Our fishery is really cooking now! The arrival of seasonal species like ladyfish, bluefish and shark now compliment our redfish and trout. Look around you on the water and you’ll also find plenty of baitfish including mullet and menhaden. You have more reasons now than ever to get fishing!
Recently, we’ve been making the most of live bait when fishing for redfish. Menhaden is a favorite choice whether fished live or as cut bait. Fishing chunks of menhaden under docks has produced some very large redfish. I’ll use a carolina rig with just enough weight to keep the bait pinned to the ground so it doesn’t get snagged. I use size 3/0 circle hooks and let the redfish hook themselves.
It’s that time of year to start thinking about topwater trout action at first light. My favorite lure is a Heddon’s Super Spook Jr. in chartreuse and black. Their silver mullet color works well too. Try a variety of retrieval speeds as you work these lures. When that trout strikes, try to resist the temptation to lift the rod tip and reel the fish tight instead. It’s hard to beat those explosive strikes!
As expected, sharks have returned to our waters with the warmer water temperatures. Look along the shoreline and you’ll see the fins of bonnethead sharks slicing through the water as they seek out prey. Live shrimp and chunks of blue crab both work well on these predators. Fishing for sharks can be a great way to get younger anglers involved as sharks are usually hungry and put up great fights.
Flyfishermen will begin to focus on big high tides or “tailing tides” when the redfish are way up in the grass. This produces very exciting fishing as anglers can see the backs and tails of redfish as they put their noses in the mud to forage for crabs. Dupre’s spoon flies have been particularly effective and I like their root beer color. When casting to redfish, remember to lead the fish by several feet, hitting them square on the head will cause them to spook and race away.
See you on the water!