South Padre: March 2010

South Padre: March 2010
Along with the redfish we have been finding trout in the eight pound range.

I can honestly say that I am not ready to see the cold weather leave us so soon; it seems just yesterday I went to the attic for my Simms waders. No doubt this winter was colder and wetter than years past. We dealt with red tide and soon after brown tide came in and then came the freeze. Luckily, between all these, we experienced only a handful of truly slow days and for the most part the Lower Laguna gave us some outstanding catches.

I have said this many times and I will say it again; I believe lowering the bag limit on speckled trout in the Lower Laguna has had a positive impact on the size and number of trout we have been able to catch. The number of trout caught over seven pounds has been increasing steadily, and barring any future catastrophe it should only get better.

The only regret I have for the past two months is that we've had zero topwater bite. All our fish have been caught on plastics or suspending lures like the Corky Devil and Corky Fat Boy. Due to cooler water temperatures the fish have been low in the water column and refused to rise for topwaters. I am hoping this will change soon.

Water temperatures will start to climb and March wind will have to be factored into our fishing plans, but seeing the flats filling again with abundant bait will bring many options. We will not completely abandon our muddy holes with March's arrival, however we will begin scouting missions to the flats during warmer days.

As the baitfish move back onto the flats the trout and redfish will begin to station themselves around and near sandy potholes. The signal to begin investing serious fishing effort will be mullet, piggy perch and pinfish appearing over the nearby grassy bottoms and becoming increasingly active on the surface. Mr. Stingray will also be making more frequent appearances in shallow water. Wear stingray protection, shuffle your feet, and don't get in too big a hurry when wading.

Long about the middle of March we should begin to notice the tide levels rising, assuming of course that we do not have a norther blowing. Areas nearly void of water through the winter will now become spring feeding grounds. If there is a downside to the higher water level it would be the fish having more places to roam and hide from us on the flats.

When trying to identify an emerging spring pattern, or any seasonal pattern for that matter, look for the highways the baitfish use to enter and exit the region. Locating these guts and troughs will also help you locate the gamefish. Do your homework! Rather than spending unproductive time fishing, take a day to learn how the tides move through some of your favorite fishing areas. If you can do both at the same time, more fishing luck to you. Understanding these currents can make all the difference, especially here in the Lower Laguna.

I did mention that the wind will increase this month so getting an early start will aid you in finding prime fishable water before the wind kicks up and stirs things up. If we have a repeat of last year, look for the wind to persist throughout the spring and into the summer months. With that said, I can say that I have never been so frustrated with the amount of floating grass we had over the summer, fall, and winter of 2009 and the windiest days were the worst. Our solution was rigging our topwaters with 1/0 and 2/0 Gamakatsu Live Bait Single Hooks with rings. Working topwaters with treble hooks under these conditions was impossible and our single hooked plugs saved many a day. In addition, if you are having trouble with bottom grass, I highly recommend the weedless Gamakatsu Weighted Superline Spring Lock hooks. They will make fishing the grass much easier.

In closing, I would like to thank all the readers for supporting the best fishing magazine on the Texas Coast, and a big thanks to all of you that email those big words of encouragement throughout the year. Those words mean a lot to me. I will be at the Houston Fishing Show, March 3 thru 7 and hope to see you there. Come by the Fishing Tackle Unlimited Booth and say hello. Let me show you why you should be the next proud owner of their "Green Rod."