Hooked Up: May 2020

Hooked Up: May 2020
Last day in waders! Ms. Katie Felts showing off a stud red she caught after a full morning of trout catching with mom and dad.

It feels unreal sitting here writing a fishing article with the state our nation and world are in right now.  Like the majority of Americans, this Corona pandemic has been a major game changer in our normal lives.  The loss of charters during big trout season is pretty rough on the checkbook but we will survive it.  The good news is that Sally and I are making  the best of the time with each other in the yard, pets, pool, and kitchen.  Things are bad for all, but life is what we make of it.  We are siding with optimism and as much fun as we can have at home. 

I'm not sure if I or any other guide will have a charter left to run in May but, I will say, it is a glorious month to be on the water with clients.  As a wade fishing guide, May brings in the time of the year when I get out of the Simms waders, and into their Flats Boot.  Look for water temperatures to hover in the high-70° range and all game fish to be very spunky and active.  May is a month where you still have some pre-spawn trout cruising the flats, with a huge boost of new trout arriving from down south.  A mix of quality and quantity is what makes this month so special to myself and others in the know.

The full moon on May 7 will be significant for water movement in the Baffin area.  Look for some the largest rising tides of the year in days surrounding that date. These spring tides will push in a new crop of trout from down south, and a ton of new bait.  As I am writing this article in April, we are already seeing the tides come in a good bit, and bait is already showing more and more every day.  The full moon on the seventh should just flood us with forage for the predatory trout in the form of finger mullet, shad, and shrimp. Rafts of baitfish on ideal structure will be the focus.  Large flats with deep drop-offs, rocky shorelines, and spoil islands clearly fall into the category of "ideal structure" this month.

With water temps being on  the rise, lure chunkers will be in heaven this month, as any of your favorite lures will come into play.  Historically, the topwater bite is at its best during May, and I know that gets me and most other diehards very excited. Of course I will always have a pocketful of Bass Assassins for grinding out the finicky fish.  With all of the new shad arriving into the bay system, the MirrOdine XL and the Double D by Texas Custom Fishing Lures will see a lot of playtime on the end of  my Seaguar braided line. 

At  the risk of sounding like an infomercial, I have to tip my hat to the good people at Waterloo Rods. I have been using their 6’-6'’ Carbon Mag all season.  The rod has just been amazing and my favorite they have ever made for me.  Super light, and strong; I have literally tried to break them just to see how much pressure they can handle on big reds. They have been flawless!  Great product if you are looking for the "best of the best" rod on the market, in my opinion.

For the first time I can ever remember, the yellow croaker flags started flying in late-March down in this area.  Of course, social media has loaded up with photos and bragging rights by some guides.  What I don't understand is how a guy making a living from a public natural resource doesn’t understand the basics of the spawn and goes to killing these 20-25" breeders that have yet to complete their seasonal spawning cycle. 

Fellow guides…use some common sense! Get a damn photo for your bragging board and release these big breeders.  Killing the very fish that keeps you employed is beyond moronic, especially at this stage of season.  Florida gets it, and have tightened up their regs to prevent the same in their waters.  Texas needs to follow suit. 

Everyone is moaning about the flounder laws becoming more conservative in Texas, but that's what has to be done to have a guaranteed healthy spawn and fishery.  Man up and police yourselves, before the government does it for you.  Common sense, folks.

Remember the buffalo!  -Capt David Rowsey