Bay Flats Lodge on San Antonio Bay
By Captain Chris Martin
March 28, 2015
The cool front that rolled through the mid-coast region on Thursday made for clear skies, and the ensuing atmospheric high-pressure system made for a slow start. As a result, yesterday’s party of four with Capt. Nick Dahlman struggled throughout the morning hours in their attempt to locate an active bite. Between Thursday and Friday, bay water temperatures dropped nearly 12-degrees, and the fish had clearly decided it to be in their best interest to wait until the warming period of the afternoon. When the fish did finally decide they were hungry, Capt. Nick’s team discovered that the plastic paddle tail color that enticed most of the fish was plum/chartreuse.
As we head into April, we will continue to experience weather scenarios similar to this past week, so let’s talk a bit about some fishing patterns that will almost certainly come about as a direct result. Now then, April generally can be counted on for extended periods of wind, some of which can be rather strong. When it’s extremely windy like this, it will be important for anglers to locate really active bait. This might be bait that’s been pushed into muddy water against a windward shoreline, or that happens to be more widespread in clear water along a leeward shoreline. Regardless, make your approach to the bait a quiet one, and learn to force yourself to fish within the immediate area of where you initially located the bait. Knowing where and when to fish in the wind can sometimes take a little while to learn, but transitioning water temperatures, air climate, and varying tide levels are other obstacles springtime anglers will be faced with.
April brings with it much warmer air and water temperatures and signals to the trout that it is time for them to start their annual spawn – an event held primarily over sandy shorelines. So, remember that this is when you will not be restricted to finding nice trout strictly over mud and grass – if the mud of the back lakes becomes too much for you, simply scout nearby sandy shorelines for the presence of bait. But regardless of where you wade, try to first remember a couple of the springtime rules. One is that you should always make it a point to wade at a slow pace. And another rule is that you should attempt to blanket an entire area with casts in different directions prior to making any moves forward or sideways. Also when fishing the sand in April, slow the rate of your retrieve to the point where your plastic bait is “crawling” across the lower water column because this is the area just above the bay floor where large female trout like to sit while spawning.
Look for the presence of nervous bait and small, round slicks popping up near the bank on windy days while targeting sandy shorelines, and concentrate on points that extend out into the bay further than others – openings that lead into the back lakes that have protruding points are definitely good areas to fish. Wade in sandy areas where the bay bottom is configured with pronounced undulations, as big trout will often lie in the associated wash-out areas while waiting for an opportunity to ambush unsuspecting baitfish.
With climbing air temperatures, look for the sandy shorelines to heat up during late April and early May, especially during the middle of the day, or late in the afternoon. And as usual for this time of the year, the top water action will also begin to heat-up as April progresses, so now is a great time to blow the dust off your favorite surface walker and get to work. If when tossing your favorite surface plug you find that the fish appear to be interested, but that they just aren’t inhaling the lure, try experimenting with different retrieves. Try a steady walk-the-dog retrieve until you get a blowup, then let the bait sit completely motionless for a few seconds and just give it a quick twitch, or two (9 out of 10 times they’ll come right back to it).
Latest Lodge News
- Murray Martin joins Bay Flats Lodge as Operations Marketing and Accounts Manager.
- Captain Justin Nesloney teams up to guide airboat red fishing trips with Bay Flats Lodge.
- Captain Billy Freudensprung teams up to guide with Bay Flats Lodge.
Saturday’s Weather Forecast
Abundant sunshine. High 76F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Saturday night, clear skies. Low 63F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph.
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