Typically as Spring approaches the weather can be mercurial. Last week fit the pattern: changeable weather with windy conditions. On one of the windiest days we still caught some nice seatrout pitching plastics (chartreuse or new penny Bass Assassins sea shads and Exude jerk baits). Pitching plastics was effective because the drift, flow of water was poor. Pitching enable fishermen to cover water and find fish. When the winds abated redfish could be found in the sounds. Lots of redfish already in the 14 to 16 inch range. Some flats are holding large numbers of fish about 27 inches. Reds are taking wide variety of artificial and natural baits. At present shrimp are available if not plentiful. It has been said that last winter was relatively mild and there are plenty of shrimp that over wintered, that survived the winter and that local shrimp are available at some bait shops. This time of year the availability shrimp is always problematic so giving your local bait shop a call is a good idea.
During windy days look for clean water and lee shores. If the drift is poor switch to pitching or trolling. On days when the wind is laying the sounds can be productive. An ideal spot is one where there is a good drift, clean water and bait is present. The strongest catches of seatrout have been south of Savannah fishing bait. Fishing will pick up as water temperature raises. Fishermen targeting sheepshead have done well both inshore and near shore. Whiting bite is picking up and should heat up in the coming weeks. Seems early but few flounders have already been landed.
Tides for the coming week are small from 6.6 to 5.6 feet. Small tides are ideal for redfish and sheepshead. Smaller tides give fishermen a longer window to target sheepshead as well as finding fish further off the structure and possibly easier to catch. Small tides also mean fishermen can stay up the flats longer allowing for more time with the fish. Small tides can mean poor drifts so when targeting seatrout fish spots that are prone to more current. Top of tide fish points. One definition of fishing is covering water. Pitching or trolling plastics will enable fishermen to cover a lot water when the drift is slow. Once you locate fish stay in that area.
Hope this of help! Remember to practice catch and release! Good fishing!
Capt. Jack McGowan