PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Relocating redfish will be the trick for the teams as winds switched direction for Day 2 of the Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup presented by Skeeter.
A line of storms from Mexico to Canada, which initially was forecasted to pass the Port Aransas region around midnight, held off until early Saturday morning. While the temperature drop of around 15 degrees won’t affect the bite much, a switch from south to north winds will definitely move the redfish.
Kevin Akin of Corpus Christi, who is teamed with Drew Cook, said how much the fish move depends on where they’ve been feeding.
“It doesn’t change the fish eating, but it sometimes it will change where they are,” Akin said. “If they are on structure where they want to be, like a hard bank, they really won’t leave due to weather changes. They’re not going anywhere. But if they’re on a grass flat, they’ll feed into the tide. If you get a north wind, they’ll turn around and start feeding into that current.”
Akin said his team’s challenge today is to determine how far they moved. Akin and Cook stand fourth with 13 pounds, 11 ounces, and they’ll be looking to cut into a nearly three-pound lead enjoyed by Edward Adams and Sean O’Connell. Akin and Cook took over the lead early Saturday with the first fish of the day weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces.
“Relocating them, the best method is reading the water, as far as what the mullet are doing on top of the water, watching birds, watching pelicans, watching where the majority of life is,” Akin said. “You have to look for those little keys.
“The gulf is still pretty warm. Typically redfish, when it blows northern, they eat. When it starts to get tougher in estuary systems is after a front, after a cold night and it gets calm.”
Capt. Ryan Rickard, who won last year’s Redfish Cup with Elite Series pro Chris Zaldain, woke to a downpour at his place in Rockport.
“The front is south of us, it just pushed through an hour ago,” Rickard said before the 7:15 a.m. launch. “What happens, I think, it’s more of a barometric pressure deal. When the wind goes the one direction to the total opposite, those fish feel that pressure change and tends to scatter them.”
“They’re going to move. That’s what happened to us last year. We committed to an area and didn’t figure it out on Day 2 when the wind switched. But we had some north winds in practice and know how to pattern where they might move too.”
Adams and O’Connell, who hope to build on their lead of 16-10 on Day 1, will continue their tactic of long drifts and lot of casts.
“We pre-fished with wind that was pretty similar,” he said. “They were in the same place, pretty close to where we caught them. Just glad there wasn’t any lightning.”
O’Connell had confidence the team’s pattern will hold.
“Hopefully, the clarity stays the same,” he said, “that the water didn’t get too mixed up. I think we’re going to be able to stay on that same line we’re fishing. Sometimes they eat a little better when the front comes through.”