The busy season is upon us. Fighting off back problems, the fishing has been good. We have caught fish in locations I hadn’t really used in six years. Big trout are bountiful, if you are in the right locations.
Redfish will start to get more predictable and join up in bigger numbers in their “normal locations”. Speckled trout will continue to dominate the overall scene.
The game plan over the past few weeks has been pretty simple: If it’s been tough weather conditions, look for the action inside Tampa Bay. Redfish were being caught by the people sinking a shrimp and letting it sit in place. They were chasing the lures across the shallow oysters but not actually striking at them. Mostly, we haven’t had a winter. The fish are up and active. No really severe cold fronts, things have been pretty good
Game plan two: If the weather has been good for several days, get back out onto the flats along the backside of islands on the Gulf coast. The action was incredible around the last full moon with redfish and huge trout being caught one after another in the same pockets on low and rising tides after sunrise. “Red” Meyers was scheduled for a six hour trip but caught so many fish in under three hours he cried “uncle” and we headed on in. An instructional trip, we spent some time back on the beach talking over his results, reviewed rigging and lure retrieves that he may consider when fishing is tougher, practiced some knots and celebrated a tremendous morning of “catching.” On a scouting trip the next day, it was more of the same and I cut out after an hour and twenty minutes. It was a tremendous bite with trout in the troughs and redfish on the trough edges and up on the first grassflats as soon as the water started rising. As I let the wind start blowing me back across the flat toward the launch, I drifted over the largest speckled trout I’ve ever seen.
From 2011, now departed, “The very next day I took my editor at the St Pete Times, Terry Tomalin, for the very first time. On another short trip, with just about an hour and a half actual “fishing time” it was all stout trout. Using the 12 Fathom lures, these fish would only eat if the lure was kept “in their face” and moved slowly right on the sandy bottom. Cutting out for other obligations, we ignored the rest of the potential redfish tide but it was solid action for the time we were out there. “.
Get out and hit it hard: The forecast is great and there are incredible fish in our waters! As always, be safe out there!