Captain's Corner

By Dave Walker, Times Correspondent
Published February 24, 2008

What's hot: Redfish have inundated the flats and are eager to cooperate. There has been a large influx of these swimming bulldozers. They have not bunched up into the large schools of summer, but they are cruising around in clusters.

Tip: Soft plastic jigs have been effective. The ability to cast far and often allows you to cover a lot of water with the artificial lure. A steady retrieve is necessary in shallow water to keep the bait off the bottom and out of the seagrass. If you see one approaching right behind your jig, as hard as it sounds, keep the same retrieve. They will sometimes whack it right at the boat or next to your feet.

Tackle: Medium spinning equipment spooled with light-gauged braided line is preferred. The thin line allows for long casts and unbelievable sensitivity. In open water there typically aren't many snag opportunities for the fish. A loose, smooth-operating drag system is especially handy. A section of leader material in the 20-pound class will handle most situations. Typically, a 1/8 ounce jig head will do the trick for redfish needs on the flats.

Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at 813 310-6531, at snookfish.com or captdavwalker@verizon.net