by Capt Craig Lambert
Every year May comes roaring in with 20-25 mph winds and this year is no different. The cold fronts just seem to keep rolling in making for beautiful weather with low humidity but for the angler it is the kiss of death. Open water reefs are hard to get to when it is blowing 20 mph almost every day and muddy waters and 2-3 ft chop makes it even harder. It's not all doom and gloom because every year about the 2nd or 3rd week of May that wind completely dies and then we are talking about some serious fishing action that should be some of the best fishing of the year so far.What a birthday gift!
Areas with open water reefs like West Bay, East Bay and the Dollar reef area are going to produce when that water turns trout green and that wind lays down for a day or 2. Artificials or live shrimp are your best bet but croakers should put a few in the box also. Look for the specks on the open water reefs and the redfish on the rocks, shallow reefs and marsh edges. Bird action is hot right now in most of the bay systems. Mid-day and afternoons are best with hardly anyone touching them during the weekdays. The birds can be a blessing in disguise when fishing gets tough on the reefs. Do not expect big fish under the birds although a few keepers are there. On a tough bite they can definitely save your day with some hot action. I also like to target redfish when that wind is up. Rocky Shorelines (aka Rip-Rap), points and shallow reefs can make for excellent staging areas to find redfish. Spinnerbaits and gold spoons are best if you are a chunker or a popping cork and shrimp for the live baiter. Remember to keep that bait up tight to the rocks since that is where the fish are. SHE IS SO CUTE!
This is the time of year again where The reefs are going to be very crowded. For the most part the last few years almost everyone has shown very good etiquette in fact I have been impressed with everyone. However there are still a few who don't get it. Drifting a reef is a very productive way to catch fish but etiquette and technique are very important so let's discuss this. If you are new to the fishing scene then try to watch the others that look like they know what they are doing. Drifting a reef can be done very productively for everyone if we all follow the rules. Let's say you pull up to a reef and you see people drifting it and catching fish and you want in on the action. Wind direction will be your first thoughts because you will want to enter on the up wind side so you can drift across the reef. Try to space out from others at least 30-40 yards or more if possible. With 50 boats on a reef sometimes that is hard to do. Keep in mind how your boat drifts. For most boats by leaving your motor in the water you will not drift straight and therefore cross in front of others so pull that motor up. Fantastic!!!
Also there is no excuse to own a trolling motor and run your big motor on the reef. Why have one if you dont use it. Once you drift off the reef or past where everyone else is fishing then it is time to start the big motor and "IDLE OFF OF THE REEF AND MAKE A HUGE CIRCLE AROUND THE REEF AT IDLE SPEED". DO NOT DRIVE STRAIGHT UP THE REEF!! I know it is crazy to think there are people who do this and think it is OK. Driving around on plane is also a NO-NO because it does nothing but throw a giant wake across the reef and it bounces off of every one else's boat that is fishing and this is completely unnecessary. Take your time be courteous to others and they will be courteous back. Nice redfish youngman!
Everyone be safe have a great summer and remember to always take a kid fishing!Redfish Mania