Monday, May 26, 2014

Finally Back in the Salt...

After a few months of freshwater fishing, and seeing reports of reds and specks being back in the bay, I finally loaded up the Cuda and set out for the saltwater.  During the winter I did some research and found some new spots I wanted to try and sight fish for reds.  My Dad and I launched at 6AM and set out.  The first spot I hit was the mouth of a large creek with a few grass flats in front of it.  The tide was outgoing, so I beached the Cuda and waded around the mouth of the creek.

  I caught a few small specks and a flounder, but I couldn’t find any reds.  Once the sun was high enough for sight fishing I stood up and started stalking the grass flats looking for reds.  

It didn’t take long for me to find them.  I pitched my mirrodine in front of the biggest fish and after a few twitches in front of his face it was game on!

 The fish made several drag screaming runs across the flat and put up a good fight.  Once I landed it and took a few pictures it swam away in good shape.  I kept looking for reds while throwing my Mirror Lure mirrodine hoping for a bigger speck.

 I saw some bait busting on the surface and cast in that direction. As soon as it hit the water it was nailed by a houndfish that flew out of the water.  These fish are a nuisance because they will normally snap your line and take your $15 lure, but they fight hard and jump like crazy.  This houndfish was about 3’ long and was real cool looking. 

  After the houndfish I was back looking for reds.  I found several more either in schools or singles on the flat, all of the fish I caught were in the 20”-25” range.  

The wind started picking up and made sight fishing hard, so I called it a day.    The fish were real skittish and several refused baits.  Normally when fish are skittish I switch to soft plastics, but they did not work at all.  The mirrodine fished slowly was the only lure that produced for me.  My Dad had success with a Live Target mullet wake bait.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Getting Jiggy with It

Nice bass that fell for a shakey head

Now that the spawn is over and the temperature is rising it’s time to start jigging for post-spawn pigs.  Over the last few weeks I have been having some incredible days on the water catching over 40 bass on some trips, mainly using slow jig presentations. 

The two styles of jigs I use are a small finesse jig and a shakey head jig.  The small finesse jig I prefer is a Booyah Boo Jig in a 3/8oz.  This paired with a PowerTeam Lures Craw D’oeuvre trailer is deadly. In clear water, natural colors like brown and tan work best, and in stained water, black and blue is the way to go.  For my rod I like a 10-17lbs bait casting rod, and a Diawa Tatula bait casting reel.  My line of choice is 20lbs braid, and a 15lbs fluorocarbon leader. 

My shakey head set-up is a light spinning rod and reel spooled with 15lbs braid, and 10lbs fluorocarbon leader.  I use a PowerTeam lures 1/8oz Pea Head, and a 7” Tickler.  The most productive color is junebug for both stained and clear water.  If that doesn't work however, the switch to a green pumpkin red flake. I fish both of these jigs in the same locations on the lake.  

Since this is the post spawn, most of the big females are on bars and ledges located near spawning flats.  Most of these ledges are in 9-12ft of water.  I will throw my jig up on the top of the bar and hop it down.  If there is a bend in the ledge, it will normally hold more fish.  The shakey head will normally catch more fish, but the finesse jig will produce the more quality fish. 
20" bass caught on a jig
This jig pattern will continue to produce throughout the late spring and into the early summer, so go pick up some jigs and catch some pigs!