Mid-Coast Bays: March 2013

Mid-Coast Bays: March 2013
Wading our muddy back lakes can be tough but well worth it.
Apart from a few cold snaps, this past winter has been one of the mildest I can remember. With plenty of spring-like days, our normally wintertime-vacant waters were frequented by enthusiastic anglers taking advantage of the weather. The fishing here on the Mid Coast has been fantastic the last few weeks. While our trout bite has been strong there have been many days I struggled to get keepers in amongst the juvenile trout.

Venturing to the middle of San Antonio Bay has been my top priority when the winds allow, but unfortunately it's not as often as I would like. During the spring months wind will dictate what areas I can fish and more often than not, I will be seeking the calmer waters of our regions many back lakes. Since most of these lakes have muddy bottoms, wading will be an option only for the most hearty and physically fit anglers. Drifting can be very effective if you use a drift anchor to slow the boat and stick the Power Pole when you get into a decent bite. The Power Pole is an expensive little jewel but I assure you it is worth every penny. Quite often we find the reds and trout concentrated on windward shorelines and being able to quietly deploy the Power Pole to position the boat a cast from the bank allows us fish these areas thoroughly before picking up for another drift. No clanking and banging of anchors and a whole lot easier on your back!

More on those windward shorelines if you haven't already learned, the current created by the wind pushes the bait to the shore and the water here is usually somewhat colored which makes good hiding places for predators, and so naturally the trout and reds will be there too. Leeward (protected) shorelines will also sometimes hold bait and gamefish but the clear water you find here makes it difficult to fool them with a lure, not to mention that if you are drifting you zip through it so quickly. Of course if you are a fly angler you would prefer the clear water scenario for sight-casting but that's a whole different ballgame.

Whether in the bay or the lakes I am constantly on the lookout for active bait. I'm sure everybody is aware that mullet seem to enjoy doing lazy flops and belly-smackers just for the fun of it but that's not what were looking for. When they make a short jump followed by several frantic skips you can bet something spooked them, and that's the bait activity we key on.

The grass in our back lakes is rather sparse in spring and is easier to fish without getting hung up on every cast as well see later in summer. Smaller topwaters have been getting big results as of late. Super Spook Jr. in clear or the redfish color are my first choice. If the wind is really blowing, I will go with a bigger, more obnoxious topwater such as the MirrOlure She Dog. If I am getting lots of blow ups but no hookups I resort to my trusty ol' Bass Assassin 5 inch freshwater Die Dapper in the Houdini color that is impregnated with Bass Assassins Bang fish attractant. Because this soft plastic lure has a split belly it can be rigged weedless (my personal favorite) or used with a jighead. If I locate schools of smaller trout I will switch to Bass Assassins smaller 4 inch Sea Shad because the smaller trout tend to short strike the larger Die Dapper, biting the tail off without getting hooked.

On a final note, I am super excited to introduce female anglers to a stylish new fishing shirt made especially for those of us seeking protection from the sun. Piscavore Sportswear Company lent me their ears and together we have designed a shirt that not only protects our necks and chest from the sun but also our hands too! The Shellie Shirt is tailored with long sleeves that have a finger loop built-in to help protect our hands from the many hours of sun we anglers endure every time we fish. Made with moisture wicking cool weave polyester this shirt is light weight, quick drying, and has a UPF rating of 50+. You can see the new Shellie Shirt in the Piscavore booth at the upcoming Houston Fishing Show held at the George R. Brown convention center. Gary and I will be there as well at booth #528 March 6th through the 10th. Feel free to stop by and ask any questions you might have or swap fishing tales.