The View: March 2014

The View: March 2014
March will get us back in the swing of fishing most every day. When the sun comes out the phone starts ringing. I don't blame you - we all need a little Vitamin D.

We will be at the Houston Fishing Show March 5-9 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Come check us out at the Sunrise Lodge booth #414.

Tommy Alexander will be there from start to finish signing autographs, ordering pizza and taking pictures with his Guides Cup Champion trophy. Charlie Paradoski will be happy to give you all his best GPS coordinates and favorite Bass Assassin colors. Mark Talasek will give you all the performance numbers of his Yamaha SHO that helps him throw the highest rooster tails in Matagorda Bay.

Seriously, all of us will be happy to discuss how and why we do things and the rods, reels and baits we use. Come by and see uswe have a pretty good time.

Times they are a changing. Blame it on the threat of sharks, blame it on a mine field of stingrays, blame it on flesh-eating bacteria, or just blame it on laziness. Whatever the case, what once was the mainstay of Texas saltwater fishing wading is slowly being replaced by a new era of anglers who would rather stay in the boat than get wet.

We still wade, just not as much. Here are a few adjustments I have used to put more fish in the boat:

My favorite method of fishing from the boat for trout is drifting. Pick a piece of scattered shell, start upwind, then gingerly work the area, fan-casting in every direction. When we hit a fish, I mark it. When we hit another fish, I stab the Power Pole down and work the area more soundly.

Rarely when the Power Pole goes down do we draw a blank. When the action slows, I lift the Pole and continuing drifting until we mark another school.

This is precision drifting at its best. Sure, we caught plenty of fish this way when all we had was an old-fashioned anchor, but now our back and shoulder muscles are not as sore.

A GPS/Fish-finder device with water temperature and mapping capabilities is a reliable friend when traversing the estuaries. The sonar shows bottom undulations and what we Texans call "towheads," or protruding clumps of shell.

Often, trout are found tight to towheads, since shrimp, mullet and shad use the oyster clumps as refuge.

A good unit indicates the tides for the day and how strong the water flows will be throughout the exchange. My Garmin 541s also gives me the major and minor feeding times according to rise and set of the moon. The Garmin 740s is a seven-inch version with touch-screen capabilities.

Some days every fish is ready to dine on the buffet, but other days they appear finicky, and the smallest hint of superfluous information can punctuate a bite.
For the first five years I owned a boat, I never knew if the live well worked or not. Now, with so many new anglers on the brine and the novice aptitude they bring, live bait is sometimes the only option.

When fishing with live shrimp, MidCoast Product's line of popping corks is a personal favorite. Combining a clicking frequency of beads with natural surface chugging, the Nexus4 and Nexus5 corks attract and excite speckled trout to bite. The castability of these corks allows anglers to cover more water, and the more water covered definitely increases the number of fish caught.

I'll be using Waterloo's new Phantom spinning rods for customers this year. It's a great buy for anyone at $100, whether baitcaster or spinner. As for a baitcasting rod, nothing feels better to me than a 6' 2" HP Lite with worms, Corkys and topwaters.

Make plans now for spring and get a little color back on that pale skin.