On a recent fall day, Southern Salt Kayak Fishing host Nathan Rich visited Freeport, Texas to target redfish with Mark DeLaRosa of MDLR Fishing. DeLaRosa shared his technique to lead them to the local bite—look for seabirds feeding at the water’s surface. How did the trick work when they put it to the test? “He did his best to prepare me for this trip,” Rich said of DeLaRosa, “but I wasn’t ready!”
Birds on Bait Point to Texas Redfish
Rich detailed their plan as he and DeLaRosa launched onto the marshy Freeport flats. “We’re going to be looking for birds working bait,” he said. “So, that’s new for me. We don’t get a whole lot of birds working bait down around the Mobile Bay area.”
The pair of anglers pedaled off, zeroing in on a group of seabirds squawking nearby. Sure enough, the birds led them right to a school of redfish feeding with their backs out of the water. “I’m talking about a huge school of reds,” Rich said as he reeled in a 22-incher, his first catch of the day. “Oh yeah, beautiful fish! Y’all, Mark was not lying.”
Turning to a Secret Weapon
Fishing the birds was a great trick, but the anglers eventually found that it lost effectiveness. So, what next? Rich focused on a nearby creek inlet where the bait was plentiful. Spotting a redfish tail, he switched from a wakebait to his secret weapon and soon landed another exquisite fish. “I popped that chartreuse color curl-tail jig from Buggs Fishing on there and, I mean, he smoked it.”
What are the takeaways after a productive day of fishing for Texas reds? Beyond the trick to help track them down, sometimes it’s just nice to spread your wings and try something different. “It’s a rare occasion when you get to experience something new for the first time,” Rich concluded, “but today was one of those days.”
How about taking better care of the fish, instead of hanging ’em by the jaw and swing ’em around while you jabber?