November is the Harvest Season. Decorations around the house start consisting of fall foliage and pumpkins. When I see pumpkin decorations come out of the attic, I know it’s time to start tying some big flies and venture out to my own pumpkin patch. But the pumpkins I’m looking for are big and they swim in the water. This is the time of year when, the big bull redfish (over 20 pounds) have just finished their spawning offshore and move back into the shallows to fatten up for the winter. The bulls can usually be found lazily floating in about 16 inches to 2 feet of water on the outer edges of the marsh. The orange hue of the suspended pumpkin is a sight once seen,it is seldom forgotten. If they are not on the edges, I like to search the duck ponds in the same manner I do for black drum. By now most of the drum have mysteriously disappeared and the big tails I see in the middle of the deeper ponds are from giant redfish.
To feed these large fish, I throw a large fly. Like the fat kid at McDonald’s says “Super Size Me!” Whatever redfish fly you have the most confidence in, use that pattern, just tie it bigger or supersize it! I like to use a mullet pattern tied on a 2/0. I especially like the Sandbar Mullet tied by Nick Vlahos of Sandbar Flies. My favorite colors for fall are purple and black and if/when I get refusals on purple and black, I switch to a lighter colored fly like white and red. I also keep a bunch of bunny tailed, tarpon toad looking flies in my box except they will have medium sized lead eyes to get them down to the business end of the fish. If I get refusals on those flies, I will sprinkle them with pumpkin spice and most big female redfish can’t refuse it. To throw these bigger flies with accuracy, you may want to use a ten weight rod. I use an eight weight rod, mainly because I do not own a ten. I use a short (8 feet or less) 16 pound test leader with a 20 pound test fluorocarbon tied to the end to protect it a little from the oyster shells.
I hope y’all get to enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Mocha-latte-chino this fall and most importantly get a chance to visit the pumpkin patch.