Mid-Coast Bays: May 2010

Mid-Coast Bays: May 2010
My mother, Sandy Zimmer, when she was in her twenties. Nice red Mom!
Blustery winds have played a major role in nearly all my trips for the past few weeks. I have to laugh when the weather forecaster says, "The next few days will be breezy." We all know that in reality they should be saying, "Hold on to yer hats 'cause it's gonna be downright windy."

Several people have asked me how I feel about fishing in such extreme conditions and what effect does the wind have on the fishing itself?

Well Taking people fishing when the wind is blowing 25 to 30 mph is never going to be my favorite. If it were at all possible I would reschedule all my windy day trips because I know from experience that the odds of finding fishable water and enjoying a great day of catching are greatly reduced. My usual trips to the open reefs in San Antonio Bay are put on hold and I am forced to fish in the back lakes and/or along protected shorelines.

Now this is not to say fishing can't be decent on high wind days. But let's face it; when the wind is howling your options are going to be limited. I call it, "fishing where we could," which is very different from, "fishing where we should."

Add weekend traffic to that equation and too often you find a host of boats and dozens of hopeful anglers all crowding into the same protected area. So now you are not only dealing with the wind problem, the crowding sets up another one. We all know that too many boats running over the fish can shut a good bite down in a hurry.

While I don't like having the weather dictate where I can fish, I also 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 wind. 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 work a given area thoroughly at a slower pace which can be next to impossible while drifting in a boat that is being shoved forward by strong wind. 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 of many lakes.

A drift anchor is a great tool and should be standard equipment for anglers who prefer the drifting method. I know a few fishermen who routinely use two drift anchors to slow their boats on windy days. Many are the days when I wished I could have put out three drift anchors.

One of my favorite redfish lures for gusty spring days is the Waker from Mann's Bait Company, usually in the holographic croaker color pattern. I know I have mentioned this bait in past articles but I can't stress enough what a producer it has been. This bait is very ease to use for anglers of all skill levels.

If I find the reds aren't responding to the Waker, my next choice will be a Texas-rigged soft plastic. Even though the spring season has just begun our seagrass is already growing and a weedless, Texas-rigged lure is the way to go. Whether you are fishing for reds or trout, tying a Mansfield Mauler or similar float into your rig adds fish attracting noise for windy days and helps keep your lure out of the grass.

When the wind cooperates I will be targeting trout on the reefs in San Antonio Bay. Don't get discouraged if you don't find a good bite on your first stop. Reef hopping is often necessary to find those speckled critters.

Windy weekends will be tough for everybody. Every angler on the water will be searching for protected areas to fish. Be courteous and patient and, stick to your game plan.

I want to shout out "Happy Mother's Day" to all the fishing moms out there and especially mine. Thanks Mom for everything!!!

If you are lucky enough to have a lady angler in your life and searching for a perfect Mother's Day gift, consider one of my Signature Series rods made by American Rodsmiths. They can handle anything from the biggest trout to the toughest reds and if the great action of these rods doesn't get her attention, the eye-catching color will!