Hooked Up: March 2015

Hooked Up: March 2015
As evidenced by barnacles on their glasses, some guys just spend too much time on the water.

Thus far 2015 has been good to clients and the captain. We have had a few tough days on the water, as all do, but the vast majority have rewarded us with great action and the trophy fish we are hunting. Average days have produced multiple trout weighing more than seven pounds. The best days have had some eight-plus pounders in the mix and the occasional fish breaking nine. I'm confident that a true ten will grace us sometime in March. All of these big girls have been photographed and released.

As my charters have always done, we continue to release every fish over 20 inches, giving them the chance to grow into the big trout of the future. Unfortunately, there are still some Neanderthal guides around that evidently continue to feel the need to kill everything they can catch to promote their manhood on the internet and various social media. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that you will not have a good recruitment of trophy fish in the future if you kill everything in the mid-range today.

I think most of you know what to expect in March. Besides (arguably) the best big trout month of the year, we will start to experience some of the most rowdy winds of the season, and these will continue well into April. Although they can be somewhat intimidating to those who do not work in near constant windy conditions every day on the water, they can, in most cases, be worked to your advantage.

I despise calm, slick water conditions. They are great for boat riding but not for much else here in the Upper Laguna and Baffin. Most areas of the Texas coast experience water movement via passes to the gulf and the gravitational relationship between the earth, sun and moon. Not so much here. Due to our long-distance proximity to gulf passes, our water movement is 90% wind-driven, and a must have for even average fish-catching results. If you have a trip booked with me, another guide, or are winging it on your own, don't be discouraged by the southerly winds that would make most upper coast fishermen keep the boat on the trailer. It works for us!

Making the wind your friend and using it to your advantage is one of the main ingredients to being successful in the Laguna and Baffin. As the wind blows and creates current, I like to look for areas that create a "stop" and break up that flow of water. The "stop" always involves the windward edge of some type of structure; i.e., exposed island-hump, grass line, sharp drop-off, rock pile, gut-swag in the bay floor, etc. As the wind-driven water collides with these types of structure a certain amount of turbulence is produced, and this in turn interrupts the otherwise relatively smooth flow of the water that is being pushed by the wind. Perhaps this explanation will help you understand why I refer to it as the "stop."

At any rate, this zone of turbulence is where predators will stage to ambush prey (hopefully my Bass Assassin or Corky). The fisherman that is happy to glide through the day and fish on the easier (leeward) side will have some limited success, but the saltier guy that knows to put his back to the chop and cast to windward structure will prevail on both numbers and quality.

Anyone who has ever fished with me can vouch for my unwavering confidence in the 5" Bass Assassin for big trout, year round. Well, that has not changed. Day in and day out I rely on this rubber worm to find the fish for me, and scratch out some toads in the process.

On days when we are in an area already known to be frequented by a fair number of large trout, I love to put MirrOlure's Paul Brown Originals to work, especially the Fat Boy. The Fat Boy prevails on those mornings when there is little to no wind. The suspending nature of the lure is the perfect medicine for trout that also seem to want to suspend during calmer conditions. It's been my experience that the Fat Boy is about as "in their face" as it can get and prevails in drawing big strikes on ice cream days. I try and keep color choices simple on both lures. For clear water, I'm using natural and dark colors. The stained water still finds me using the dark colors, as well as the bright stuff; i.e., solid white, red-gold, chartreuse, etc.

Remember the buffalo! -Capt. David Rowsey