Thank goodness for the drenching rain on Saturday! It rained all day, a great soaking rain! The wildfires in South Georgia and Florida are 98% contained. Rainfall is a blessing to coastal marshes and our fisheries. Prior to the rain the river water was beginning to look cloudy. This is an algae bloom. A normal sign of warming conditions. This week there were seatrout caught on the beach fronts when conditions werent’ too rough. Small sharks are plentiful along sandbars and in deep holes. Red drum and seatrout can be in brackish water as well as near the beach. Redfish are along the flats. The flounder bite is on! During Saturday rain storm the flounder were biting. The leading edge of front can trigger an intense flounder bite. Its ‘not uncommon for a fisherman to feel a flounder picking up the bait only to miss the fish. Slowing your hook set and waiting till the fish commits is usually the best. Finger mullet and large mud minnows are a great flounder bait. Flounder will readily take a shrimp but it’s easier to lose a shrimp. Capt. “Wild “Bill Jarrell says its all about energy. If you want a quality fish use a quality bait. With that in mind a finger mullet or large mud minnow is very appetizing. Tarpon had been spotted in local waters. Large schools of menhaden are not in Warsaw although schools of medium sized menhaden can be found in creeks off of Wilmington river. Tarpon fishing will correspond with bait. When bait is abundant it’s likely the fish will find them. Seatrout and bluefish are biting. The best bite has been on high incoming tide. Key indicators for finding seatrout are a good drift, clean water, and bait. Strong winds have made fishing difficult. When wind is blowing try to make it work for you by fishing the windward side. If the wind is too strong then fish the lee shores. Excellence places to find seatrout are on points, along grass edges, small creek mouths or gullies. Seatrout will show up only for a limited period of time. The indicator is current. When the current is swirling in or out a food chain is likely taking place. Little or no current the seatrout bite will likely be slow. What’s hot one day can be cold the next. In every type fishing there are patterns: seasonal patterns as well patterns within patterns. In a fishing report likewise look for a pattern. Most fishermen are looking for that magic spot. Yes location is important. My encouragement is look for patterns. Fishing is hopefully more than just killing a bunch of fish. Keep a few to eat if you desire and release the rest.
Last Friday Capt. Ray Crawely brought a dead redfish back to the Westin dock. There was a little friendly fishing competition among a group of fishermen (for the largest fish). The fish was meant as a joke. Apparently the fish had died a short while ago but had not begun to decompose. It’s likely another fishermen caught this large red (32” or so) and held with their fish gripper. The larger the fish the care more in handling and releasing. One fisherman can do lots of damage they arent’ even aware of. When using a fish gripper on a large fish use the gripper only to hold the head in place not to suspend the fish. Dropping a large redfish into the water is not a good idea. Often the fish will belly up. It’s likely that fish will revive. Why put the fish through that stress? Place the fish in the water, point the fish into the current and hold by the small of the tail. Hold the fish until its dorsal fin pops up then release. Swishing the fish back and forth can force water through its gills counter to the natural flow. If a fish is slow to revive wait until the fish can swim off.
Tides look good for the coming week with negative starting Saturday. The following week evening tides will be over 8 foot. Big tides again! Brown shrimp should be showing in good numbers in local creeks and rivers. Rainfall on Saturday and good tides should provide good fishing for the coming week!
Hope this of help!
Capt. Jack McGowan