This week has started out on the cold side but has quickly warmed up, and we are again hopeful that springtime is here. I started the week filming with Capt. C.A. Richardson for his TV show “Flats Class TV”. We were able to put several nice Trout and Redfish on film but just couldn’t convince the snook to eat with the chilly water temperatures. We were at a disadvantage though….we were trying to fool them and not feed them. Meaning we were using artificial lures to catch our fish not live bait.
After two fun days actually getting to fish, today was back to reality and I was working to find fish for my clients. I had one of my longtime clients and his wife on the boat today, the weather was great low 80’s and sunny sky’s. I was able to secure a few different types of bait because I wasn’t sure what the fish would want to eat as the water temperatures are still in the mid 60’s. We started the day throwing shrimp and sardines in to a large pothole that was loaded with Trout and Snook, the Trout responded well with several fish over 20 inches coming to the boat. However the snook, with the colder water would not commit and all we could do is look at them. As the day progressed the water began to warm and we found some very excited Jack Cravelle swimming across some shallow grass and warmed up the drags on the reels for an hour or so. My client Anthony asked if we could target something for the table so off we went into the back country. This is a very normal request, but our area of the west coast of Florida is under a no take order for Snook, Trout, and Redfish, so this is not as easy to fulfill as it would be. Luckily for me our coast is loaded with Black Drum, basically the cousin to the Redfish, and a very good eating fish.
The wind had begun to really blow so moving into some protected water was a good idea. We found a small bayou that was protected from the wind and just happened to be loaded with the tasty drum. Black drum are by no means fish eaters, but they love shrimp and I just happened to have a well full of them to. I’m not sure how many we caught but three 24 inchers went in the well for dinner, and the rest got a free meal and some exercise for their trouble. The good thing about the water temperature in the 60’s is that it’s cold enough to keep the fish in the warm pockets, but warm enough to make them want to feed. This means when you find one of these pockets they are usually filled with several types of fish, and the pocket we were in was loaded, along with the Black Drum we caught Trout, Redfish, Flounder, Mangrove Snapper, and Jack Cravelle.
Were ended the day looking for a school of redfish I had found the day before filming with C.A. We located them but with the wind blowing right on them they were not very cooperative, we were able to get a Jack Cravelle to eat one of our baits but the Reds just wouldn’t stay put.
With the south winds blowing it is only a matter of time until our water hits the magical 70 degree mark. Until then its time to clean the boat and get ready for tommorows trip.