MANY FOLKS ASSOCIATE the month of March as being the time when things begin warming back up after several months of bitter cold.
Although it’s true that the spring solstice takes place near the middle of this month, March can typically still be counted on to produce some rather chilly conditions.
Anglers fishing during these March cold snaps need to remember that the fish will tend to go a bit deeper in order to escape the cold. Knowing how to fish with positive results in deep water will still be advantageous this month.
A common and effective method for catching cold-water trout is what many might refer to as “cold water jigging.” Some anglers may reserve this method of fishing for the coldest, most miserable days out on the water, but it’s a method that can be effective year round when fishing for speckled trout in deeper water.
Cold water jigging requires a little bit of skill and you’ll definitely get to be better at it as you practice. However, it can often be quite effective on cold water trout, so keep that in mind.
A number of different variables surround jigging for trout, and different schools of thought exist regarding the best way to do it. We all have our own way of doing things, but one method has produced some really nice trout over the years in deeper water. That’s the slow, pop-pop-pop, reel retrieve of your plastic tail baits (or any other of the many bottom-hugging lures).
This method entails two or three consecutive pops of your fishing rod, then you reel in the extra slack you just created by lifting your rod tip twice. You’ll find that the majority of strikes will come on that downward fall following the last pop of the rod.
Because of this, it’s crucial for you to pay close attention to how you perform the “reel” portion (following the two or three rod pops) of your retrieve.
A common mistake many make is that they tend to keep the rod tip in the “up” position after performing the last pop of the rod and as they reel in the extra slack. This, however, keeps your line taut and forces your bait to fall at somewhat of an angle.
This makes your lure swing as if on a pendulum. Instead, begin lowering your rod tip slowly after the last pop as your lure falls back to the bay floor, always allowing a slight “bow” in your line. This motion allows your lure to fall in a more straight line. It also gives it a much more natural appearance.
Reel the slack out of your line after you have already lowered your rod tip and your lure has hit the bay floor. Then repeat the entire process—pop, pop, pop, lower the rod tip, reel slack—pop, pop, pop, lower the rod tip, reel slack, etc.
In extremely cold water, each of these separate motions will need to be performed at what can sometimes be a painfully slow speed, requiring a certain level of patience on the part of the angler. In warmer months, However, the speed can be increased and experimented with until you find what’s working.
March will definitely present us with a few very nice spring-like days. This will certainly place baitfish and trout atop shallow mud/grass flats whenever the sun has a chance to raise water temperatures a bit.
Rest assured you’ll probably find deeper water adjacent nearby, as the fish will drop off into that deep water the moment the sun goes down or the weather turns bad.
Some of the prime deep-water trout targets in March won’t differ from those you would look to in the middle of winter.
Along our portion of the mid-Texas coast in the Port O’Connor and Seadrift areas, March anglers often experience some very handsome deep-water trout catches in places such as the Army Hole, the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), and the Victoria Barge Canal.
This can happen in particularly deep cuts and bayous passing through islands and back lakes in Port O’Connor, out on Matagorda Island, and in some of the smaller bays and rivers located up in the head of San Antonio Bay.
Good luck to you all, and keep grindin’!
Email Chris Martin at [email protected]
or visit bayflatslodge.com