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September 08, 2008

Big-Time Topwater Redfish Action

Redfish explode on topwater baits in skinny water

Sticking their heads above water like the prey they pursued, a huge pod of redfish herded terrified mullets against a sandbar running parallel to the shoreline in this bay barely a foot deep. The bar cut off their escape route, leaving the panicked mullets at the mercy of the rampaging spot-tails. Crunching and slurping sounds emanated from water glowing coppery- red as the powerful jaws of big bulls crushed anything they could grab.

"Redfish in the 15- to 35-pound range often stick their heads out of the water in the shallows as they herd baitfish," said Capt. Mike Frenette, a professional redfish angler in Venice, Louisiana, as we approached casting range. "We call them 'rock munchers' because they eat anything that gets in their way. They might even eat rocks if given the chance!"

Quickly, I selected the largest popper I could find, a Creek Chub Knuckle-Head in mullet colors. Mike chose a Tsunami Walking Minnow. Moments after our lures splashed near the compact phalanx of fish, two large explosions erupted on the surface. For the next 45 minutes, we battled drag-ripping behemoths before we could acquire the school again.