Big fish step up as temperatures climb
Capt. Chuck Uzzle
For the Record
As far as I am concerned February and 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. Before too long they will be fighting for space as it seems like the crappie usually beat the bass to the punch as the warmer temperatures push 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.