Posted - 03/22/2012 : 08:57:23 AM
| When the gnat bite gets good then the Trout bite gets good! If you are not out getting eaten alive by gnats, well then you are either wearing some sweet smelling skin so soft or you are missing out on the spring trout bite. It has been a very mild winter and we are definitely off to an early spring. I am so glad that we have depleted the ozone layer to the extent that this year I get to start hammering the trout on topwater at least three weeks ahead of last year. Man I love some good ole global warming :)! Seriously the water temps are getting right for the Trout to aggressively start hitting topwater plugs and if you have not witnessed a nice Trout nail a topwater bait at dawn or dusk, well my friend you are missing out!
When: Mid to late March through Mid May.
Tide: Last couple of hours of incoming, first couple of hours of outgoing tide. Just as tide starts out of the grass works best for me. Action is usually slow for about a hour right at the peak of the tide when the water is not moving.
Where: I prefer built up dead oyster beds with scattered small outcroppings of live clusters. These dead beds are generally easy to fish with few snags and the scattered outcroppings offer a protected structure for bait. I look for areas around these beds where bait may be bunched up by current.
Time of day: 30 minutes before sunrise till around 9 am depending on cloud cover; or dusk last hour or two of daylight.
Lure: Bomber Badonk-a-donk, Heddon Zara Spook or Spook Junior, or Mirrolure Top Dog or Little Puppy. Walk the bait across the water surface. If a fish hits and misses, stop the bait, wait a couple seconds and then switch the bait a few faint times to mimic a stunned baitfish, this will usually draw a second strike.
Set up: 8 to 12 pound test is ideal for these fish and will have enough backbone for the occasional redfish that may come along. I tie a short double line using a surgeon knot and then attach 1 to 2-feet of 20-pound mono leader using a uni-knot. I prefer spinning tackle matched to a 6 to 6 foot light action rod. A limber tip is easy on a Trouts soft mouth and makes working topwater baits easier.
These fish are schooling heavy this time of year so come prepared to catch quite a few. Remember the Trout took a hard hit last winter since we did not have any global warming last year so practice catch and release when possible. Pack some bug spray as you are sure to be attacked by the gnats sooner or later.
Captain Tim Pickett