The weather has been bumpy! Big tides and persistent strong north, northeast, northwest winds have made conditions challenging. It’s possible to catch fish in less than ideal conditions just more problematic. What to look for? First, try fishing protected water. In short get out of the wind. If fishing protected water is not working try putting the wind at your back and fish wind driven grass lines where bait could be pushed in. Redfish are plentiful!. Most of these fish are still a little under sized but some keepers are showing up as well (14 inch Ga size). Large red are on the prowl as well so don’t think all you’re going to catch are small fish. The bait of choice is shrimp. Shrimp are plentiful! Big tides can drive shrimp from the creeks and river into the sounds. Banks that were holding lots of shrimp a week ago can be void of today. River and creeks that have current pulling from two directions are more likely to hold shrimp. River and creeks with a direct flow to the sound are more likely during big tides to be washed out. Persistent winds have created higher than expected tides, holding water and causing conditions to appear more brackish than normal.
Despite challenging conditions good fish can be caught! When low pressure system finally work through fishing should be good. Indications were strong before the fronts. Good catches of large seatrout, tarpon were thick on the outer bars and good redfish action. Those venturing into the wind can catch some nice fish! For seatrout if traditional popping cork rigs don’t work try fishing deeper. Lots of reports of small seatrout. Fish that are almost legal will be keeper size in a few weeks! Black drum bite has been good to excellent. Black drum love wood, so fish dock piling, snags, dead trees anything with wood. Some sheepshead action. Sheepshead can be found close to pilings or hanging on oyster covered points. Both black drum and sheepshead can be a light biting fish. When fishing a shrimp one trick is to tail hook the bait and crush the head. Good whiting action near the sounds when the sounds have been calm enough to fish.
Tides have been unusually high due to strong north, northeast winds. Anticipate big water to remain till fronts work through. Conditions are challenging. Lots of small fish or as Miss Judy would say lots of “fetish fish”. Little fish that specialize in stealing a bait. Just because you’re out of the wind, you’ve found clean water doesn’t meant going catch bigger fish. On one recent trip while waiting before picking up at Miss Judy”s I noticed lots finger mullet working a point. In about three cast I had about four dozen finger mullet. Several were flung off during the day but several enticed a nice fish! A bait fish is a great bait and provide a plus in catching some nice fish. Big seatrout and redfish love finger mullet. A piece of cut mullet is also a great bait!
Hope this of help! Anticipate dicey conditions until fronts work through. If the opportunity avails itself put some finger mullet in your bait well it might save the day!
Good fishing! Capt. Jack McGowan