I have been on kind of a fishing hiatus for the last 3 weeks due to previously scheduled events that just seemed to jumble up all together. The last weekend in May was a holiday weekend, which I try to avoid the water at all costs. Way too many crazies out there for me. The first weekend in June I was in a wedding in San Antonio and then the second weekend in June was our family vacation. After being so busy I definitely needed a day on the water alone to try and balance myself again. I had intended on getting out Tuesday (6/21), but after watching the weather I decided against it. Of course it ended up being a beautiful day. I spent the day in the recliner with my little man and together we lived vicariously through everyone else’s Instagram and Facebook posts.
My new target day became Wednesday (6/22) and even though the weatherman was again predicting scattered thunderstorms I decided to call his bluff and head out anyway. I was launched and on the water just as the sun was coming up, around 6 am, and even though the water near the launch was teeming with bait I had a particular spot in mind and I was on a mission to get there.
When I got to my spot there were flounder jumping everywhere. Not exactly the species that I was after, but at least there were game fish in the area. My key structure for the day was small coves that were protected from the south wind and had a flooded grass shoreline. The last time I was out I remembered the early morning top water bite was good, but as I mentioned earlier, that was 3 weeks ago. Nonetheless, I tied one on and went to work.
Let’s talk for a minute about how to select the appropriate top water. Now there are several theories about how and why fish react to a certain bait, but below you will find a chart I created that shows how I evaluate the appropriate bait for the current conditions. Maybe you use a different method, but this is what seems to work for me.
I started things out with a One-Knocker Spook in pink and chrome. This has been my go to bait recently. I almost immediately hooked up with an 18 ½” trout. As I continued to work the first cove I could see definite signs of redfish in the area, but they seemed very uninterested. There was not very much surface chop in these protected coves so I decided to change over to a Super Spook Jr. in order to quiet things down a bit and hopefully not spook any available fish. This turned out to be a good decision. As I worked my way down the grass line and into the next cove something crushed my top water. It feels kind of small but then I realize he’s swimming right at the yak. Once he gets close he figures out what is happening and takes off. After a few short runs I get him landed and measure him up, 22 ½” and 4.5 lbs.
Since I was able to get staked out while fighting the previous fish I did not disturb the entire cove and there still appeared to be a few fish in the area. Rather than pull anchor I decided to stay staked out and blind cast the cove for a few minutes. This tactic led to my third fish of the morning. This fish was considerably larger reaching 26” on the Hawg Trough and tipping the scale at 6 lbs. 12 oz.
The reds stayed in the area until about 10:00 am, but to be honest I got sidetracked trying to pick up a flounder and complete the slam. I started working points slow and methodically with a YUM Mud Minnow on a 1/8th oz. jig head. The last point in the lineup rewarded me with the ever familiar “thump-thump” I was looking for. This was a textbook flounder strike. He started swimming right towards me and I could see the slack in my line piling up on the surface of the water. After letting him chew on it for while I reeled in the slack and set the hook. The flounder immediately goes airborne and I can tell he is going to be a legal fish. I get him to the boat with the net ready and as I said this is a textbook flounder case. I can tell he is hooked well because I see the point of the hook protruding from the corner of his mouth, but as I go to net him he goes airborne one last time and shakes the hook. I mulled over every point and drain on the paddle back to the truck, but was never able to hook up again. I did however manage to catch a very muddy koozie on a Buggs Curl Tail. . .those baits will catch anything!
The high tides this year have been a blessing in disguise because they have forced me to try different lures and techniques in order to catch fish. Being a guy who primarily likes to sight cast I would always pick my days based on my favorite conditions, but it seems like this year those days are never going to come. So I can either not fish, yeah right, or figure out how to find them in alternative conditions. There has definitely been an adjustment period, but it seems like I am figuring things out. Hopefully I have given you some advice that will improve your haul on those high tide days.
|S @ 10||Outgoing w/Small Differential||P Cloudy||Rising||1-2 ft||Mud||SS Jr Yum MM|