Weather conditions today were breezy with a cloudless and clear blue sky. Conditions that typically make for tough fishing. That was certainly the case today. However, persistence does pay. After a couple of hours without a fish, I switched to 3/16th ounce Trout Eye Finesse Jig with a Z-Man StreakZ 3.75 and began working a depth transition from 5 to 10 feet. Managed to release several keeper-size Trout and a couple of small Redfish. Decent results on a very tough day.
Fishing after a cold front passes can be pretty challenging. Today, was one of those days. When I launched the skiff, the sky was bright blue. A strong breeze was blowing out of the northeast. Given the conditions, I planned to target Trout with small finesse lures in deeper water. My lure combination of choice was a Z-Man TRD TubeZ (Real Deal) on a 1/8th ounce Trout Eye Finesse Jig prototype. Using the depth sounder, I located a school of fish in 15 feet of water. After positioning the skiff down current of the school, I cast the TubeZ back up current and let it sink to the bottom. After a few iterations of a short hop and stop retrieve, I felt the subtle tick that is indicative of a post cold front bite. The Trout were on the smaller side but I was happy to catch anything in the post cold front conditions. The next time you fish after a cold front, try using small lures in deeper water.
No matter where you stand on climate change, it is hard to argue that this winter feels a lot like Spring. In February, we are typically dealing with the coldest water temperatures of the year. However, this weekend, the water temperature was 57 degrees. While the water is unusually warm for February, it does have the Trout and Redfish actively feeding. Especially, a few days after the passing of a cold front, when the barometer stabilizes.
This was the case on Sunday when Elliott and I fished together. Our plan was to fish the incoming tide from 9:00 till Noon. But I got restless and launched the skiff an hour early. With time to spare, I slowly and randomly idled around in creeks looking for fish on the depth finder. Being February, I concentrated my search on deeper water (10-20 feet deep). This depth range had very few fish in it. So I began looking in 5 to 10 feet of water. To my surprise, the fish were stacked up in shallow water. Given this information, I picked up Elliott and we immediately began working the shallows. Elliott was casting a StreakZ Curly Tail (Bad Shad) on a quarter ounce Trout Eye Jig and I was using a TRD (PB&J) on a Z-Man Mushroom Head Jig. The Trout liked both offering equally well. The strike was not the subtle tick which is indicative on a winter time bite. They were crushing our lures. After a while, we got tired of catching Trout and switched our attention to Redfish on the fly. After a quick run to a nearby flat, we began looking for schools of Redfish. After a few minutes of looking, Elliott spotted a small school of Reds and cast a Clouser Minnow (tan with gold flash) to the lead fish. The entire school rushed forward in a race to eat the fly. On Sunday, fishing was easy.
This week, the weather is forecast to be in the 70-degree range. So I expect the shallow water feeding frenzy to continue. Don’t miss it!