by Capt. Craig Lambert
Springtime fishing can be an outstanding adventure but it can also be an all day grind with only a few fish to show for it. As usual the weather is the biggest factor in your decision making on where to focus your angling efforts. In particular consideration for springtime is wind velocities and areas to hide but still be on fish. That is the tricky part. I JUST LOVE REDFISH
If you like to be in that position where those elbows are dipped in the water and your waders are sucked to you like a latex body suit then you have no worries about where to fish. Most of the protected shorelines are holding some fish. Staying shallow is still the place to be with that magical mark of 70 degrees in Galveston Bay waters. The wadefishermen still has a distinct advantage over the boater. Having both options opens up just that much more opportunity to be in front of hungry fish. Targeting shallow flats for angry speckled trout and hungry redfish near bayous and marshes will produce especially in that first hour or 2 of daylight. Jumping out of the boat with a corky or topwater tied on as the sun comes up is about as majestic and exciting as life can get. Don't just read about it on 2cool get out there and make it happen!!! BIG SPECKS!
Summertime temperatures are right around the corner so that will definitely heat up the fishing action. Especially for speckled trout. May and June can be 2 of the best months of the year for catching the mighty yellowmouth. It doesnt matter if you are a hardcore artificial angler, croaker soaker or you like shrimp under a popping cork these next 2 months are really going to shine for you as long as you get on the water and take advantage it. Areas like Lower Galveston Bay, Dickinson Bay, East Bay and Trinity Bay begin to really heat up with angling action. Oyster and freshwater clam reefs tend to hold large concentrations of hungry predatory fish looking for an easy meal. Small crustaceans, eels, crabs and clams are a regular source of food that will be found living among the reef. Sheepshead, black drum, redfish and speckled trout stay in these areas as long as there is a constant food supply. And as the food chain continues anglers target these reefs for predatory fish.CATCHING NOT FISHING!
Look for roaming schools of speckled trout to start moving off of the shallow flats and on to open water reefs and structure. Limetreuse bass assassins are my favorite plastic for this time of year on a 1/4 oz jig head. I also like to have a noisy topwater on like a She Dog. You do not get as many bites as you would on plastics but it sure is exciting watching that lure get crushed by some vicious snaggle toothed yellowmouth. My go to bait for live is of course a Midcoast Evolution cork with about 30 inches of 30 lb Ande line leader and a #6 treble. This combination is deadly all year long for all species in our bay system. Eventually that croaker bite starts to take over in full force about the end of June. Then the almighty croaker becomes the best bait for live baiters over the next 8-10 weeks. GOOD DAY!
Cruising Jack Crevalle will be seen at various times chasing bait along the open waters of the bay near the ship channel areas in the coming months. Catching these hard fighting brutes is hard to do but not impossible on trout gear. Getting a lure (any lure) in front of them is the hard part since they are extremely fast. Typically they are seen visually as they are chasing or busting through bait on the surface. They are always moving so trying to get in front of them or at least meet them at a predetermined spot is the plan. DOUBLED UP ON JACK CREVALLE
When they are on the surface riled up in a feeding frenzy is their most vulnerable time and it is your chance to get in close and get a bait in to them. It will not matter what type of bait it is because they will devour anything. Setting the hook is not required as long as you have a sharp and very strong hook. If you can get the fish out of the frenzy without breaking off on another fish then you have won half the battle. On trout gear you are looking at a 30 minute to 1.5 hour fight on your hands depending on the size of the Jack.30 MINUTES IN TO THE FIGHT
Wearing the fish down by letting it pull the boat around is the plan from then on. Keeping the boat at an idle and moving around barriers pylons or other boats will be the drivers responsibility as the angler lets him know the direction the fish is moving and if he/she is low on line. The hardest fighting fish in our bay system will easily run out 150 yards of line so keeping close to the fish is imperative for the driver. Getting a jack in the net is not easy and will be a struggle especially as you get closer to the boat. Do not expect to land a lot of them because the hook up ratio is low but it sure does pay off when you get one on the line.THE BIG ONE THAT DIDN'T GET AWAY
I want to put out a BIG THANK YOU to Shimano USA for looking out for me as a valued customer. I have always used their reels and will continue to do so especially when they have such great customer service. Great reels and a great company!