So far, this has been a very interesting year of fishing. Early in the year, the temperatures shot up quickly but cooled off for much of the month of April. Now we’re beginning to see things get back to normal in terms of water temperature and fish behavior. Life is abundant throughout the bays and along the beaches!
Inshore on the flats, schools of redfish can be found cruising near the shorelines and mixed in along flooded reed beds and shallow sandbars. In the early morning hours or when the tide is high, topwater plugs have been very effective when fished around mullet of similar size. Once the sun gets up a little, the sight fishing is fantastic. The water clarity is great and the fish are there but sometimes they can be a little finicky. Light leaders and small subtle baits can be the difference between rejection and success. Take your time and don’t get discouraged; just keep at it and they will eventually cooperate.
There have also been decent numbers of quality speckled trout moving around the flats. These fish have not been staying in the same place for very long so you may see them one day and not the next. Pay attention to the direction they are moving so that you can figure out where they are headed. Shrimp patterns have seen the best action although topwaters and suspending plugs are what I catch the biggest fish on.
Mangrove snappers have shown up in good numbers around shallow inshore structures as well as vertical structures like docks and bridge pilings. Sometimes I catch them on small lipped jerkbaits but most often I catch them on live baits or fresh cut baits. Light tackle, small hook and a little patience will go a long way towards getting yourself a cooler full for dinner.
The big bull reds are much more active around the bridges and in the inlets. Crabs floated on the surface in the tide or big pinfish on the bottom have been working exceptionally well. You can also target the ones blowing up on the surface by throwing big topwater baits or soft plastics jerkbaits. Remember that these are all “over slot” in size and must be released, so take good of care of them and keep the survival rates high.
If you have questions about what's biting, how to catch them or would like to book a trip of your own, then give me a call or shoot me an email. Tight lines!