CONDITIONS: Week looks like one of the more favorable that we’ve had in the past month or so. No weather fronts and light winds…..that is until Friday the 22nd when things kick up. Should see some improvement in water clarity that will enhance the fishing with the light easterly wind pattern. Most will be E and SE in single digit speeds. Air temperatures hold in the high 70’s which should draw the water temps up just a bit to the 72-74 degree range. The tides are influenced by a new moon phase set for the weekend and will show a strong morning incoming tide with over 2’range and,uncharachteristically, have a identical outgoing in the afternoons. That pretends to encourage fishing activity in those first and last hours of the slower water flow. As we ease into the weekend, you’ll be faced with some of those winds that impact being able to hold the boat in position and seeing the bite as active…….so go early or mid-week with rod in hand.
BACKWATER: Still possible to find some of the bigger sheepshead in the deeper holes and cuts throughout the area. Some of the catch in the last week has shown either partial or aborted spawning effort all of which has been impacted with “too warm” water conditions. Spring fishing has sort of jumped in….with mackerel showing in all the Passes and mangrove snapper beginning to show on those backwater edges. Snook, too, have come alive in the heat and are active all along the structured bottom edges with good incoming tidal flow and jumping on pilchards worked post bait shower. Upper Addison Bay, just short of the last islands are producing nice catches of spec trout with shrimp worked under a popper just off the bottom on a drift. Same venue has been producing some unexpected redfish action in the last hours of the incoming tide working a whole shrimp freelined along the shallow edges with noticeable current
NEARSHORE: Things beginning to break open out here as the seasons change. Good reports on Spanish Mackerel in numbers like 3/4 years ago showing in the 20-30’ structure spots and worked either at anchor on a reef spot with using chum to attract and working tipped jigs on a fast retrieve or using the same rigs on a 4kt troll just off the edges of bait eruptions occurring throughout the inshore waters. On the structure spots working the bottom with weighted jigs under chum should draw all the mangrove and lane snapper you’ll want. Keeper size on the lanes is 8” and the mangroves have to be 10”…..both measured with squeezing the tail. Bottom action on the Five Mile Reef complex could get you a smaller size keeper grouper working live pinfish tight to the structure on either tide.
OFFSHORE: Conditions favorable here till late week. Red grouper are still a main target deep on hard bottom. Reports say there is favorable catch to keep ratio in the 50-60’depths on hard bottom working a live pinfish tight to the bottom outcroppings. With weather stable through the first part of the week, probably worth a shot. Closer in on the 10-15 mile reef spots you have an opportunity for good reef fishing for snapper primarily on structure working tipped jigs under chum. Also now may see pelagics (mackerel) out here on wrecks and reefs. Work them with tipped jigs worked very quickly under chum on either tide. Could well be jacks and blue runners in the catch here.