Hooked Up: March 2020

Hooked Up: March 2020
Brian Thompson with a sunrise big’un. Bass Assassin. Released!

"Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn." ~ Lewis Grizzard   

Well said, Lewis!  March must have had a long night; the winds are predicted to be formidable this season. No big deal, as we always can count on them every March.  Let's just say we've grown use to it.  The upside is that all things living still have to eat, and that includes trout…and the healthiest of them come from this windy month.  Between gorging on the limited bait supply before late season cold fronts, and bellies full of roe, March is best month of the year to capture your heaviest trout ever. 

True that there will be days just too windy to go out and play, but for those willing to gut out higher than normal winds, great rewards can often be gained. On some shoreline in Baffin someone will be walking up in skinny, dirty water that is full of mullet and stick a giant trout while she was contemplating her first spawn. It happens every year like this. Myself and others have done it many times over. You used to only hear rumors of it, maybe an occasional picture in print to confirm such great landings. Tom Nix (RIP), founder of the Saltwater Angler here in Corpus, was like a field reporter and would track down the rumor of a legendary trout being caught, and would, many times, be your only chance of getting to see a picture of these fabled giants. It was easy to fly under the radar back then. For a man that didn't run his mouth and boast, you could be locked down on big fish for the whole month without pressure from others. It goes without saying, but social media and dock gossip has eliminated much of the solitude that we used to enjoy. That's just the way it goes, I guess. But trout will still spawn on some grassy shoreline, and I will be there with my clients to hopefully be blessed by a few giant trout. If only for a few days alone.

Short of  an unusually strong cold front, my days will be spent pretty shallow (in case you haven't gathered that already). From December through May, the sole item on my agenda is targeting trophy trout. That's what I love to do and why my wonderful clients charter me. Always sacrificing quantity of bites for quality of fish. March through May equates shallow, grassy waters that heat up fast and are ideal for trout to release their eggs. Of course you will catch all sizes of fish throughout this process, but it is, without doubt, where your best chances will be greatly multiplied to cross paths with a lifetime-class fish.

Depending on the water quality, wind conditions, floating grass, etc., will determine what lures I will be utilizing in attempting to catch these larger trout. Outside of floating grass conditions, my favorite plugs are going to be a floating Corky by MirrOlure - Original and Fat Boy models. I prefer the slimmer Original in calmer weather, and the Fat Boy in choppier conditions. Another top choice is the Double D by Texas Custom Lures. The Double D really shines when there is tall grass growing up from the bay floor, as this lure has a shallow darting action but floats back up, and away from the grass. Clients and myself have had great success with the Double D this year. 

As far as topwaters go, I prefer big and loud in rough and dirty water. The MirrOlure line of "Dog" lures is an obvious choice for sound and its great "walk the dog" action. If you find  yourself with a calm day and wanting to throw topwaters, I would simply say scale the size back from larger to smaller and add lots of pauses. If you have fished with me or know me, you know that I'm not getting anywhere near the water without my 5" Bass Assassins. I love to rig them on Pro Elite 1/16 oz. jig heads for fishing shallow, grassy water. 

"Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once." -Lee Wulff 

Y'all remember that quote while you are catching all of the big spawners. Handle them and all other trout over 20-inches gently as possible to allow them to survive and pass on their superior genetics. Be proactive for the fish and fishery.

Remember the buffalo!  -Capt. David Rowsey