How To Find, Approach, & Catch Schooling Redfish

Where should you look to find schools of redfish this fall?

Can you just spot schooling fish along the surface?

Fall is one of the best times of the year to intercept schools of redfish cruising along the flats!!

Check out how to find and catch them below!!

How To Find, Approach, & Catch Schooling Redfish [VIDEO]

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Equipment Used:

Luke’s Gear:

Tony’s Gear:

Schooling Redfish Tips

If you are fishing a higher tide and cruising up along shorelines, try to keep an eye out for any signs of life and schooling redfish!

Keep an eye out for wakes and surface action that may indicate redfish schools in the area.

If you do come up along wakes and action to see a school of jumbo mullet, then that is still a good sign.

Usually, the redfish will hold around mullet schools for an easy meal.

Be sure to treat every school of fish as a school of redfish to ensure you don’t scare or spook them.

When you are looking for big redfish schools, you aren’t going to see a big dolphin-like wake, it will most likely be a very faint ripple along the surface.

As far as casting goes for schools of redfish, make sure to lead the fish whenever possible.

If the redfish are headed towards you, then you can cast out in front of them and let the lure sit until they are close enough to begin working it back to you.

It is a bit of a risk to cast either on a redfish wake or in the middle of the school.

If you are fishing with others and someone else hooks up on a redfish from a school, sometimes this can spook the rest of the school.

The key in this situation is to reduce the pressure you have on your fish and be patient in reeling it in.

It can be extremely tough to pick off other fish from the school if after the first hookup they are spooked.

Lure Options

Early morning is the best time to use a topwater, walk-the-dog style surface lure.

As the sun starts to rise, this is the time to make the switch to a paddletail or subsurface soft plastic lure.


Fall brings one of the best opportunities to find large schools of bull redfish and spark some awesome hookups!

Although there are fish schooling up along the mangroves and shorelines, they can be easily spooked off and it takes a lot of stealth and patience to trigger strikes from bull redfish.

Be sure to keep an eye out for wakes and surface action and treat every situation as if there are redfish schooling up!

If you have any further questions about catching bull redfish, please ask me down in the comments!

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

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Scott Thomson
2 years ago

Totally awesome – looks like ideal conditions. Reinforces need to be patient and understand where the school is heading and not try it cast into the school or too close to spook them.

Nicholas George
2 years ago

Idk why but it seems to me when I use the bomber on the twistlock hook it doesn’t seem to dive too deep. I’m not sure if I’m using 1/8oz or not but when you cast do you tend to let it sink before reeling in? Or is it ok if it’s just under the surface in about 2′ of water?

Pat Ogletree
2 years ago

Great video Luke!
That looks like a ton of fun, nothing better than a red on topwater!

Luke Simonds
2 years ago
Reply to  Pat Ogletree

Thanks Pat! Yes, sure it tough to beat a topwater redfish bite.

Lyle Crafton
2 years ago

Great video showing the subtly of the wakes, it gets a little harder as the chop picks up. I like how you started off with a top water and a plastic. I usually fish two different lures if I have a partner until we get a pattern on whats working. Slammin morning on Reds.

Luke Simonds
2 years ago
Reply to  Lyle Crafton

Thanks for making time to post the nice comment Lyle!

Guy Stephens
2 years ago

Nice! We need to get you up here soon to the North Florida area so you you can show off your knowledge and great tips in dirty water and oyster beds as we have no grass beds.

Thanks for posting.

Luke Simonds
2 years ago
Reply to  Guy Stephens

I am itching to make a trip up your way.

Lenny Friedman
2 years ago

It looks like you cast from left to right. Is there a reason?

Luke Simonds
2 years ago
Reply to  Lenny Friedman

That’s just the way I’ve always done it… go with whatever feels most natural to you.

Stan Mitchell
2 years ago

As always awesome video. I’m sure to see that many reds in a small area like that was pretty exciting. Good job fellas.

Luke Simonds
2 years ago
Reply to  Stan Mitchell

Thanks Stan!

Don Doyle
2 years ago

This was fun to watch. Can you tell me, how deep was that water? I’m thinking they school in shallow water, at least in SC. And it looks like the second schools were well off the bank of the river/creek. I was thinking they hugged the grass or whatever grows on the shoreline. I’m eager to put my moonwalker to good use. This is inspiring.

Luke Simonds
2 years ago
Reply to  Don Doyle

Thanks Don! The reds were holding in shallow water this trip… all of the catches were in about 1.5 ft of water.

Capt. Tom Marks
2 years ago

Awesome… it may be an over used adjective but just awesome!

Luke Simonds
2 years ago

Thanks Capt. Tom! So glad to see that you enjoyed this video.


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