Summer is fast approaching and our beaches are filling up with visitors eager to enjoy the warm weather, emerald green water and sugar white sand. We certainly enjoy sharing our slice of heaven with them, but big crowds can put a slight damper on the fishing during certain parts of the day. With that in mind, it’s best to get out early in the morning or late in the afternoon when boat traffic is far less, the water is cooler and lower light levels allow you to fool wary fish much easier.
Early morning starts give you the option of throwing a variety of lures. One of the most popular baits to use early is a topwater plug, which will attract fish from long distances and is generally met with violent surface strikes. I like to throw them along flooded reed-lined shorelines, in mouths of ditches or bayous where bait is congregating and across sandy potholes on grass flats – all areas likely to lead to plenty of strikes from both speckled trout and redfish. I’ve found that higher water levels during the last phase of incoming tides and at the start of outgoing tides are the most productive for shallow water topwater fishing. You can also find topwater success anywhere fish are actively feeding on the surface or where bait is pushed up to the top of the water column. But be careful when casting near feeding pelicans since they’re known for attacking surface baits.
During the day, you can still get into some really good fishing even with the increase in boat traffic. The key is to look for small areas that have a variety of depth, bottom type and speed of current. You’ll also want to look for areas that are slightly away from where the bulk of boaters are going. I like to fish spots that transition quickly from shallow grass to deeper sand because they offer a lot of action since many fish cruise the edges of drop offs. Common catches can include trout, redfish, jacks, mackerel, bluefish, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, flounder and even the occasional pompano. Jigs and flat-lined live baits are good options.
The bull redfish bite around the bridges has gotten really good lately, especially on outgoing tides in the evening just after sundown. Floating crabs will get consistent bites but throwing jigs and topwater plugs is often more productive. Although you can catch fish by blind casting up-current and letting your bait drift naturally with the tide, I prefer to wait until fish start blowing up and then spot-casting to them.
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.