By Capt. Nathan Chennaux
There are a lot of good bites happening around the bay right now but with the good weather, clear water, and abundance of fish in the shallows its prime time to be flats fishing. Speckled trout have been stacked up on grass flats with good broken bottom primarily around slightly deeper potholes. Since they are concentrating in small areas you may go for periods without finding fish but once you catch one work that area over well as undoubtedly there are more in the area. Its been a 50/50 split of topwater and jigs that have done the best getting the fish to eat. Most fish right now are in the 15-18 inch range but due to them gorging over the last few weeks all the fish are fat and heavy for their size. There are some big fish mixed in it's just hard sometimes getting the slot fish to leave the lure alone long enough for a bigger fish to get a chance to take a swing at it.
The redfishing is fantastic and there are a lot of ways to catch them, but one of my favorites is poling the shallows for cruising or laid up fish. It's not the easiest way to fish them but if you take your time and make solid presention, then you can really put a hurting on them. I prefer it over blind-casting this time of the year for several reasons. For starters, the water is clear in areas that are typically only clear this time of the year so if you want to sight fish those areas now is the time to do it. Secondly, because it's clear the fish tend to be slightly more skittish so you definitely don't want to land your lure right on top of them or they will bolt. If you wait until you see the fish and know the direction its facing or moving then you can strategically place the lure in a place where you don't spook the fish but may get just enough of its attention to get it looking for your bait. Small spoons, soft plastics, and hair jigs are all great lures to get even the spookiest fish to eat.
The flounder bite is still strong on the outside edges of grass flats especially those that are within a few miles of the gulf. Most of these fish are going to be heading out of the pass before too long but for the time being, there are plenty of opportunities to put them in the cooler. Jigs and live baits have yielded about equal results however in the shallow water scenarios I prefer artificials. I just feel like the bite to catch ratio is better with a jig. In any case, keep a few for dinner and let the rest go.
The pompano bite in the bay is also heating up with lots of nice fish being caught on grassy points surrounded by deeper sand. A small jig will get you some bites but its hard to beat a flat-lined live shrimp for this particular type of fishing. Sometimes if the current is swift you might want to put a small split shot on it to slow its movement but al little as possible to get the desired effect. Most fish have been bigger than those that you typically catch in the surf.
Good luck and as always if you have any additional questions about what's biting, how to catch them, or you would like to book a trip I encourage you to give me a call or shoot me an email.
Capt. Nathan Chennaux