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Like A Light Switch - Redfish On Topwater

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Many of us have heard the phrase: “it turned on like a light switch” when anglers refer to a good bite, the type of bite which goes from non-existent to an all out frenzy within a matter of seconds. The thing is, these bites are usually short-lived. We can only try to take full advantage of them for as long as we can.

Recently, a friend of mine (Ethan Crook) and I had such a trip. We began our morning at the launch way before daybreak. With a possible thunderstorm rolling in, we decided to hang at the launch until daybreak so we could see what was going on with the clouds because until then we never saw any signs of lightning. After daybreak, we made one of the best decisions of the day, to go fishing.
(photo courtesy of Ethan Crook)

We immediately went to a cove where we planned to fish. As we made our way through it, we began to meticulously work the banks and the cuts within the cove. We normally come to some agreement beforehand on what lure each other will use until we can find what the fish want. Ethan was throwing top water mainly and I was throwing a soft plastic on a jig head. We figured we would at least find out if they wanted it on top or on bottom.

When we had just about made it out of the cove and about to head to another cut, something caught my eye, several large wakes moving in an area we had just passed. After getting a closer look, I saw the all to glorious site of the backs of redfish as they charged after baitfish. I quickly hollered to Ethan and pointed him to what I had seen. He was the first to throw toward the action with a wake bait. He immediately hooked up on what appeared to be a nice redfish. After a long fight, his lure came flying out of the red’s mouth when it was right next to the kayak. While he was in the fight, I quickly threw a top water, a Rapala Skitter Walk (black back, gold with orange under-belly). When the lure hit the water, I looked down to turn on my GoPro. I then heard a loud thump, kind of like if someone had dropped a bowling ball in the water. My rod doubled over, I set the hook, and the fight was on! I never even had a chance to work the lure! After the battle was over, I was able to net a nice 26” redfish. It was clear to us that these fish wanted it on top and they weren’t playing around. Ethan then began to throw a top water also. He threw a She Pup (black back, chrome with orange under-belly). For about the next hour, we stayed on some hard hitting upper slot redfish. Most of the time we were hooked up at the same time, which made for some adrenaline pumping action. We were able to land several reds between us. Ethan had the biggest of the day; it came in at 29”. I had the smallest at 19”. Most, however, were in the 25”-26” range. We lost several and both of us suffered straightened hooks a couple of times but even still we enjoyed this top water action like two young boys on Christmas morning.

But as the old saying goes: “all good things must come to an end.” Well, it did and it was abrupt. When the bite stopped, it was like there wasn’t or never had been any fish in that little cove. We were lucky to be there when the bite turned on “like a light switch” but as quickly as it turned on, it also turned off. We could only sit back and enjoy the ride, literally, for as long as we could. It was a great day on the water and we were thankful for the light switch!


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Shane has been kayak fishing since 2009 and is passionate about it. Inshore saltwater kayak fishing is his addiction of choice, however, he enjoys the occasional offshore and freshwater trip as well. He mainly fishes the inshore lakes, bayous, and marshes of Southwest Louisiana but does venture into other territories. Shane is a member of the Hobie Fishing Team and holds Pro Staff positions with YakAngler, Lucid Fishing, and Ship To Shore Co. He was also the founding president of the Lake Charles Kayak Fishing Club. "My simple goal for this blog is to promote kayak fishing as it is something I love. I will post articles, reviews, videos, photos, and basically all things kayak fishing." ~Shane [Shane Coleman] (https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-2NDpawIFmAk/VXTdW7z-51I/AAAAAAAABBk/bENRfktWrpA/s539-no/df12fc81-bf77-4b88-8326-f65980b08dca)