April 24, 2005 — I SEE RED FISH!

Man, oh man!  In the immortal words of the late, great Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, RED FISH!  Spots are absolutely everywhere.  The red fish spring feed is on high alert and man are we on them.  Captain Ted Springer has to change his name from Poppy to Dr. Sciaenops Ocellatus.  Everyday he is coming back to the docks with limits of red and releasing a number of oversized and undersized reds daily.

As for trout, we are beginning to see catches more indicative of this time of year.  Last week witnessed at least five trout over 25 and a number of limits in the 20 to 25 inch range.  With our ever increasing influx of fresh water from the gulf, the trout bite appears to be increasing accordingly and abating most fears of the dreaded b@#!& t*@$ negatively affecting our fishing.

With all this great news though, we are still slaves to the whims of Neptune.  The fish feed hard for a few days then turn off just as fast as they turn on.  Most bites have been recorded later in the afternoon and there is nothing as frustrating as standing in a school of red fish or trout and watch them look at your offering and turn their nose up like a debutante at your first high school dance.  However, for those that love the grind, the rewards are well worth the work.

Dark bodies with chartreuse tails seem to be the ticket for the bottom feeders and she-dogs are driving the top water bite crazy.  For us fly fisherman, I have been having dramatic success on a modified, chartreuse Del Merkin (May's Featured Fly) presented lightly with a 12 foot leader to tailing reds.  Trout are most attracted to red and blue clousers fished very slowly across the grass. If you insist on using a popping fly, I suggest a smaller crease or a red and white deer hair popper ; I just have not seen the success on top that I would like to see to truly commit to a popping arsenal.