Hooked Up: May 2014

Hooked Up: May 2014
Joey Savoie shows off his 28-plus-8.75 pound personal best trout that came on a morning glory Bass Assassin—Released!  His group of four anglers all notched personal bests on this day.
If you are a regular reader of my column in this magazine it should not come as a surprise that I am big on catch and release and conserving for the future. On March 27 the TPWD commission voted to reduce the daily trout limit from ten to five for the largest part of the Texas coast. I applaud them for finally taking that step. It is my personal belief that this change to the limit was long overdue for Baffin and the Upper Laguna Madre. No doubt it will take a few years to start seeing major improvement but I believe it will come. In the long run, everyoneincluding the trout, are going to benefit from this.

I started noticing during the first week of April that the tide had bulled up high as I launched my Haynie every morning at Bluff's Landing Marina. As we spurred the 250 ponies across the flats, flurries of bait activity were noted in every direction the eye could see. As we walked off into our first wade, anticipating a big trout bite, we get the first "tap-tup" at the end of our line and we set the hook. Nice tension at the end of the line explodes on the surface and we realize that is the first skipjack of the year.
The adrenaline escapes the client's body as he realizes that his much anticipated first bite was not the big trout he came for. I get his blood pumping again as I tell him of certain potholes ahead where we have landed numerous trout in the seven- to nine pound range.

It works. He is fully focused again as we close the gap on the sweet spot. Another quiet fifty yards and we will be there.

The whole time I am thinking about that skipjack he just caught and what it really means. As I am having thoughts of skipjacks, spring tides, and everything we are about to receive from Mother Ocean, I feel "tap-tup" on my own line and the set the Bass Assassin squarely in the jaw of a six pound trout. As I look off to the side to tell my client to put on the brakes, he also bows up on a good fish. We have a double, and his looks bigger.

I land mine quickly and release it, and make my way over to snap photos of the client's trout. She was much larger than mine, and a personal best for him at 8.75 pounds. A few quick pictures followed by the release and the look of awe on his face from what he had just accomplished made my day. I love my job.

As this month's magazine hits the newsstand, spring tides should be in full force for this area. New life will be found throughout the bay system, and faster action should become the norm as winter is finally behind us. As much as I love Simms cold-weather wading gear, I'm looking forward to utilizing some of their wet wading clothes, and getting skinny to sight-cast both trout and reds.

Key structures for finding fish will vary widely as May is a month when just about everything comes into play. Early morning wades are going to find us on rock structures that contain the most bait. MirrOlure She Dogs will be the lure of choice here as the sun is coming up. As the day heats up, and if we need to, we will be hitting deep grass lines, potholes, and spoil islands in both the Laguna and Baffin. As always, there needs to be some bait present to be effective. No surprise, but my lure of choice on the grass lines and potholes is the 5" Bass Assassin on an 1/8 ounce Pro Elite jig head . As a general rule I like my Bass Assassins in dark colors early, natural colors later in the morning if the water is on the clear side, and brighter colors as the sun is up and water is stained and/or sandy.
If you are into sight-casting, this is the month to get serious about it. The surging spring tide is going to have fish distributed all over places that most boats can't run (and others don't need to be). The white sand from Nighthawk all the way to Yarbrough down south will have ample opportunities for great sight-casting. It is the perfect combination of hunting and fishing all wrapped up into one.

Remember the buffalo! -Capt David Rowsey