Epic Drone Footage: How To Find & Catch Schooling Redfish

Why are redfish schooling up during the fall and winter?

What should you look for to find these schools cruising up and down shorelines and along grass flats?

This is the time of year to locate schools and hook into bull redfish!

Check this out!!

Epic Schooling Redfish Drone Footage

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As tides drop and the water cools, a lot of baitfish and shrimp are pulled out of the marshes and into the bays.

The #1 thing to look for when trying to find schooling redfish is somewhere near tall grass, whether that be a marsh or a back creek.

Anywhere with shallow water in an estuary where baitfish and shrimp can mature.

As the tide washes the bait out, they move into bays.

The redfish that are usually swimming around in singles, pairs, and triples begin schooling together and working together to hunt bait.

This is a time of year you will see redfish tailing on the surface of the water.

What they are doing is rooting around in the mud trying to get a shrimp to pop out for them to eat.

When they school up like this in the fall and winter, it is all about looking for the signals and surface activity to find them.

The biggest thing when approaching schooling redfish is to remain quiet and stealthy.

Try to position yourself upwind and trolling motor on low.

If you can use the wind to carry your drift, that is what will work best.

The redfish at this time are focused on eating and if you don’t cause too much of a disturbance, they will come right at you.

Lure Placement

When casting at a school of redfish, it is extremely important to try and cast in front of the lead fish.

If you throw your lure in the middle of the school, you risk hitting them and spooking them off.

Even if there are no lures or hooks around a school, if one fish dives and another fish jumps, the entire school will scatter.

Try to aim your lures about 2-3 feet in front of the lead fish and jig the lure with a few up and down pops.

This will mimic exactly what they are looking for which is a small shrimp or baitfish coming out of the mud.

Things To Look For

The biggest factor when targeting schooling redfish is to slow down, take everything in and focus on the signals.

It will not always be obvious and noticeable that there are big schools of redfish around you.

You may not even know they are there sometimes.

If you are fortunate enough to see birds hovering above the surface of the water, they can help show you where the schools are.

Eventually, you will see a redfish roll or tail out of the surface if birds are hovering overhead.

Other times, you are trying to look for a light ripple in the water that looks different from the surrounding water.

Look for faster ripples moving in different directions than the wind and current.

The key is to use your trolling motor and be quiet and focused on your surroundings.


This is the best time of year to find and catch bull redfish schools that are forming to find bait together as the weather cools and calories are hard to come by.

Stay stealthy and quiet and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the warning signs on the surface.

Schooling redfish can make for some fun and awesome fall and winter action!

If you have any more questions on schooling redfish, please let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to learn more about schooling redfish, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Lyle Crafton
7 days ago

The video had great examples of some of the wakes the fish can push. I see far more wakes and disturbed water rather than the classic “tailing” reds. Sometimes the wakes are pretty subtle.

Pat Ogletree
8 days ago

Great video! Love the footage!

Will this occur all through winter or is it primarily a fall thing in Texas?

8 days ago

Hey @Captain Caleb – bit confused as to what your saying at the top. Your saying the redfish are no longer back in the marsh creeks but are more schooled up in the main channels/bays ?

6 days ago
Reply to  Wyatt Parcel

Mostly does – and appreciate the response. But what do you mean by the bait and shrimp to migrate out. Do you mean a regular tide migration where they are forced out ? Or do you mean seasonal ?

Just asking as right now seem to be having a hard time finding reds. Trout bite is insane but not seeing schooling reds and not seeing the 1-2 tailing reds I normally see in back creeks chasing baitfish or crabs (crabs now gone due to colder weather). Went out on a low tide to a place thats depper and holds water on a low …. with lots of oysters bars ….. mullet everywhere but didnt see any reds (or hook any blind casting with shady paddletail)

Michael Jenkins
8 days ago

Thanks Capt. Caleb for joining the Salt Strong Team! I watch your YouTube broadcast and really benefit from your expertise. Salt Strong has just upped it’s game and has truly proven that it does and continues to provide it’s best to us as a community.

Stan Mitchell
8 days ago

Great video and tips, thanks Wyatt and Captain Caleb. Awesome footage !


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