Last updated 7/3/2018 at Noon
For years the only bump in the road that I had to navigate during the scorching summer months was keeping the kids hydrated and lathered up with a quality sunscreen.The catching part of fishing was a given as the bite could not be more fisherman-friendly.
The daily program ranged from cruising the lake to stay cool while harassing small flocks of gulls and terns working over school trout to drifting or bottom fishing with live bait.The vacationing youngsters were into either pattern as long as there were more cold drinks in the ice chest and something was pulling on the end of their line.
Dedicated anglers were more than willing to pursue larger trout from two hours before first light to mid-day and fully expected to not only catch good numbers, but possibly the trout of their dreams as well.In a word…..summer fishing could be miserably hot, but it was always F-U-N!
That has not been the case thus far, but a handful of reports this past week could be a sign that things may finally be turning around.Over the course of only two days, I talked with a friend that had limited on reds while drifting the Causeway reef with his two daughters.He said they probably caught a dozen fish that they could have kept.
Jason Parks and his Dad, Lawrence, kept eight trout up to three pounds that they found schooling under the gulls off Blue Buck Point.They also had two reds and a nice flounder. Barry Teal and a friend kept nine trout drifting the same area with corks and soft plastics.
The following day I got a note and picture of a nice redfish that Reginald Knox caught while fishing south of the Rainbow Bridge.That same afternoon, Eric Lowe dropped by to see if I still had any Stinky Pink Sea Shads left.That was yet another color that worked extremely well for us for years that we abandoned for no good reason.He had run out after limiting on 15 to 17-inch trout in the ship channel two days in a row.
Eric said they were losing plastics to the shell much too quickly before switching to drop shotting.He fished with me back in the spring when I was fishing that technique a lot. They caught their fish on an outgoing tide in 12 to 15 feet of water.
When fishing the drop shot technique over shell in saltwater we are using 20 pound braid on a seven foot medium action spinning rod.We are attaching three feet of 20 pound mono to the braid and rigging the lure and weight on the mono.
We are simply nose hooking the plastic with the hook exposed.For the most part we have been relying on either the four inch Sea Shad or a MirrOlure Lil’ John.A Mustad 1/0 short shank hook has worked well.Depending on the strength of the tide we are using a 1/4 to 3/8ths ounce weight.
The bait fishermen were catching their fish on either live or cut mullet as it is difficult to locate menhaden shad large enough to fish right now. The entire time all of this good news was taking place I was trying to finish putting down a paver sidewalk.I have no doubt that it will flood again before I can get back on the water!
I personally think it is more fun to lower the rod tip and set the hook when you detect a solid bite with live bait, but the better option for kids as well as adults that just cannot jerk at the right time is to rig their bait on a circle hook. They will miss few if any bites with that set up.
A solid connection is simply a matter of allowing the fish to bend the rod until he hooks himself.In the event that you cannot catch mullet with a cast net you are still in the game with a few fresh frozen shrimp.The trout prefer a frisky live mullet swimming around on a Carolina rig, but a hungry red can care less.
I am very reluctant to even infer that things may have finally turned around, but this action was at the very least diverse and taking place in more than a single spot.Thus far, every time we have put together a decent bite it was history within a day or two.Only time will tell, but this is a positive start! .