January 7, 2018

What I Learned at the Redfish Jubilee

Just because redfish are there doesn't mean they'll bite, and this non-fishing trip proved exactly that. This blog post explains why.


In this previous blog post I shared my experience at the Redfish Jubilee, where I did not go to catch, but to learn, so that I may become better at catching.

That and I had no desire to fish the Jubilee because of...

Fishing Ethics?

It seems crazy anyone would launch their fishing boat to not go fishing, but I feel one truly becomes ​good at fishing when it stops being about the fish and begins being about the pursuit of fish.

This is what separates fishermen from anglers.

Smashing concentrated redfish with a spark plug and dead shrimp requires zero skill because there is zero sport in it.

I don't find "stealing candy from a baby" to be fun, so I don't partake in it.

No one is being judged, I'm just explaining my persona decision to abstain, that's all.

Anyway, I did witness something that blew my mind, and it began with what the graph was showing in the bayou:

That's a lot of redfish!

You can see them stacked on top of one another, and they are stacked there because a rapidly dropping water level and temperature forced them there.

Otherwise they could die in a fish kill, like what we saw in Myrtle Grove that same day.

But I noticed something...

There were bank fishermen on each side of the bayou, casting into the redfish with the easiest redfish bait in the world: dead shrimp on a jighead.

And you know what was shocking?

They weren't catching anything.

Besides a couple rat reds, I didn't see any fish come out of the water.

This was really weird, considering the Lowrance was marking a butt-ton of redfish (an actual unit of measurement used by inshore anglers, but not by scientists).

So this leads to new theories:

Theory 1

They weren't all reds, but also mullet mixed in.

Dissection of redfish stomachs caught at Jubilee could tell more.

Theory 2

They were mostly reds, and not all of them were eating because they were still adjusting to the shock of the temperature change.

This is kinda like how eating a burger is the last thing on your mind when you're trying to get out of bad weather.

See, when water levels drop and it gets super cold, redfish go into "survival mode" where they don't really eat.

They become what we sight-anglers refer to as "spooky" behavior, meaning they are easily scared by anything.

The most perfect approach and presentation will send the majority of them running, or simply refusing the bait.


Focusing less on catching and more on learning may not be that fun in the short term, but it will increase your catching over the long term.

This is because you will notice things you previously weren't looking for, and doing so expands your understanding of the marsh and species you are pursuing.

When you do that, you reach new levels allowing you to locate your own "redfish jubilee" minus the crowd and added fishing pressure.

Got something to say? Chime in below!

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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  • Hey John, good question.

    That’s the frequency Lowrance downscan uses.

    Because it’s higher, it is capable of providing more detail on a target than traditional “2D” sonar does.

    I hope that answers your question!

  • Capt. D.: Why was your Lowrance set on “800Hz”??? John Castelluccio, Jr.

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