Saturday, April 27, 2013

The early bird

Bark at the moon!

If you consistently strive to understand the quarry you chase, then you must constantly
explore theory's and gut feelings about that games movement and safe zones. Weigh it all with weather, tide and moon. Then attempt to apply those theory's and proven instances to formulate logical and predictable times when your sacrifice of sleep and family is outweighed by potentially amazing opportunity.

What I'm trying to say your homework. Although its usually the case that the sunrise or sunset brings with it an opportunity for success regardless of factors. The time you are betting on is only a couple of hours before the light or darkness moves fish from their safe feeding zones or into different patterns that might take more time and lost tidal movement to dial into. Thus reducing the total time on pattern and ultimately reducing your chance for success. I'm primarily addressing the early spring and summer patterns in this instance. For winter daylight brings warmth and can be your best friend.

During one of my recent fishing excursions I was facing highs in the mid 70's and a low of abut 60. The water was still a little chilly but warm enough that fish would be active and feeding pre dawn. Plus being a weekend and a slack tide at 7 am the morning/day bite wasn't in my time frame. The moon was setting at 4 am so I wanted to be fishing before then. I slipped into the water at 3 am and caught my first male trout at 3:30. I had enough action to call it a great trip in one hour. Gradually the topwater explosions became slaps and looks. At about 6:30 I caught my last trout. Which also coincided with an armada of boats and waders. I think I counted 11 waders right before I left at 9am. I didn't see another fish caught. I managed a small redfish on topwater before ALL the bait stopped showing at about 7 on the dot. I switched tactics and lucked into 4 1/2 pound flounder on a corky devil. And then no bites were had for two whole hours. Albeit the tide had stopped but if fish are in an area you can sometimes get some looks or taps to reassure you without their commitment. I was fishing a large sand flat to really just try and feel the fish out and I think I did. I stayed late and observed from the shore to see if the incoming brought more feeding fish but the high sky's were a bad combo with the gin clear water and the trout were scattered. Moved off to deeper sanctuary to most likely set up on a drop off and await glass minnows pushed by the tide and shrimp migrating in from the gulf. I might have just gotten lucky but I like to think that planning and understanding of conditions was the deciding factor to my success.

Early spring can be a tough nut to crack. Some fish have already moved onto the sand flats that will be used to spawn when the temps are right. these flats also double as vast roaming feeding zones. Although in the early part of the year when water temps aren't at their optimal level these areas mainly contain smaller male with the occasional eater female. Theirs always a chance to luck into a larger female if the conditions are in your favor. But before the first big spring full moon the larger fish are still mostly in transition. And your best chance to catch the pre spawn fatback trout or your dreams might be more of a reality if you concentrate on fishing more winter time haunts with springtime features nearby. Key in on the shallower shoreline areas with bait. Work slow. Move slow. Make a LOT of casts before you take a few steps and push forward. Be patient. If you don't get any bites try switching lures of move 30 yards down the shore. If big fish are around they might be on a slow cruise. Mingling with male suitors and trying to get an easy meal before their big date.

All in all I have had a good spring. I released a seven pound trout caught on a bomber long A in knee deep water and caught a five pound flounder on the same trip fishing a lunker candy colored gambler dipped with a chartruse tail. Hopefully I can get out and have some more success, but I will just hope to get out and let the cards fall where they may. You know what they say about a bad days fishing.

P.S. I bought the fucking glasses. We will see how long they last. Trying to just use them while driving and fishing. And I'm sticking to that. So maybe the last time I fall for it!

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