Spring is here and we have been catching the fish to prove it. Heading into April is something I always look forward to; not only are we trading our Simms waders for Flats Sneakers and wet wading, but the fishing is just some of the best you will have for quality and trophies. Mixed bags of trout, reds and flounder will be the norm from now through June. If you want in on the magic of this month, get in touch with me soon as my dates are getting swooped up quickly.
As of late March we started seeing trout show up in the Land Cut. These fish are headed north in their annual migration from points further south. By the end of April they will be dumping into Baffin Bay, all the way to Cayo Del Grullo, in the westernmost stretches of the bay.
Why you ask? Spring’s equinox tides will be pumping new water into the system from the south. With that large tidal movement, all species of gamefish along with shrimp, shad and mullet will be enjoying the free ride provided by Mother Nature. My journals have been telling me the same story, year after year. The full moon closest to the end of April and the beginning of May will be the biggest push of water and the largest movement of gamefish. For those willing to make a long ride down the Land Cut you will get an early jump on the migration. Wading the edge of the big ditch can be some of the most rewarding topwater fishing you could ever experience; however, a trolling motor and a drift sock are equally as effective (and cover a lot of water quickly).
For the more traditional wade fisherman, areas such as Summer House, Rocky Slough shoreline, all of Yarbrough, and many spoil islands will be the first to start loading up with baitfish and great trout. As they keep heading north into Baffin, expect the south shoreline of Baffin to really heat up. The amount of baitfish you will see in this area will be overwhelming to the senses but should provide you with confidence that you are in the right area.
We all have our favorite lures to throw at big trout but April and May are my top two months for topwaters. The number of surface explosions during this period is usually off the charts when big groups of baitfish are in the area. MirrOlure's She Dog is my go-to lure during these months, especially the CRCH (chartreuse back-chrome body) and 808 (black back-gold body-orange belly).
When I walk into areas where shad are prevalent, I'm going with the MirrOdine XL series. I fish this lure hard and fast with short pauses. It’s a great match-the-hatch type of lure, especially in the new Skin Series colors. Y'all really need to check them out if you haven't already.
Rounding out my favorite lure choices is the 5-inch Saltwater Shad Bass Assassin (straight tail) and the 4-inch Turbo Shad. Both of these lures excel as fish-finder tools and in making them eat when the bite is very slow. Colors ranging from white to anything silver-flaked are on my line 90% of the time.
I'm much closer to 50 than I am 48, and I'll admit that much of the younger generation just makes me shake my head in disbelief when I see what they stand for and what they think this country should be. Saying that, I have the pleasure of hosting many young men and women on my boat in their 20s and early 30s that I can't help but admire.
Most of them have carved out a plan for their lives, gainfully employed, well-mannered, and have a tremendous passion for fishing. The majority of them are really good fishermen, have great equipment, and just a grinder attitude when they step off the boat for a two-hour wade. Half the time they do not even carry a stringer and, when they do string fish they are always small and few in number.
Unfortunately, the Texas fishing culture has long been programmed to kill what you catch. That may have been OK back in the day, but there are too many of us out here now to hang onto that mentality. This new generation of fishermen is giving me some hope for the future of trout fishing. My hat is off to you younger guys and gals, and the old salts too, that have progressed from the old days and realize that times have changed.
Remember the buffalo! -Capt David Rowsey