Monday, May 06, 2002

Timing and Lure Fishing Port O

As High Pressure weather patterns have centered over the area for weeks on end, the dome has repelled inbound frontal systems which would bring a pleasing change in the barometer while allowing for some variance in wind direction and speed. As the fronts approach, they suck the wind off the gulf in force for days; then the front is repelled by high pressure leaving us with a brief window of catching opportunity.

You can’t beat a day on the water, but if you get paid to provide more than window dressing for an empty fish box, you’ve got a problem with this weather pattern. You’ve especially got a problem if you are throwing artificial lures. I have thrown live bait three times since the beginning of March and artificial fishing was awesome into the middle of April. Enter the dome of high pressure that is bringing drought and destruction to the middle Texas Coast. It’s the first week of May and it feels like the middle of August. I am already seeing some “lime green” water in the back lakes. I see it usually at the end of June beginning of July. It means “there ain’t a fish in here period” and to me is a sign of poor water movement and temperature. Word on the street is that if we don’t get some rain and fast, you may as well bring on the plows because the Combines won’t even bother with the scraps we’ve got growing in the fields.

I have been particularly struggling with lures given a wind speed over 15 Knots. You’ve got to have wind, but a little moderation would be nice. Combine wind speed, water temperature, overnight falling tide, High Pressure and you’ve got a very narrow band of catching locations. Mid-bay shell is trashed which leaves you with shorelines and back country. With the fish way off the beach, trashed water makes them difficult to catch. You would think it would drive them closer to shore, not happening.

Take Friday and Saturday May 3rd and 4th for example. Somehow, Low Pressure snuck in from Mexico and it was AWESOME. Winds backed down to around 10 Knots, water greened up, and the fish boxes doubled and tripled. I think everyone caught fish from Baffin to Galveston with some nice stringers. The James Smith party and I started off with topwaters early but came up with short fish. We made the switch over to soft plastics and ended up with near limits to 24” on shorelines in Espiritu Santo Bay.

The Transition

Probably the most lethal approaches to fishing shorelines currently is to catch them in transition. If you catch a shoreline gin clear or totally trashed it’s trouble. The day’s not over yet! There are a couple of things that can cause a shoreline to begin clearing or streak. Tide movement; settling wind speed; and, changing wind direction can cause a shoreline to go from clear to streaky or off color to streaky and clearing. Streaky water is basically green with bands of off color water.
I prefer a shoreline that is clearing or going from off color to green. Bait will concentrate and run through the off color bands to avoid predation. I find that Trout like to hang around the edges of the off color water while charging through it after fin fish, shrimp, glass minnows (especially), and other forage. Glass minnows love to concentrate in off color water bands. The key to success in the transition is knowing where the fish are to start with. A fishless clearing shoreline is about as useful as a fishless off color shoreline.

I’m proud to announce my association with the Pure Fishing family of outstanding fishing products. Pure Fishing is the owner of family of fishing gear including Berkley products; Abu-Garcia; Johnson; Spider Wire; and Mitchell products. Berkley Trilene has been my line of choice for years and I’m certainly proud to finally call them a sponsor. I know there are a lot of Ambassadeur users out there. I will do my best to bring you technical updates and new product information whenever possible.


Capt. Kris Kelley

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