Waiting on the sunshine, that has been the game lately. As fishermen, I feel we always try to rush the glorious heat of summer time, but Mother Nature usually has different plans. So, what is it that we like about fishing in the warm months so much? Is it how fast paced the fishing is, the vast variety of fishing in these months, or is it the explosive topwater bite that you can guarantee every morning? I would have to answer, (d), all of the above. There's no doubt the fisheries seem to be much more alive as the waters warm up in the spring.
Along with more fishing opportunity on the water, soon approaching, there will also be a lot of boat traffic. I seem to have problems with other boaters when navigating to back ponds and lakes. To get to these areas, you often have to pass through narrow canals and channels. The issue is that some people like to fish here, anchoring up in these passage ways. I always try to be courteous by slowing down and idling by as far on the other side of the channel as possible. Some of these fishermen are nice, and appreciate that I'm not blowing by them at 5,000 rpm's. When you wave at this type he will usually wave back. On the other hand, some of the others that I have passed by stare me down as if I'm in the wrong for trying to get by them. I don't dislike people that set up to fish with bait on tight lines in channels, but these guys just need to understand that those are the highways of the bay system, and people will be traveling through those passageways regularly.
Often, when wading in these "busy" months, some people just assume to cruise the main shorelines to look for you bowed up on a fish with your stringer already out. Once they key in on this, they will get as close to you as they dare and try to get in on some of the fish you found for them. I got a very big laugh while reading Capt. McBride's article last month when he discussed his tricks of how he would get at people like this. One trick a tournament fisherman taught me is that when people are driving by on a boat and your stringer is out, you just pull it in real quick and step on the float. Out of sight, out of mind, right? My luck typically happens to be that as soon as a boat comes by, I get a bite from a big boy redfish. I try to make it unnoticeable by pointing my rod at the water and reeling. Many times I have lost good fish like this, but at least I still had the spot to myself.
Growing up, most of the fishing trips I got to go on were usually in these coming months of April to September. Of course, with school letting out in late spring there will soon be freed schedules of our ever so busy angling youth. You will start to see more pint size figures bobbing around out in the water once school lets out. There's something about being the youngest on the boat that makes you want to try harder than everyone else to catch the biggest and most fish. I know from first hand, believe me, it was not so long ago I was rocking my youth-sized Columbia fishing shirt, equipped with a baitcasting reel that I would often backlash. These are cherished memories with many more to be made. Don't take these times for granted because not too long from now you will be paying for your own boat gas, and finding your own fish.Hopefully, by the time your reading this article you will be able to jump in waist deep water without getting frostbite. I think maybe even next time I'm out on the water, some new sea grass will be growing, and I will see some tiny shrimp in the marsh. It's now only a matter of waiting on the sun to heat everything up to just the right temperature. Then once again there will be hungry redfish prowling all around the flats in search of their favorite crustacean to eat. You know I will be taking advantage of this event big-time. Pay attention to what the fish are eating when you go out this Spring. Make your adjustments tackle wise and you too will stay hooked up.