Reality or Illusion — April 26, 2009

Folks sorry if I sound like a broken record, but it just doesn’t get any better than right now.  Even with 30 MPH plus winds, you can still catch good trout.
Between bring your own boaters and guided trips; we are consistently catching limits for guests that wish to take fish home.  Our trout are averaging 17”to 22” and it just doesn’t get any more fun than that.

Barring the meat haulers coming this summer, our bay is going to be unbelievable this time next year.  Right now guests who have fished with us over the last 10 years all say to the man, “Wow how can a system turn around so quickly?”  Some are even venturing to say it equals the system 10 years ago; I don’t think we are quite there yet: BUT IT COULD COME TRUE!

For those of you that follow our reports, readers know our staunch philosophy on releasing larger trout.  Recently, we had a group bring along a new angler and his philosophy on trout was contrary to ours which resulted in hard feelings and his staying somewhere else.  When I asked him why he would kill a 27” trout, he responded “Because it tastes good.”  In further discussions, he let me know he has caught 15 trout over 10 pounds and yet, we guides are accused of killing more big fish than anyone; my response to the accusers, “NOT HERE.”

The angler with him, who also killed a 27” plus trout, thought my comments were directed at him as well.  Since it was this angler’s personal best, I really felt bad for him thinking my comments were directed at him.  I will say, however, the next day the same angler caught another trout over 27” and RELEASED IT!  I did send to him a new rod for the release, with a hearty ATTABOY.  Too bad some just don’t care about saving those big fish for future generations and reproduction.  With kill and grill attitudes like that, our ecosystem will be like it was two years ago.

Folks, please, just keep what you can eat and release the big ones for reproduction. Contrary to what that YOUNGSTER said, trout over 20” to 22” just don’t taste as good as those 15” to 19”.

Enough preaching though, its about the fishery.

Our trout have moved to spawning areas and all you need to target is sand potholes in grass beds.  Two to 3 ½ feet has been the magic depth. In muddy water we have gone to rattling corks with an 18” leader with dark colored plastics in muddy water and lighter colors in clear water. Those who favor top waters are still catching good trout even in the 30 MPH tempests.
The reds have moved on the sand and it’s unbelievable to run the sand and see schools of 50 to more than 100 fish.  The numbers are like years gone by. Spoons and small top waters are working well on these schools.

Both north and south areas are holding fish, when you find the fish just work that area over.  You won’t be disappointed.  As the water continues to warm, look for the trout to stack up on the outside edge of the grass this will make targeting them easy.

We look for the wind fans to slow down soon, THEN its Tarpon time.  I slipped out past the jetties the other day and yes they are here: just TOO DARN ROUGH to work them right. CAN’T WAIT! Watch for pictures as soon as the fans shut down.