Sounds like a familiar refrain: fishing has been good! This week plenty of action with redfish and black drum. Larger fish on cut bait, finger mullet and some shrimp. Smaller redfish on shrimp. Small redfish, this year’s crop, are large enough to eat a plastic and can provide plenty of action. Most of these fish are 13 to 13 ½ inches, still a little under sized for keeping, but lots of fun on light tackle. Ladyfish seem to be everywhere. Again a great fight on light tackle! Most of the black drum are about two pounds. Black drum like sheepshead can be a little tough to clean but tasty! Black drum and sheepshead bite best in slower moving currents. The last couple of weeks catching plenty of black drum with an occasional sheepshead. Black drum are schooling in the rivers as well as in the sounds. When fishing for drum dead shrimp will work fine. The trick is get your bait close to the bottom and be prepared to set your hook at the slightest twitch. Small redfish are hungry so again an early hook set is best. Lots of small seatrout reported being caught this week. A good sign for fall fishing! As of yet not many seatrout have moved upriver. As bait, shrimp, continues to push into local creeks and rivers anticipate seatrout and redfish to follow. The better catches of seatrout have been towards the sounds. The whiting bite is good. Lots of whiting in the sounds. A usual method is to drop anchor slightly off center of a channel, along a sand bar or mud flat and bottom fish. Typically it doesn’t take long to get some bumps. Small sharks as well a variety of small fish are still thick in local waters so having an ample supply bait is a good idea.
When speaking today with Don Adams, owner of Adams Bait Shop, Donny said shrimping is good but it’s a lot like fishing. Shrimp are here today and somewhere else tomorrow. Despite wind, rain and increasing tides Donny has been able to find shrimp. The shrimp are a nice size for fishing! Again having an ample supply of shrimp while fishing is a good idea. Pesky needlefish are present as well yellow tails, croakers and the like. Those who like eating a small fish yellow tails and croakers are excellent eating little fish. Anticipate being kidded if a buddy see you cleaning a small fish but they are good! This year for the first since childhood I ate couple of croakers. Very much reminded me of childhood (the little fish were tasty).
As tides continue to build throughout the week anticipate conditions to be more challenging. Larger tides will mean muddier water with more floating debris. The afternoon low tides during the week are in the positive range possibly mitigating conditions. The tides on Wednesday and Thursday are the highest with a 8.3 and 8.4 feet respectively. As tides builds look for areas with clean water, bait , birds and slower currents. On days with the higher tides focus your fishing on the top or bottom of tide. In muddy water usually you’ll find clean water right against the grass. Try to notice if the water in the grass is muddy if not you can likely catch seatrout and redfish by fishing right against the grass. Small fish can be nuisance. If you’re being overwhelmed by small fish pull anchor and try another spot. Remember fish have tails and just because you caught fish on a drop recently doesn’t mean they are there today. Keep moving you’ll likely find them!
Hope this of help! Capt. Jack McGowan