Outdoors folks seem to continually face natural obstacles that give them plenty of excuses for slow fishing days. Sometimes it is too cold, and at other times it is too hot. Then comes the too windy days and then the thunderstorms. All of these things do make conditions uncomfortable for the anglers. At least it does for most folks. There are others, however, who seem to score well no matter what nature seems to put in front of them. I’ve long believed in the old saying that 10 percent of the fishermen will catch 90 percent of the fish. There are times of the year when there will be novice anglers that will catch outsize fish. We are now into that time of year when largemouth black bass in fresh water and speckled trout in saltwater are moving into shallow water. Whenever this spawning situation takes place, the fish are vulnerable. Anyone that is able to cast a lure near their nests or their feeding areas might score big.
Whenever the bass are in a spawning mode, spinner lures seem to be great attractions. Many of those lures are semi-weedless and may be cast near the bank or brush. Colors are usually the angler’s choice, but it is a good idea to pay attention to the water clarity when choosing a lure. My color choices are chartreuse, yellow, black and such colors in off-color water. In clear water, chartreuse is still a good choice, but white and other brighter colors do well.
Plastics are also great choices right now. Plastic worms or lizards that are pumpkin seed, watermelon or one of the other new similar colors are good choices. Whether to rig them Texas style, Carolina style or weightless depends upon where you plan to use them. A Whacky rigged worm with a small headless nail in the head cast near brush can get quick results in 3 to 6 foot deep water right now.
Keep in mind that all of the bass on any given body of water do not spawn at one time. They seem to go in waves. Some of the roe-laden females do not even spawn each year. For whatever reason, they do skip a year from time to time. I’ve also never been able to get a definite answer as to what age that bass become too old to reproduce.
There has been an influx of the small Kentucky spotted bass in to the sandy points on Sam Rayburn. The fish battle hard and are great on the table if you can catch one that is of legal size. They do take red or red tipped lures readily. You can identify them by the small dark rough spot on their tongue’s tip.
Whenever the winds are blowing hard and the storms are threatening, stay on shore. Should there not be too much wind and no lightening, then head for an area on the upwind side of the lake. Many times when the barometer is falling and you are in a safe fishing area, the action is second to none. Just don’t over do it and get caught in a storm. Believe me, it is just not worth it.
On the saltwater scene during the changing of the seasons, the action might be different from day to day. Since the fish are now on the move and following the bait, have several spots in mind before heading out. The larger speckled trout seem to still be along the shorelines, but the good solid keeper specks have become more active out over the reefs. There are a lot of shrimp and small shad in the bays and inland lakes now. Since the big fish prefer larger prey, they go wherever that bait is. Those fish under 5 or 6 pounds seem to gorge themselves on small shad and shrimp; therefore, they will also be where that food source is. There is a very large crop of glass minnows this year, and the predator fish love them. That includes flounder. According to all reports, this has been a much better spring for the flat fish than several previous ones. In my opinion, there will always be fat and lean years for all creatures. It’s called keeping things in balance.
The problem with springtime in the saltwater has been wind. In the open water areas, a little wind goes a long way. We have had more than a little wind this year. There will be thunderstorms or squalls coming also. Be aware of extreme weather conditions and plan your trips accordingly. There are a lot of specks, reds, flounder, sheepshead and other fish around right now. The action will continue to improve. Just keep an eye on the sky and have a safe trip out.
Tune in to KSET 1300 at 6 p.m. on Thursdays for Billy Halfin Outdoors and listen to The updates daily at 7:25 a.m., 12:25 p.m. and 6:25 p.m.