Speckled trout are starting to show up on the oyster reefs near the barrier islands. This past week we are starting to see some brown shrimp show up in the shallow bays close to the fishing village. That is a sure sign that the speckled trout will be right on there heels. It seems everything is running a month behind this year. I remember last year we were catching limits of trout at the starting of March and this year the month of March has been a hit and miss the hole month. The water has been very clear and salty with good tide ranges, so I could not understand why the trout have not been on top the oyster reefs. But it dawned on me the other day that there is no live shrimp in the bays yet. The tide is high right now with the southwest wind we been having for the last two days, maybe that will push some shrimp in on us with all this gulf water. Once the shrimp show up it normally takes about a week and then the speckled trout will begin to show up. Funny how the food chain works in just about every aspect of mother nature. I had three trips last week and all three trips we were forced to stay in the broken marsh and fish red fish. Thank goodness the rat reds stay in the duck ponds and pipe line canals year around until they reach a certain size. On days I can not get across Barataria Bay or on days that the trout have not showed up like this year so far, I like to stay in the ponds and canals and fish these red fish. There are plenty ways to fish the red in the shallow ponds and pipe line canals. I like to simply use dead shrimp about fifteen inches under a popping cork and throw about twelve to fifteen inches from the bank. I always believed that the red fish are prowling the banks looking for their food. Every cove in the shoreline will normally have one or two red fish larking around in it. The water has been so clear that you can see the fish before you throw the line. It can be a bit of a challenge to set the bait right in front of the fish. However, sometimes if you get the bait to land with in five feet of the fish he will see it and make a bee line towards it and blows up on it for the kill. Fighting red fish in the shallow waters is such an incredible experience because all the action is on top of the water. Fight a fish in only twenty inches of water will not allow the fish to dive deep enough to lose sight of him. The entire time you are bring him to the boat you see how his head is working hard to throw the hook out of his mouth. Any pilings in the water or any type of structure that he can rape around to cut the line he will head straight for it. It is almost like they know what must happen for them to set themselves free of the fight. Mother nature sometimes can be more challenging then we give her credit for.
The trip I had Friday was with a father and son from the northeastern seaboard and they were not used to catching red fish. We headed out early that morning with a stiff wind out of the south. We did not have to go far to get to the first spot. The water was clean, and the tide was falling. I like to fish for red fish on a falling tide because the water and bait feed is coming out of the shallow ponds and marsh dumping into the deeper areas of water. I like to sit back from the openings and throw towards the opening. The red fish feel the falling tides and they will do the same. They will get right in the deeper parts where the water and bait are coming out and feed until they just can’t eat anymore. The customers I had on the boat this week enjoyed catching these red fish in the shallow waters. They took lots of pictures and the kids were smiling from ear to ear. I told the dads that it was just another day on the water for us but for the kids it was something they will never forget. You should have herd the boys telling their friends how they were fighting the red fish in the shallow waters and how their friend missed the first time with the net and the red fish went under the boat and almost cut the line on the prop of the motor. Everything in detail and with all the emotion you could possible imagen. You here me talk about building memories all the time. I will say it again and again every time I wright one of these blogs because I truly believe that fishing with the kids is one of the most important fishing trips I go on. Something about watching a kid face when we come over the side of the boat with on of these mac-daddy red fish in the net. That is a moment that you always must be ready with the camera to capture the moment. Those kids will save that picture and send it to every friend he has. He will tell them all the details of how he caught that fish. I think the most important aspect of it all is that you are planting a seed in that kids hart of how to enjoy a fishing trip. So many things he is learning about how to park the boat relative to the tide and wind. How not to position the boat where you will be looking into the sun. He is learning so much that he can use latter on down the road