Mid-Coast Bays: February 2009

Mid-Coast Bays: February 2009 Cal Closson didn’t let strong winds keep him from catching fish.

January fishing for the Rat Pack has been extremely good whether it be for trout or redfish. The weather has been like a see-saw, one day 40 degrees with gale force winds from the northeast and the next day, dead calm and foggy. The only consistent thing has been the catching.
The water has been hovering between 55 degrees during extreme cold fronts and 65 degrees during the warming trends in between the cold fronts. Like I said, the only consistent thing has been the fishing.

For redfish we either drifted throwing Mann's Waker in the croaker or clown colors or we used 1/2 ounce weedless Johnson spoons in gold or silver. It is best, in my opinion, to rig these weedless spoons with a split ring and swivel to help keep your line from twisting. As for the Mann's Waker lures, I tie them directly to my main line with no swivel as this lure does not twist when reeled in. Both of these baits yield good results when fishing shallow waters.

Now as far as where we have been catching our trout. The trout we have been targeting for several weeks now, and quite common for this time of year, have been on the mid bay reefs in San Antonio Bay. We locate these fish by the normal means of looking for bait and bird activity on top and around the base of the reefs. When the water is 55 degrees or less the mullet will usually be subsurface. They won't be as actively jumping around on the surface like they do under warmer conditions. Look for ripples, swirls, flashes or any other kind of water disturbance.

Normally I start a day with soft plastics when the water is below the 55 degree mark. The type of soft plastics varies from Saltwater Assassins to the suspending types like Corkys or Crazy Croakers by Tidal Surge. The best producers have been the Saltwater Assassins in pearl/chartreuse and glowtreuse. I don't know what it is about this time of year but I catch more trout on these two colors than all others combined. I prefer to use a 1/16 oz Bass Assassin jighead for all my soft plastics. The cooler the water the slower you will work your lure. The fish will dictate what speed is best.

I don't get serious about using topwaters until the water temperature is at least 58 degrees and rising. The topwaters I will throw during winter vary from She Dogs to Top Dogs usually in the 804, 808 or chartreuse/white/chartreuse patterns. If I am consistently getting blow-ups and no hook ups I will switch back to soft plastics.

The February fishing forecast looks very promising. The tide should come up another 4 to 6 inches letting us fish in a few more areas we haven't looked at in a few weeks. Towards the end of the month we will be fishing more protected coves in muddy back lakes for trophy trout.

Fish hard, fish smart!