With a warming trend expected to continue throughout the month, the already great fishing will only get better!
As water temperatures rise and low winter tides give way to higher water levels, speckled trout will begin to show up in the shallows. You might find some of the fish still stacked up in bayous, but the bulk of them will be staging near the mouths of bayous and creeks or on the flats. Once the water temperature increases a few more degrees, trout will be on the hunt for food and willing to hit a wide variety of lures. Topwater lures and other fast moving twitch baits will be effective, especially on the more aggressive fish.
Redfish have been thick on the flats all winter but were reluctant to chase lures. That will not be the case in the next few weeks as the water warms into the 60s and power fishing presentations offer more opportunities to get your lure in front of hungry fish. Spoons and topwaters are good baits for covering lots of water and getting schools of fish to show themselves. Rising water levels mean redfish will start to spread out and work their way back into shallow, marshy areas that were dry during most of the winter.
It’s just about time for Spanish mackerel to start showing up as well. The schooling fish will be in the 12-14 inch (barely legal) range and that’s okay because there are so many of them around. The bigger fish will be in small groups, usually cruising just off the edges of flats where deep water jumps up rapidly to meet shallow water. Look for opportunities to sight cast to the big fish when working some areas close to the inlets. Small shiny, fast-moving baits are best for this speedy species. Spoons, crankbaits, hair jigs and Gotcha plugs are all effective.
It’s just about time for the sheepshead bite to start firing off around the jetties as the fish school up in massive numbers in preparation for the spawn. It’s fairly easy to get them to bite but it can be a little frustrating at times to get hooked up. A live or dead shrimp, fiddler crab or small blue crab fished on a Carolina rig with as light a weight as necessary to get it down to the bottom will do the trick. Work the changes of the tides when the water flow is a little slower and more manageable. Sheepshead “mouth” the bait – meaning you will feel them chewing on it for a minute before they actually eat it – so wait until you feel the fish swimming off with it before setting the hook.
Finally, I would like to ask everyone to respect the fish and their habitat. Keep a few for dinner but don't fill your freezer with so many that they end up going to waste. And please don't throw trash overboard – we have a beautiful area and all of us want to keep it that way.
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.