February 27, 2013March Madness
When I begin seeing commercials on television for the March Madness college basketball tournament, I know that spring is not far off. This time of the year also generally means that there is a very good possibility that we are going to see more than our fair share of windy conditions over the course of the next several weeks, and I don’t just mean right before the next cool front rolls in. At times, I think the wind blows hard in March and April simply because it can – a lot of times there is no rhyme, or no reason!
Landing the Big Ones
Such has been the case here along the shores of San Antonio Bay (SAB) for the past couple weeks now. At times, winds have been high and tides have been low, and staying on a consistent bite has been hit-n-miss for me on almost a regular basis. I’ve been successful in locating the fish in one location one day, but not able to find them in the same place (or nearby) the very next day. But although these recent conditions have been making fishing a little bit harder, I am still managing to land some really impressive trout during the early morning and the late afternoon hours. If I plan to be fishing during morning hours on any given day in March, I will focus on being out on the water and anchored well before sunrise wherever I intend to make my first wade session of the day. I’ll often set the boat in a bit deeper water in a spot that’s just adjacent to a shallow water shoreline – preferably a shoreline that consists primarily of scattered shell and potholes. Upon exiting the boat, I’ll instruct everyone to cast out their favorite bottom-hugging plastic bait just as far as they possibly can into deeper water, and then work the bait back to them with a ridiculously slow retrieve. My strategy here is for me and my guests to be able to take full advantage of the deep water situation while we can, meaning it normally only takes about an hour of sunlight before the winds begin to build rapidly, often forcing me to retreat to the boat, pack-up everyone, and then relocate to more protected waters for the remainder of the day.
However, if you ask me what time of the day I prefer to be fishing during March my answer is most likely going to be, “During the afternoon hours.” Why? Well, like I stated previously, we have recently been dealing with low tides, tides which will probably persist as we make our way through the month. Some of the only relief we’ll see this month in helping with the extremely low tides will come in the form of the flow of the day’s incoming (high) tide which will generally happen each day during the late part of the day in March. The water isn’t going to be moving much during the mornings this month, so I want to be fishing when the water does decide to start moving, and that means I need to be fishing during the afternoons this month. When the higher tide occurs in the afternoon, a lot of water will be pushed into SAB which will tend to give the fish much more real estate to take advantage of, especially in the many back lake areas that previously have had hardly any water in them. This higher water in the back country marsh areas will also invite the presence of small baitfish looking to take refuge along windward shorelines right up against the grass. This is the scenario I look for in the afternoons in the back lakes – a scenario that has recently provided me with some rather spectacular redfish action on top water baits, as well as on darker plastics in the plum/chartreuse and morning glory colors.
Historically, at some point in this month, we should begin to see the winds switch direction and start to blow out of the southeast. This will generally take care of the problem we’ve had recently with low water levels, and will almost always mean that finding the bite will become much less difficult on a regular basis. After the southeast wind pattern establishes itself for a period of time, trout fishing should turn on considerably and we should start recognizing more of the standard springtime fishing situations that we’re used to seeing this time of the year.
In closing, I wish to tell everyone that Bay Flats Lodge will be represented at this year’s 2013 Houston Fishing Show being held from March 6th to March 10th at the George R. Brown Convention Center. If you can’t make it to the show, but still want to take advantage of our many show specials, you can recognize the savings by contacting the Lodge. If you’re anticipating the possibility of booking a trip while at the show, simply phone the Lodge beforehand to be placed on our FREE admission tickets list. Remember to practice CPR, “Catch, Photo, and Release”, whenever possible on trophy Trout and Reds…Guide Chris Martin, Port O’Connor/Seadrift region.
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