Mid-Coast Bays: April 2023

Mid-Coast Bays: April 2023
Nice trout on Texas Custom Lures Double D Mirrodine.

Fishing in the Port O'Connor/Seadrift area has been very good and it looks as though April is going to be right on par with previous years. I still consider April a prime month to catch a lifetime trout in our area. I will go over a few of what I call “secrets” that I use to help me locate and catch these speckled beauties. I call them secrets because I have not read about them anywhere. I have witnessed these things unfold in front of me on an annual basis and have been rewarded with two trout over 10 pounds and 31 inches. I have lost count the number of 28-plus fish my customers and I have landed applying these tips to our fishing strategies. These are based on my experience in the Seadrift/Port O’Connor area but could apply to most any location on the Texas coast.

This time of the year I target mostly main bay shorelines with irregularities: oyster reefs, drains leading to back lakes, grass patches, or maybe a cove protected from the brutal southeast wind we will see so much of this month. These areas will have lots of mullet and good current flowing through the guts along the shoreline. We will not worry about incoming or outgoing; but you must have current one way or the other. I prefer the incoming when possible, though.

When you are fishing and everyone is hooking up, pay attention to the gender of the fish you are catching. Are they grunting? If so, they are male. I have noticed many times when we are catching predominantly males in any given area, within a few days we will start catching the bigger females. I don't know exactly what is going on and no science to explain it; this is what I have witnessed the past thirty-seven years as a fishing guide.

Pay attention to the species of bait that is most abundant. Try and target areas that have large concentrations of menhaden. I have caught many large trout following rafts of menhaden along sandy shorelines of area bays. I also key in on mullet when I haven't been seeing menhaden schools. Bigger trout will hang right under or in the shadows of the schools of baitfish.

Another tip some anglers do not consider but more are becoming aware of is timing. We cannot always plan our trips around specific tides or moon phases, but when you do go, try and position yourself in the best place possible. Meaning find an area that has a large amount of rafted bait whether it is menhaden or mullet, and follow the schools. Make casts all around them until you discover whether the specks are under, on the sides, or behind the rafts of bait. Once discovered, continue casting into those same areas. If by chance there are many rafts cruising the shoreline you can just stand in one spot and make casts around them as they pass by. With an outgoing tide, try to position in front of or around the mouth of a drain that leads to a back lake. Fish will follow the bait as it is flushed from the back lake into the main bay.

Another scenario I see often goes like this. You’ve been catching reds one after another and you decide to leave because you’re tired of them, or maybe they’ve already destroyed too many of your MirrOlure Fat Boys. Leaving could be a big mistake. I remember several trips we kept plugging away until the redfish thinned out and the larger specks took over.

A very memorable trip with Shellie and longtime customer Kris Krause; it was a windy day in April and hard-pumping southeast had bait stacked in a cove. Redfish after redfish until I grew tired of catching them. So, I made a move fifty yards toward Shellie who had caught a few larger trout earlier, and Shellie moved to the area I had vacated, hoping to get into the reds. Within a short time she began catching trout longer than 27-inches. Long story short – it didn’t take long for me to join her.

If you are into big reds and don't want them destroying your Texas Custom Double D MirrOdines or Fat Boys, switch to a 5-inch Saltwater Assassin. You will still catch fish but without the stress of losing expensive lures, although I can think of worse things that could happen. Pictures from that April trip can be seen on our brochure cover or on our website www.bayrat.com.

Fish hard, fish smart!