Weekend. The fishing in our region has been fair to excellent over the last week and this weekend should be no different. We have some strong tides this weekend, which always seem to improve the bite. Strong tides move bait into the bay, fish set up around ambush points, and it really fires up their appetite.
Fish the Funnels. In our region, we have tons of what I like to call "fish funnels." Fish funnels are where small estuaries, bays or creeks dump out into the open bay or a flat through two islands or pieces of land. If you don't know where these places are, a few minutes looking online at an aerial map will reveal more than you can fish in a few days. These are great places to target this time of year to begin with, and their potential only increases on strong tides. These funnels create deep water troughs, hold bait and create eddies and rips that game fish use as ambush points.
Snook on the Prowl. The snook fishing on the south shore has gone from good to great over the last few weeks and should continue to improve as the bait starts to trickle into our region. They are really starting to stack from Cockroach Bay south to Bishops Harbor. Fishing areas where the water is clearer has produced better results. Remember if you're fishing live bait to send out some chummers to really get them in the mood to eat.
Redfish Up Skinny. Although the redfish in our region have not been consistently schooled up, they are still here in good numbers and ready to eat. The key to having success with redfish has been to get up skinny. A lot of the redfish that we have been catching have been on the inside of the bars that line the south shore of the bay, and many of them have been just feet of the banks. They have also been responding well to artificials. Throwing a light colored soft plastic body on a 1/8-ounce jig head has been producing great results on redfish and big trout as well.
Wade Them Out. This is one of my favorite times of the year to get out of the boat and do some wade fishing. Wade fishing allows you to get much closer to fish than you could in a boat and offers a really unique perspective on the whole fish catching experience. Make sure you have on a quality pair of waders or wading booties to protect you from stingrays, oysters, etc. I prefer to throw artificials and cover as much water as possible when I wade, but a bucket full of live bait works well too. When you are planning to wade, pick an area that will allow you to cast down wind and preferably work your baits with the flow of the current.