The professional redfish series comes to an end for me and my partner Poco Cedillo. It’s been an interesting ride transferring from big species off the Gulf of Mexico, to one of the most protected saltwater species in the nation. This 4-part redfish series challenges some of the best kayak anglers across half the nation between Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. 

 These 2-day events and hunt for the best upper slot redfish started off rough for us. Early on we blew a definite 3rd place finish and arguably 2nd place trying to swing big. After releasing 25 lbs of fish day 1, we convinced ourselves we could do better on day 2. The fish won and after not feeling confident about our second attempt, we decided to not weigh in anything to open the season; a critical error that would eventually haunt us.

The series would move on to Corpus Christi, Matagorda, and Port Aransas. With confidence that we could do better, we would dig deep into the 2021 Professional Redfish League proving we could be a consistent podium threat.  

For this to happen we would have to finish strong, although learning it wouldn’t come easy. The final stop to the series was a reminder on how conditions play a huge role in the guessing game of fishing. One minute we’re on 7-8lb average redfish, and the next we’re struggling to catch a decent mid slot. Before our first landed fish on day 2, I will admit that I was fishing in fear. Something just didn’t feel right. The pattern we waited on looked like it wanted to come together although the big swirls were missing.  The personal decision I made was to attack the habit of a redfish and catch what we called “safe fish”. Meaning not the quality we need or want, but to at least have something to put on the board. The early morning bite would sink fast and before we went hunting, I was able to scoop up a pair of beginner redfish in the 20–22-inch range. Although a little worried we knew deep down that we left nothing behind. We casted till our arms fell off and that’s what keeps the game fun. On any given weekend, conditions can reset making you no better than anyone else until you find them again.

What’s helped this year is one of us has always been firing on all cylinders at different events. Some days Poco Cedillo is catching the winning fish blind folded, and others I’m reaching for some last-minute saves. If we both are firing on all cylinders, watch out! Fortunately, it was enough to grab another 2nd place victory making us the most consistent podium winners of the series minus one risk at the beginning. It’s an honor to fish with my partner and I want to thank Poco Cedillo for having yet another great year with me. Where we go now is up to us. We’ll be on the hunt for any tournament that looks like fun whether inshore or offshore. 

I of course need to thank the man above for keeping us safe this year. My wife and kids, Celinda, Evelyn, and CJ Castro. Family and friends thank you for always supporting us. Thank you PRL for all the hard work, and for giving us a platform to compete at a high level. Thank you

Gulf Coast Weighmaster Services for keeping those lines moving by offering your professional equipment and expertise especially on close call fish. You guys are the best in the business!

I also need to thank all the companies who sponsor me and back me with unlimited amounts of gear to help me find competitive success. Austin Kayak, YakGear, RAILBLAZA, Berleypro, Old Town Canoes & Kayaks, KastKing, Boca Chica Bait Company, A.M. Fishing, thank you all!

Chris Castro

ACK Fishing Team

IG: @nextlevelfishingtv