Mid-Coast Bays: April 2007

Mid-Coast Bays: April 2007
Wow that was a rough one talking about this past winter of course. We, or more importantly the fish, survived yet another one. We got real lucky when that artic blast that was headed our way got pushed to the east by old mister Pacific Front! As it stands now we should be in for some fantastic fishing.

As I write this article after returning home from the Houston Fishing Show our water temperatures are running 62 degrees in the bays and rising to 70 degrees on the flats. Oh wait a minute did I say flats? Well what flats we have left as our tides are running about two foot lower from where the normal tide resides this time of year.

April fishing should be right on schedule if not a little ahead with this warmer weather we have been having. Depending on my customers and what their expectations are for their trips we will have many avenues through which to work.

I am lucky, as many fishermen are on the middle coast, because we have many different types of structure to fish and an even greater difference between the middle coast and the rest of the gulf coast is that we have protection from the spring winds that normally hammers everyone from March through May. We can find protection in any one of our many back lakes and/or our leeward shorelines enabling us to fish many structures no matter what direction or velocity the wind is blowing.

My normal springtime trips are customers looking for their trout of a lifetime and if that doesn't go as planned they can still be entertained with catching numbers of larger than average size fish. That scenario works out perfectly when the trout are in their transitional period. This means many trout will be moving from the warm mud flats of the back lakes following the bait fish to the shallow gut infested shorelines of West Matagorda, Espiritu Santo, San Antonio and Mesquite Bays. This covers a lot of water but it is all still well within reach of the Rat Pack on any given day as we are lucky enough to be situated right in the middle of these areas.

If there is one thing I tell my customers to remember, which can be used anywhere along the Texas coast, is remember the five S'sSHORELINES, STRUCTURES, SLOW, SOUNDS and SLICKS. Make sure to fish SHORELINES targeting STRUCTURES such as grass patches, oyster reefs, drop offs, points, guts, color changes etc. Make sure to wade SLOW, keeping an eye out for SLICKS and listening for my favorite SOUNDS. Trout make a very distinctive "slurp" when they snatch their prey from the surface. Also listen for the SOUNDS of fleeing shrimp or possibly mullet skipping across the water as they try to elude a predator. Remember fishing is a lot like hunting and we have to use all our God given senses if we hope to be successful in stalking and catching our quarry.

This is one of the best times of the year for topwater action in our area. My all time favorite topwater to throw is the MirroLure She Dog and the colors I prefer are the CHPR (chartreuse back and belly with pearl sides), CRBK (black back with chrome body), and the CRBL (blue back with chrome body). Any of these will provide good topwater action in any situation.

A new suspending bait that has found it's way into my wading box is the "MirrOdine" which resembles a sardine and/or shiner along with the new "MirrOminnow" which is a look alike to the glass or ghost minnow. Look for these bait fish to start showing up on our shorelines in April making these lures that imitate them a must have in your arsenal.

As for soft plastics I will have the tried and proven Saltwater Assassins in the pumpkinseed/chartreuse, Opening Night, Space Guppy and the Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom all rigged on a 1/16 oz Assassin jig heads. Make a note. "I have caught more trout over 26 inches using the Saltwater Assassins than any other baits in my box."

If your target is redfish look for these bronze bruisers to be in the same locale as Mr. Speckled Fish. They can be found in sizeable numbers on shorelines due to their schooling behavior that usually starts in April and will be continual throughout the rest of the year. Stalking redfish in the back lakes will still be an option even as the shorelines heat up. I have found redfish in every nook and cranny of water no matter the depth and/or temperature.

If I am targeting reds in ultra shallow water I will stick to the basics and use a Johnson gold or silver weedless spoon ranging from 1/8 ounce to ounce depending on the vegetation in the area. These spoons are easy to work and can be cast upwind with ease if needed.

A broken-back Cordell is also very well suited for ultra shallow action. I prefer to cast past my target then I reel slow enough that the lure doesn't dive down into the grassy bottom. You should notice a "V" wake coming off the front of the lure if you are retrieving it back to you in this manner. You will be surprised how a finicky redfish that may have ignored your other offerings will find this lure simply irresistible!Fish hard, Fish smart!