One of the many perks of going out to eat at a fancy restaurant is having food brought to you by a waiter rather than having to go get the food yourself.
Fish don’t necessarily have a server bringing them their meals, but Mother Nature is more than happy to pick up the slack.
Understanding that is one of the keys to targeting redfish in the Mississippi River this time of year, Capt. Dennis Bardwell said.
“The reason fishing in an eddy is so good is because it gives the fish a place to get out of the current, and they can sit there and wait for an hors d’oeuvre to come by and attack it,” Bardwell said.
Because eddies are so important, one would think going on a big-tide day is crucial, but the fishing guide said it’s not critical.
“(Tide) isn’t all that important in the river because you have constant flow coming down the river, so the water is constantly moving,” Bardwell explained.
He said the bite will last until the river jumps.
“As long as the river stays down around 4 feet, the fall fishing is excellent in the river in October, November and December,” Bardwell said.
He said he finds major concentrations of redfish in the river this month, with the best fishing along the shorelines.
“When you’re fishing in the river, you want to fish structure: sunken pilings, buoy markers and rocks,” he said.
“Filthy water” and the “Mississippi River” get used in the same sentence quite frequently, but this time of year, the river can get incredibly clear, Bardwell said.
“(Two years ago), we were throwing spinnerbaits against the rocks, and you could see four or five redfish chasing the one that was hooked trying to get the bait out of his mouth,” he said.
Structures like rocks can be tackle-eating monsters and can make an already expensive hobby one that costs a fortune.
Ironically, one of Bardwell’s favorite lures for fishing them involves treble hooks.
“Rat-L-Traps work well,” he said. “You do a continuous retrieve — you can’t let it stop because it’ll get jammed up in the rocks.”
Alternatively, he throws spinnerbaits for redfish. He said the lure is a hair more snagless than a Trap.
“With a spinnerbait, you can stop it and let it fall,” Bardwell said. “Still, you’re going to get hung — there’s no doubt.
“Bring a couple of extra spinnerbaits.”