use in these areas. It will produce twice as many fish!!

An interesting short trip this morning with a local angler! Got a call late last night(10:00!) from an angler having some difficulty finding legal redfish and trout over in Escambia Bay. He just wanted to meet for breakfast or lunch, for me to bring some productive baits and techniques, and mark up his fishing map with a Sharpie. Instead, I talked him into going to an entirely different location, to jump on my boat for a few hours and actually make 10 casts in each location that I circled on the map. Just wanted to make sure he was happy and found value in each location. Found plenty of quality speckled trout, of course, and redfish in most areas and even a few flounder on a consistent bank. The fish were biting extremely well this morning ahead of the rain-front(thankfully!) and it couldn’t have been a better morning to make a quick milkrun with an enthusiastic angler. All areas except one produced the targeted species but it won’t be long before area “M” starts to heat up. 25 speckled trout, a handful of redfish between 21-28″ and 2 flounder were all released. I think he’ll have fun all Winter!! More reports soon. Thanks, E Holstman

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