Spring Into Change
F or many coastal anglers who don’t live close to the water, a lot of decisions have to be made by a number of different people whenever a plan is being put together for a fishing trip.
You, and three of your closest fishing buddies, have to decide on a trip date that works for everyone. Then, the boss that each of you work for has to decide to let you off from work on the same day. Then, your spouse also has to decide it’s okay for you to go.
You might successfully make it through the approval-cycle gauntlet, and actually make it down to the water’s edge, but there’s one more item. The thing that decides where you’re going to fish on any given day right now along the Texas coast is—the April wind.
That’s why it’s so very important for you to learn to fish the existing conditions, and not just fish in a spot simply because you’re familiar with it. Now that it’s springtime means you’ll benefit from learning about many different places you can fish when the wind decides to blow from many different directions. Over the course of any single week in April, it will not be uncommon for us to see winds blowing from several different directions. In situations like this, it can be very helpful to have previously picked-out more than one alternative for each of the wind conditions.
It’s also recommended that you perform additional scouting activities as you strive to combat this month’s challenging wind conditions. If possible, spend some extra time out on the water in April looking for shorelines and structure that support favorable fishing conditions in various winds.
If you have kept a fishing log over the years, use it—review your log to remind yourself where you fished successfully in a certain wind. If a fishing log isn’t available, you can still manage to stay a step ahead by always listening to the weather forecast. Then plot new destinations and alternate locations via your favorite hotspot fishing map or your GPS unit.
With many of the days registering winds between 15mph and 30mph, with occasional gusts being even stronger, it becomes almost imperative for April anglers to have more than one backup plan when it comes to the wind. Try to make it a point to never leave the dock without having at least three, or four, separate locations in your head as to where you can look for the bite in the “wind-of-the-day.”
Another change with the onset of April is the presence of much warmer temperatures. This tends to set off the biological clock within speckled trout that tells them this is the start of their annual spawning season.
This event takes place primarily over a hard, sandy bottom structure. We should also begin seeing a marked increase in the formation of slicks along these sandy shorelines as the month progresses. Sandy shorelines are where the heavy females carrying eggs will frequent during the spawn. So, always remember to approach such areas very slowly and quietly, always idling your boat upwind of where you want to start wading (if possible).
As for springtime baits, many coastal anglers have experienced wonderful results while working plastic tails along a sandy bottom. Fishing these plastics over the sand allows you to reduce the rate of your retrieve compared to fishing over a mud bottom.
This is great because it is in the area just above the sandy bottom that bigger female trout like to sit while they are spawning. This can be very fun and rewarding. Anyone can learn to work plastic baits along the bottom with just a little practice and some patience.
Top water baits also begin to turn on strong this month. If you haven’t been throwing any of your surface walkers lately, wipe them off and get them in shape. Next time you’re out on the boat, practice tossing one with the wind, across the wind, and into the wind just to get you used to it once again.
Now, find some active baitfish along a sandy shoreline and give it your best shot. If you happen into a top water bite where the fish seem to be interested in your lure, but simply aren’t inhaling it, try this: Experiment with different types and speeds of retrieves until you find one that works—such as the steady walk-the-dog retrieve, or the “let it sit for a few seconds and just give it a quick twitch, or two” retrieve. Nine out ten times they’ll come right back to it.
Contact Capt. Chris Martin at
or visit bayflatslodge.com
Email Chris Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit bayflatslodge.com