The wild swings in weather, wind and temperatures have taken shallow water anglers in and out of the spring pattern on an every other day basis! Finally, however, it seems that Mother Nature is starting to cooperate and so are the fish.
The tiny shrimp migration has arrived, along with a bumper crop of glass minnows and tiny crabs. Shallow areas with good grass are the host to this banquet of redfish fare. Wade fishermen shuffling along through the grass and hunting the shorelines will dislodge these tiny critters in huge numbers. Proof positive that Spring has officially arrived and so have mass quantities of reds in the back waters.
Reading the water and interpreting the signs of fish is now more important than ever. Birds feeding along a shoreline, tiny shrimp jumping out of the water, spraying glass minnows and loud splashes tell you exactly where fish are feeding. Lee shorelines with pockets and cord grass will hold single feeding fish, while large, thick grassed bodies of water will hold both tailing hardheads and tailing redfish. Redfish will be feeding on what the hardheads are kicking up out of the mud and grass. Long strips of muddy water will tell you that hardheads are working in an area. It’s a guarantee that redfish will be there as well.
Any small fly will do, but a small fly that a fish can also see is a better choice. White, white/chartreuse, white/pink are all good choices. Arctic fox and other materials that look more lifelike in the water also make a better presentation. Lure anglers toss weedless/weightless soft plastic paddletails or small weedless gold spoons. Try small topwaters as well, like a Super Spook, Jr. in bone, black, chrome or white/pink.
Don’t forget to let the fly or lure sink down into the fish’s “dinner plate zone”. Especially in the Spring, redfish feeding in packs won’t stray far to pick up a fly or lure. Let it cross their path and down in their feeding zone and it’s a sure thing. Stingray boots are a must these days as there is also a bumper crop of these dangerous critters. If you are a kayak fisherman, don’t go without boots and/or guards.
With the delay in the onset of Spring, May, June and July are quickly shaping up to offer some very dynamic fishing opportunities. Watch weather and water level charts to put yourself in the right spot at the right time for fish feeding activities!
See you on the water…