About noon the tide started coming in and bait fish started breaking surface all over the calm shallow water. I soon got on some reds right at the entrance to the marsh. One rod had a somewhat small pink paddletail of unknown brand and the other a spinner with jighead which is my favorite search bait. I had a dark red with chartreuse cocaho minnow on the spinner rig. (Norton makes a good spinner-jig combo and the Redfish Magic has proved effective.) Any way, I caught my first 21 inch red with the pink paddletail and let him go thinking since it was the first one after 4 long hours - it wouldn't be worth keeping just one that size. Over the next hour I caught 6 total, four in the slot counting that first one. I fished both baits and the spinner-jig was actually more effective. I also lost 3 or 4 off the spinner rig with either a weak hookset on the med-light fast rod, or maybe being a large rig with so much hardware they don't always get the jig fully in their mouth. (I do seem to miss more fish on one particular rod than any of my others though.) Given the fact that a spinner with a moderately dark plastic and a pink paddletail both worked, I figure most any decently placed or worked bait would have worked. I kept two mid-slot fish for dinner for my family of five and let the other 4 swim off to do their thing. With two on the stringer, I left them biting and headed in.
I think the low slack tide killed the fishing early, even with a predicted "High Activity" bite. The tide came in pretty strong and I'll give all credit for my eventual success to the moving tide and setting myself up next to an inbound drain at the right time. For me, 6 reds in an hour or two and leaving them biting is about as good a day as I ever hope for. Great way to start my vacation, but I'm not liking the predicted high winds for the next 7-8 days.
This one red had some nice spots - he was about 21 1/2 and swam free. Here also are the lures used. The red paddletail is pretty chewed up and the hook ripped out, I notice now. This is the Redfish Magic rig that can be bought most anywhere I think, and the pink plastic is actually unused since I already tossed the chewed up one.