If you haven’t already retrieved your fishing gear from the closet and oiled up the reels, then now is a great time to do so. With water temperatures hovering around 70 degrees, many species of fish have been making their presence known in local waters.
Just off the beaches, schools of Spanish mackerel, bonita, jacks and redfish have been eager to wolf down a variety of bait presentations such as topwaters, twitch-baits, spoons and jigs. You can locate some of these schools by keeping an eye out for surface explosions caused by hungry fish or birds working bait up near the top. Jacks and redfish can be spotted along the beaches in the clear water as you slowly cruise outside the sandbars. Since the key to success is being ready when the opportunity presents itself, do yourself a favor and have a couple of rods rigged up and ready to go. During this time of the year, you should have a cobia rig just in case one happens to pop up while you are looking for other species.
In the St. Andrews Pass, a variety of fish can be found around the jetties and in eddies created as the current swirls around the rocks. Common catches include sheepshead, redfish, black drum, pompano, mangrove snapper, black sea bass, Spanish mackerel and flounder. You can try using jigs and other artificial lures, but the most effective method for fishing around the rocks is to drift live or dead bait fish or shrimp on either a Carolina rig or a drop-shot rig. Use as light a lead as the current will allow to get the most natural presentation.
In the bays and on the flats, there are a lot of speckled sea trout and redfish hanging out in the shallows. If you get out early when the sun is just coming up, then get ready for a fantastic topwater bite. The thrill usually lasts until the sun gets high enough for the light to adequately penetrate the water. At that time, switch to jigs, spoons or small plugs. I look for fish around points, but shorelines that have bayous and small creeks feeding them will also hold fish. Spots with good transitions between grass and sand are also great places to check. Keep in mind that shallow water calls for quiet and stealth to prevent the fish from being aware of your presence and getting spooked.
As always, if you have questions about what’s biting, how to catch them or want to book a trip, give me a call or shoot me an email.