A while back I got the chance to talk all things redfish with Captain Alan in Rockport, Texas. He shared a ton of the insight he has gained over the years targeting redfish on the Texas Coast. Our conversation was a blast and his knowledge about these fish is incredible. Here’s the first part of our conversation.
Joseph: Hey, this is Alan.
Joseph: Hey, how are you?
Alan: Good, how’re you doing?
Joseph: I’m doing pretty well. I’ve got some questions about fishing for redfish.
Joseph: First off, how's the fishing been lately, and where did you get started fishing for reds?
Alan: Well fishing has been a little off here lately, it’s been kind of hit or miss. I lived in corpus for a few years when I was a kid and my dad fished a lot so he took me out. After that I didn’t fish for a long time. I started fishing again in 1980 and I've fished pretty hard ever since then.
Joseph: Have you been targeting redfish specifically since 1980?
Alan: yeah this that's kind of my preferred species, you know if I'm taking customers out. If I'm catching trout, you know i’m not pulling off fish if i'm catching fish, but I like redfish personally. If I'm fishing by myself, or I'm fishing with friends, we’re looking for redfish.
Joseph: That makes sense, especially being a captain on inshore trips and trout are amazing fish as well.
Alan: I had a customer catch a 24 and a half inch trout yesterday. It was a really good fish.
Joseph: Wow! That's a really nice trout.
Alan: Yeah, it's nice when you have to tell them to let it go because it's too big.
Joseph: I mean you're missing I guess a filet but the experience is way better. Alan: Oh yeah, To me it's all about the bite. If I'm fishing for redfish, most of the time, I'm fishing flies. If not, then I'm fishing the top water. I want to see them eat it.
Joseph: That’s what makes top water great, right.
Alan: I was standing on my poling platform and my buddy was fishing with a bone colored Badonk-a-donk. I saw these two fish coming at his bait, one from one side and one from the other. They hit the lure at the exact same time and he didn't see it but I was able to watch the whole thing. My buddy thought “man, I got a really big fish on” so I said No, dude you got two on there.
Joseph: That's amazing.
Alan: I got a picture of him holding them up hooked on one lure. One of the fish was a 16 inch and the other was like 20 inches. I've never seen that before.
Joseph: Doubling up redfish with one lure is pretty hysterical.
Alan: You know, it was incredible.
Joseph: I'm sure that felt really weird on the rod with two fish fighting at the same time.
Alan: Yep they're probably fighting each other and they're fighting you.
Joseph: Yeah, that wouldn't feel like a normal fight at all. I'm sure you get asked this almost everyday. What’s the best time to catch redfish? Everybody says the fall when they spawn, but to you, when's the best time to go catch redfish?
Alan: Everybody asks me when's the best time to go fishing… anytime you can! You know, they live here all the time, they've got to eat. Now, for catching big ones, in the fall. I like to go out in the fall, as you get the jetty running in and out with a lot more flow. You've got fish coming in from the Gulf and I don't have to travel very far. In the fall, I usually try to fish out of Port Aransas as much as I can.
Joseph: There’s tons of awesome inshore water over there.
Alan: Yeah, and you got the back lakes by the lighthouse and they get up in there. Normally all the fish I'm catching are in knee deep water or shallower.
Joseph: No kidding. Well, I guess it's not uncommon for big reds to come out of skinny water.
Alan: Well, if you find an edge on a flat that runs into saltgrass, you know where the grass is coming out more? They like to cruise the edge of the grass. They have the opportunity, if something scares them, they can just jump off that edge and get in the deep water. The problem I'm having right now is the tide has been really low, so I'm not able to get into some of the places that I really like to fish. I like to get in the backcountry, in the back lakes and stuff. The has just been too low and it’s hard to get back up in there. I run a Maverick Flats skiff with a vee hull so it runs pretty pretty shallow. It doesn't run as shallow as the flat bottom so sometimes you have to get out of the boat. I'm not really adverse to it but I see these guys wading in chest deep water and I'm not doing that.
Joseph: You're doing mostly fly trips fishing from the boat near the flats. Is there an advantage or disadvantage to having a skiff in shallow water versus getting out and wading?
Alan: Well, I can tell you if I have two two anglers on the boat. You can only fish one at a time but sometimes they want to both fish. So we'll get out of the boat and then I just walk along, but it has got to be super shallow, knee deep or less. I'm not getting out in anything deeper when I can stay in the boat. I would just rather stay in the boat, and push it around. There's plenty of stuff out there that'll get you. Over here between Port Aransas and Rockport, there's a little island called Mud Island. There’s a place I've waded and someone caught a 514 pound bull shark there.
Joseph: That’s not something I want to tangle with and if you’re new to wading it’s easy to spook fish. What are some of the best places in the country besides rockport to target redfish?
Alan: Louisiana, around Venice, that place is incredible. There's creeks running through the marsh.
Captain Alan Shared more information and insight than I could fit in one blog. In the next part of our conversation we talk about tackle, bait, and tactics.
Updated on December 6, 2022
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