Big rains forecasted this week could be enough to keep anglers in port for a few days. However, when you do get a chance to get back out on the water, you might see a resurgence of action, especially in our shallow water fishery. Heavy rains the first part of this month cooled our shallows down by as much as seven degrees for several days. This drop in temperature had the snook, redfish and trout fired up.
Inshore fishing has been considerably better this week due to the lower morning tides. Snook and redfish have been feeding along the outer edges of the grass flats each morning. Bait has been thick along these drop-offs and the fish gorging themselves on the last part or the outgoing tide and again when the tide turns to come in.
Live chumming with threadfins and pilchards is no doubt the easiest approach to this scenario. Get up-tide of a potential entry point of the flat, which is often a slightly deeper cut in that it may be marked by the presence of mullet. Chum heavy and draw the fish to you as they make their way down the edge. We also have done quite well on artificial lures this week. Starting the mornings with top-water walking style plugs has provided excellent action. Once the bite slows a bit we’ve switched to weedless unweighted soft plastic fluke style baits in white or black and gold. This slower more subtle presentation has kept the bite going until the tide gets too high and the fish spread out.
Gathering bait, especially the threadfins, has been easy around the bridges in the pre-dawn hours. If you’re specifically targeting pilchards you may want to try the beach swash channel. Decent sized bait has shown up out there recently. You just have to let the sun come up a bit so that you can be selective on what to throw on. A quarter inch mesh cast net is still a must in order to prevent hanging up the smaller baits.