Tooling up for March redfishing

Junior Mendoza is a strong advocate of braided lines, using 30-pound-test PowerPro.

“The feel is so much better than with monofilament,” Mendoza said. “You can feel a bite twice as easy. Some people use fluorocarbon leaders. I don’t; I tie the braided line directly to the lure.”

His favorite reels for this type of fishing are Shimano baitcasters — either Caenans or Curados — and his preference is for the smaller sizes.

“I like the fast 6.2:1 retrieve,” Mendoza explained. “When you are fishing jigs, 90 percent of the time the fish will hit the bait on the fall.

“The faster you get the slack out of the line to set the hook, the better.”

As for rods, he prefers 7-footers, although he does have some 6 ½-foot models. And he likes medium-action rods rather than heavy rods.

“I want a rod that bends and helps fight the fish,” Mendoza said. “Sometimes I stop reeling and let the rod’s pressure work on the fish. Also, with non-stretchable braided line, the whip action of a medium rod helps in setting the hook.”

Mendoza’s five favorite baits are H&H Baby Bull Minnows on either 1/8- or ¼-ounce jigheads, Z-Man ChatterBaits, Nemire Spoon Buzz’s, H&H Redfish Spinners with cocahoe grubs or sparkle beetles, and gold Johnson Silver Minnow Weedless Spoons.

He admitted to being partial to chartreuse ice-colored soft plastics for use on his jigheads and spinners.

Mendoza also has a sneaky trick he claims to have learned from fellow guide and friend Mark Brockhoeft: He blackens a nickel spoon with a black Marks-A-Lot.

“Under bright, sunny conditions, redfish will take a black spoon over a gold one,” he said with a grin. “Not many people know that.”

About Jerald Horst 959 Articles
Jerald Horst is a retired Louisiana State University professor of fisheries. He is an active writer, book author and outdoorsman.