Fishing has been up and down. Those fishing over the Thanksgiving holiday period found some of the most challenging fishing of the year due largely to spring tides. Typically spring tides can be challenging but not daunting. Prior to the spring tides the bite was good. Even in windy conditions several boats caught stripers fishing lee shores. There was a good seatrout bite on the top of the tide as well as a good redfish action pitching soft plastics and live or dead bait. Several fishermen have reported nice catches of sheepshead both inshore as well offshore. A common complaint of those fishing sheepshead is the large number of small sea bass. These juvenile fish are showing up inshore as well as offshore.
Prior to the spring tide the bite was good! Almost any stretch of marsh could be holding a thick school of redfish! These fish are move in search of an easy shrimp meals as they fatten up for winter. When the bite is on, the bite can be aggressive. Catching one fish or two fish can trigger a feeding frenzy. When this happens its almost too easy. On the contrary when the bite is off getting a bite can seem impossible. On days when the bite is on just enjoy it. Keep what you want to eat and release the rest. Spring tides, dolphins, fishing pressure, seasonal changes are just some of the reasons why fish be plentiful one day and gone the next. That said, as one friend says they are biting somewhere. Typically fish with sturdy structures like sheepshead and redfish are more resilient to changes in weather. One veteran fisherman said reds will bite every other day. Perhaps, Another friend has stated give those fish a rest. Going back day after day to same school will deplete the school and eventually push the school to friendlier waters. This seems to be true as a guide I like to find fish in multiple locations.
Despite some of the most of difficult tides of the year, over the holiday season, we’re very likely to have some very good if not excellent fishing before the end of the year . Large tides and dirty water means fish haven’t been actively feeding. As tides abate fishing will likely be good! The reds taken in recent days have had empty stomachs or loaded with crabs and small shrimp. When conditions improves reds will likely have their feed bags on.
Look like of good tides in the coming days!
Capt. Jack McGowan