by Capt Craig Lambert
This has really been a rough few weeks of fishing. Since my report last month fishing has taken a downhill turn and it has been tough to catch just a handful of keepers. The spring rains have brought salinity levels down on the north side of the bay system and it doesn't look good up there unless you want to catch channel cats. Everything is fresh and just a muddy brown color and has been that way for a while now. Both East Bay and West Bay are holding decent waters (when the wind lays down) but the bite isn't much to brag about. The only upside in the last few weeks is that when we do catch keepers they are quality fish.Awesome!!!
Look for conditions to be tough for the next few weeks with the winds of spring bearing down hard on us. Stick to back water lakes and protected shorelines and grind hard and enjoy the nice weather before summer arrives. There are a ton of small fish in West Bay. I know because I have been catching them steady all last month. The better fish that I have been catching have all been shallow(2-3 ft) and up against heavy shell. With the current amount of flood water coming down the rivers it looks to be an East Bay or West Bay spring again.The Master and grasshopper.
East Bay has had a few fish in it but I am not really hearing any good reports coming from that side of the bay. The shorelines are definitely holding good fish so wading is preferable but drifting along in the boat can work also although not near as effectively. I try to time my visit to the shorelines in the boat with a high tide just to get in there close. I am always hoping for that big flatty or redfish roaming the grass looking for easy meals. There can be some huge flounder along the shorelines right now as they migrate back in to the estuaries from the gulf. East Bay will produce some monster flounder and trout this spring especially for those wadefishermen spending lots of time making casts all over shallow grassy shorelines and covering ground. Action Pic!
It isnt all doom and gloom especially if your thing is wading or kayaking. They are still hanging shallow so that is where the advantage lies when not encumbered by a big bay boat. The anglers in not getting wet have the shrimp migration to look forward to soon. That should pile up some fish in East and West Bay. Another 2 weeks or so and we will see the return of the shrimp migration and that should kick things back in to gear. Afternoon outgoing tides are what produce the best bird activity so try to plan accordingly. Hopefully we will have a good crop this year and fishing will be good again. Time will tell.
Everybody be safe and take a kid fishing! Shallow water speck!