In all honesty this has to be one of my absolute most favorite times of the year, that transition from spring into summer when the weather starts to cooperate and the fishing goes nuts. Late April and May generally signify the summer patterns are here or at least really close anyway and we have nothing to look forward to except some out of this world conditions in which to fish.

For me personally I will be thankful that those unbelievable winds of March and early April will be behind us for the most part and that makes more water fishable. More fishable water means less crowds and a decreased level of stress, can I get an “Amen” from the congregation!

I look forward to May because that’s when so many different styles and patterns emerge, especially here on Sabine and Calcasieu. The folks who have been dying to go down to the jetties and duel with wired up and fired up trout will get their first taste of that program. The green water and light winds will make for some outstanding days along the rocks. Farther inland the folks who prefer to stay in the lake will be in for some sporadic fishing under the gulls for trout and roaming schools of redfish. The shad will also begin to gang up out in the open lake so keep an eye out for that to happen because the trout and reds won’t be far behind that floating buffet.

Still farther inland the folks who like to congregate in the deeper water along the rivers and ICW will also have their own little piece of heaven as long as we don’t get too much rain. As long as that deeper water stays salty the fish will be there in force and waiting on a good tide change to chow down on a variety of baits including shad, shrimp and mullet. Anchoring up on good secondary points and breaks as well as the mouths of the marsh drains will prove very effective for those who enjoy fishing at a little slower and more leisurely pace.

I personally will be probing more backwater marshes in search of redfish and hoping to find them receptive to my offerings. The water temperatures at this time of the year will really promote some aggressive behavior from the redfish and the strikes will be some of the most vicious you will see all year. I will continue to throw weightless soft plastics and topwaters because they are just way too much fun to catch fish on. I could probably do better on a few different baits but the results I have been getting while using the frogs, tubes, and topwaters has been just fine in my book.

I do however plan on catching more of these fish on fly this summer, that has become much more of an addiction if I do say so myself. More and more clients want to increase the challenge and adventure using the long rod in these situations. The satisfaction you get when you do land one of these beautiful fish on fly is a real rush, a great accomplishment in any angler’s book.

Perhaps one of the greatest joys of the month of May is the fact that the kids get out of school and you get a chance to take them fishing more. One of the best methods we have for taking the kids out is live shad under a popping cork, this is just money in the bank. A #3 unweighted popping cork above a 1/2 ounce egg sinker and barrel swivel gets you started. Tie on a 3 foot leader to the swivel and use a #3 or #4 Kahle hook. Hook the shad or finger mullet through the eye socket and drift behind the boat giving the cork a good pop on a regular frequency. This method has produced countless fish for us during the summer months and it will be extremely user friendly for the kids. Everybody loves to see the cork under, I don’t care who you are or what you say, you know you like it.

This summer for me will mean more time on the front of my skiff fishing instead of poling now that my son Hunter and I have agreed to split some time. The opportunity to let him push me around the skinny water will be one that I have looked forward to for a long time. Hunter is easily my favorite person to fish with and to have him “guide” dad will be a real treat to say the least. It’s been a whole lot of fun watching him turn into a dang good fisherman and I am really proud of that fact, as if you couldn’t tell.

Anyway if you haven’t figured it out by now May is a great month to get out and enjoy one of many patterns that will be readily available. May is fisherman friendly because the weather gets right and the ugly scorching summer sun is not quite here yet so take advantage of the fact. Enjoy your time on the water and be sure to take a kid the next time you go fishing.