Mid-Coast Bays: May 2008

Mid-Coast Bays: May 2008
Sarah Clark proud to display her biggest catch of the day.
We had some great fishing in April despite fighting some incredibly high winds some days. As every season changes most fishermen expect to deal with some sort of drawbacks when it comes to the weather and in the springtime we all know to expect plenty of high winds and rain. To continue to be successful at catching one must learn to accept these hardships and learn how to adapt to these circumstances depending on your preference of fishing methods.

Blustery winds have played a major role in all of my trips for the past few weeks. Forecast after forecast calls for 20 to 25 mph winds and it seems as if you can always count on the winds blowing every bit of that and then some here on the coast. High winds won't keep me from fishing, but it definitely puts a kink in my plans. San Antonio Bay is what we consider our "bread and butter" when it comes to fishing for trout and is also one of our favorite haunts in the springtime, but my usual trips to the open reefs in this bay system are put on hold and I am forced to fish in the back lakes and/or on the protected shorelines.

While I don't like having the weather dictate where I can fish I know here in the Seadrift/Port O'Connor area we are very fortunate to have many back lakes where we can seek refuge from the high winds. Fishing in these back lakes can be very good depending on what methods you choose to use.

Wade fishing is the most productive way to fish our back lakes because it allows anglers to thoroughly work the area at a slower pace which can be impossible to do while drifting in a boat that is being shoved forward by high winds. While I think wade fishing is the best option for success it is not for everyone and may be somewhat difficult due to the soft mud bottoms that most lakes have.

A drift anchor is a good tool to have for those anglers who prefer to stay in the boat and drift while fishing. I even know a few fishermen who have been known to tie two drift anchors to their boats on windy days in an attempt to slow down their boats while drifting. A good tip is to make sure you have some type of float attached to the main line in case the line ever happens to come untied.

My lure selections on gusty days will be a 1/2 oz gold spoon when I am in search of redfish. If I find they aren't very responsive to the good ol' spoon then I will opt for a large topwater lure such as the Super Spook and/or He Dog. I prefer large noisy top waters on windy days because of the rougher water. The color pattern I choose will be more for my eyesight then for the fish bite. On windy days you will find it harder to see your topwater in the rough waves so I will tie on a bright color to help me with the visibility of the lure.

If the topwater doesn't yield any results from either redfish or trout I will then tie on a Saltwater Assassin attached to a 1/16oz jighead. My go-to colors this time of year are the salt and pepper silver phantom and plum/chartreuse.

For anglers who prefer to anchor up and hold steady during the windy days, live shrimp or mullet can be good alternatives to choose. Live shrimp has been productive when fishing it under the Original 4" Alameda rattling cork. If bait is hard to come by try using Berkley Gulp baits under a cork. The color of the water will dictate which color of Gulps I will use. If the water is muddy go for a brighter color like the nuclear chicken. If the water is a little more transparent, opt for more natural colors like molting.

When it is windy on weekends your odds of success can diminish due to more traffic. Since every angler on the water will be in search of protected areas to fish, good spots may be hard to come by so keep your patience in check and stick to your game plan. You may even consider anchoring up, holding steady and letting the boats push fish towards you as they run past on those high traffic days.

Mother's Day falls on Sunday May 11 so I want to send big hugs and kisses out to my mom, Sandy Zimmer, who is the most patient, kind-hearted and understanding person I have ever known. Thanks, Mom, for all the unconditional love and support you have always given me.

If you are lucky enough to have a lady angler in your life and you are out of Mother's Day gift ideas consider getting her one of my new Signature Series rods made by American Rodsmiths. This is the only inshore saltwater rod on the market that is designed to match ladies hand sizes and is extremely light weight. They can handle anything you can give them, from the biggest trout to the tougher redfish and if the great action of the rod doesn't sell itself the eye-catching color will!