For The Record -Capt. Chuck Uzzle

As far as I am concerned February and the weeks leading up to March have to be some of the best times on
the calendar for a wide variety of reasons. Spring is closing in and everything
starts to heat up, especially the fishing. Anglers all over the state look
forward to this month with great anticipation every year because in just about
any body of water you fish, fresh or salt; you stand an excellent chance of
doing battle with a career fish.

Freshwater anglers have long known the magic that can happen on those days when
the winds lay and the temperature climbs. Big fish climb up from the deeper
water and make their home for the next few weeks on the inside grass lines where
they will eventually spawn. Right now they are fighting for space as it seems
like the crappie beat them to the punch as the warmer temperatures have pushed
these fish up shallow. That space between the grass and the bank is going to get
crowded really soon and that spells success for most fishermen.

Now the freshwater folks won’t be the only ones taking advantage of the warmer
temperatures, saltwater anglers will be reaping the benefits as well. Over the
past several days the water temperatures steadily increased in many places. The
warmer surface temps have triggered a better bite, especially the one on
topwater plugs. Now the mainstay throughout the winter was the unbelievable
redfish bite and that continues on an almost daily rampage. The ridiculous
numbers of redfish have diehard big trout hunters pulling out their hair and
cursing aloud as it seems these fish are nowhere to be found when the redfish
show up.

This winter has been one of the quietest ones I can remember in a long time as
far as big speckled trout are concerned. The norm during the winter months is to
take advantage of the warmer days ahead of oncoming fronts and be on the water
just prior to the weather change. Now with the more consistent temperatures the
pattern should hinge on greater tide activity so if you are looking for an
advantage there you have it.

If there is any draw back to fishing in the spring months it will be the wind
and you can bet there will be plenty of it. The stretch of shore line from Blue
Buck to Willow Bayou will get plenty of traffic due to the predominant winds
coming from the southeast. On the days when the wind decides to lay down it’s
always a great idea to get back closer to deep water, the river and
intracoastal. The islands that border the deeper water will be a haven for these
big fish as they move up on the flats to feed and I can’t think of a better
place to start. Good strong tide movements and a little presence of bait should
certainly get you in the game. If at all possible when fishing with more than
one person be sure to cover the different water columns. Use a topwater to help
locate fish and probe the deeper water with a slower sinking plug or even soft
plastic lure. If you are fortunate enough to have all the factors come into
place that next strike you get may be the best fish of your life and that is
exactly what makes this time of year one of the best.