The much anticipated arrival of Spanish mackerel has definitely taken place along the beaches, in the pass and inside St. Andrews Bay!
Look for areas where birds are bombing baitfish on the surface or where you see baitfish jumping out of the water – sure signs that Spanish mackerel are feeding. If no action is present, try trolling around tide lines, bait schools and along drop offs until you find them and then focus your efforts on those areas. Effective lures for getting them to eat are small spoons, Gotcha plugs, hair jigs, bubble rigs and practically any other small shiny lure. I recommend a light wire leader, but 30 pound or heavier fluorocarbon leaders will get 90% of the fish to the boat.
Trout fishing on the flats has steadily improved, especially on shallow sandy flats with scattered grass beds. Varying water depths play a big role in determining how productive an area will be so, if you can find shorelines that drop quickly to about two feet, then you definitely want to stop and fish them a little. Deeper water has been holding lots of smaller fish but the upper-slot and over-slot fish are usually in less than two feet of water and very near the shoreline. Depressions outside of the mouths of bayous have been holding lots of fish, especially early in the morning when the water level is still low. I’ve had success using plugs early and then shifting to jigs, which seem to be more effective as the day goes on.
The redfish bite is still just about out of control throughout the bay in all depths of water. At the head of the bay, redfish can still be found in solid schools around the mouths of creeks and bayous and near points on shallow sandy flats. Closer to the pass, big schools of upper-slot and over-slot fish can be found just off of the flats on drop offs in water from 5-15 feet deep.
Since the weather this time of year is subject to constant changes, the fish in deeper water generally offer a far more consistent bite because water temperature and salinity levels adjust much more slowly than in the shallows. Jigs, gold spoons, artificial shrimp and all forms of live bait will work great on redfish.
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.