Don’t feel bad if you you’re an infrequent angler, as you’re not alone. With that said, a lot of sporadic coastal anglers who have limited time when they do get out on the water often end up frustrated because they failed to produce the results they so desperately desired. The odds are stacked against them before they even put the boat in the water, however, simply because they haven’t been fishing for quite some time, not to mention any other obstacles that may be standing in their way on this one particular day. So, how can you work to beat the odds?
Well, even though nothing ever turns out being as easy as you first thought it would be, there are some things you can do that may help you when you’re faced with time constraints. Begin by thinking outside the box, so as to not limit your decisions based solely upon your last fishing trip. Cruise some protected shorelines that are new to you instead of starting the day by heading directly to the spot where you caught fish last time, as there’s a good chance the conditions in your previous spot have changed dramatically since you last visited.
Another thing you can do to make the most of your time is pay close attention to fish signs. A lot of different things fall into the category of fish signs, but one that often pays off handsomely during late March and April is slicks. Slicks appear on the water’s surface as a small, round sheen and are the result of feeding predatory fish. When the fish, especially trout, are on an aggressive feeding pattern, and when they happen to be feeding on oily baitfish, a slick often forms as a result of the trout regurgitating its meal after filling its stomach to near capacity.
While slicks can lead you to feeding fish, you can also be fooled by other kinds of slicks that may appear similar. Crab traps, too, often put out a similar slick as that of feeding game fish. The crabbers sometimes bait their traps with oily baits, which often produces a slick from the moment the trap is lowered into the water. There are many, many crab traps in our coastal bays, so look for a crab trap marker next time you see a slick nearby. If see a marker, don’t waste your time stopping, as there’s a good chance the trap is creating the slick.
A good way to determine whether the slick is a product of feeding fish is to actually witness the slick as it first evolves. Again, a fresh fish slick is generally small and circular in shape, anywhere from the size of a coffee cup saucer to that of a trash can lid. You don’t have time to waste on your one-day of fishing, so if the slick appears in a broken pattern and is larger than ten or twelve feet in circumference then continue on your way – focus on the smaller and the more contained slicks.
We wish to remind everyone of the 2018 “BEAT the HEAT” FISHING SPECIAL being offered during August at Bay Flats Lodge. This is a time when you and your guests can fish each day of the week at tremendously discounted rates. Remember to practice CPR, “Catch, Photo, and Release”, whenever possible on trophy Trout and Reds…Guide Chris Martin, Port O’Connor/Seadrift region. www.BayFlatsLodge.com…1-888-677-4868