Mid-Coast Bays: May 2016

Mid-Coast Bays: May 2016
Wade Eslick, proud to show he catches bigger fish than his dad, Dr. Mark Eslick.

Adapting to spring's windy conditions has been a daily challenge and you can look for that to continue through May. While Gary and I have become accustomed to the wind giving us a run for our money on the water, we are now finding that the wind on the prairie can also be a force to consider. We have finally moved into our new home on 65 acres off Lane Road here in Seadrift. Even though we've owned this property more than ten years, having not lived here, we never really noticed how wicked the winds can be in this rural area near the water. Anything left on either porch is usually tossed around the yard, including light furniture. We laugh about it, realizing that our home life is going to require planning according to the wind forecast, the same as our fishing trips.

May's winds will blow predominately from the south and southeast. Barring any late-season cool fronts. So, with that said, we will mostly seek leeward shorelines when wade fishing. Luckily the water has warmed enough that a lot of fish have left the muddy-bottomed back lakes for sandy shorelines that frame our local bays. I look forward to ditching my waders and working the firmer sand.

Since our winter was such a mild one we did not see as much grass die-off as we typically do. Grass beds in many areas are thick and thriving so I have been rigging my plastics in weedless Texas-fashion to allow getting through the grass without hanging up on it or clogging. The weather has been warm but not hot, which stages fish primarily in about 2- to 3 feet depths. The 1/16 ounce "bullet" or worm weight is perfect on the Texas rig. The lighter weight allows the plastic to have more of a natural swimming look as it moves in the water. I also like for my lure to flutter longer in the upper portion of the water column rather than sinking quickly to the bottom.

Small topwaters have been very effective the past couple of weeks. Super Spook Jr. in either clear or redfish color have always been good producers for me. I like to start my mornings with one or two clients throwing one of these little jewels while having another throwing soft plastic. It's always interesting to see which lure will get the most attention on any given day. Some days we will get a ton of blowups and only a few hookups. If that is the case then I usually have the client throwing soft plastics follow alongside one of the fishermen getting blowups. Almost always, if the fish do not take the topwater, they will nail the soft plastic placed nearby. The blowups alone are so exciting that it has not been uncommon for me to have an angler leave a topwater on all day whether he or she is hooking fish or not. On days when we are catching lots fish on the surface the only reason we usually take them off is when floating grass becomes a problem.

Large schools of menhaden are already beginning to show on many shorelines. If you ever find yourself wading a shoreline and you notice a school coming toward youstay put. Try not to spook the school but instead allow them to swim near you, making casts into and around the school. It is no surprise that reds and trout follow these schools so if you are lucky enough to come across this scenario hold tight and get ready for some fun.

As I'm sure everybody is aware, May is the month of Mother's Day. Please remember to remind the mother or mothers in your life how much they mean to you. One thing is for sure, you should never take spending time with them for granted. I had a real eye opener last year when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Watching her go through what she has over the last few months has made me realize that we should treasure our mothers all year long, not just one Sunday in May. My mother is my rock, my safe haven. I cannot imagine my world without her. So mom, if you are reading this, please know that words are never enough to express how thankful I am for all that you have done for me. The sacrifices you have made and the unconditional love you have given me over the years will never be forgotten. I love you very much and look forward to many, many more years and fishing trips to come.