February has had its ups and downs, with Mother winter not showing up but for more than a few days at a time. Pre-front and post front bites have been aggressive and the fish we are searching for. Patterning these fish under low tide conditions surrounding a front, have held fish in areas for days at a time. Then when the SE wind returns and the water rises the fish tend to scatter. These fish can still be caught, but it takes a long slow wade throwing topwaters, softdines, and soft plastics. The Corky fatboy bite falls off when water temps become to warm.
I gotta tell y'all this story. The last two days we were fortunate enough to walk into the fish. It started off with me and my 3 clients catching 7-8# reds, as i was landing one red there was a 28-30ā trout swimming with him. We started to catch 4-5.5# trout shortly after. Then mind you we are standing in shin deep water, my customer starts freaking out. He was throwing a topwater and you could see a huge trout standing on her head with her tail out of the water as he was fighting her. She got wrapped up in a grass mat and pulled off.
We ended up walking one mile that took 5 hours catching countless other 4-5# trout. Then another client throwing a topwater had a big trout roll over his bait, then just lay there following it each time he moved it! towards the end of the day one client finally connected with a good fish, about a 27" trout. As I was walking over to take pictures on customer was already there to do so. As they picked the fish up out of the net and right before the picture the fish shook out of his hands and into the water. We had to laugh about it because luck was obviously not on our side.
Day two, we went to the same area and was there before the crack of day. First cast I caught a 5.25, and one client caught 2 over 5. We just stood there, we were throwing softdines and double dās. I had a big 8-9# fish hit my double d and as soon as she came to the surface she threw the hooks. We ended up catching 7 trout to 5.5#, a handful of reds but could never get another big to hit. We stood on that wade for 7 hours yesterday. At one point we were taking a break all standing together, when all of a sudden out in front of us a 30+ā trout crushed some mullet and came completely out of the water. A couple of us saw it and stood in disbelief.
Although we never brought a big fish to hand, we were definitely in the right zip code. This is what makes me want to be out there all day everyday. I will never forget these two days, especially that we were in shin deep water.
All our fish on these Port Mansfield trips, even the redfish are released to fight another day!