Winds: 5-10 mph, SE
Tide: ebb, neap tide at Shell Beach Station
Water Level: 1ft. below normal, came up a little due to wind.
Water Temperature: ~ 52 F
Water Clarity: dirty
Water salinity: did not check
Weather/sky: mostly sunny
Temperature: 56 F for high
Moon: 1/2 waxing
Solunar period: minor period at 11 a.m.
Launch: slipped the Hobie Compass in about 10:30 a.m., out at 5 p.m.
Water covered: ~ 8 miles
Other fishers: solo
Gear: 9-wt fly rod w/ Waldner’s spoon fly
I’ve been busy and have not updated my trips for January. I went fishing a couple of times during the first two weeks of the month. Conditions for sight fishing were not great on either day and I got 3 reds and a flounder, and one redfish on the respective trips.
I noticed the first signs of spring on the drive down. The willows had a faint tinge of green and the swamp maples were breaking out their crimson blossoms. It was a cold morning, so I started late and hoped that the sun would warm up the shallows. I saw a couple of redfish at the mouth of a pond and, although I didn’t get a good shot at them, it was a promising start.
The wind was stronger than the forecast predicted today, but it turned out pretty well. I was having difficulty seeing fish in the dirty water, however, the fish were helpful. They were getting shallow and showing some tails and backs. There was a good density of redfish on a protected weedy bank and the water was a shade cleaner here as well. I caught five fish and saw several more. I would move the kayak about the length of a cast, stop, and spot another fish. The best fish of the day was about 32” long. I spotted it in shallow water that was just deep enough to cover it. It took several casts to get the bite. I’m not sure if my casts were too far away or if the fish was not spotting the spoon fly in the dirty water. I tried not to cast too close to the fish because I did not want to “line” the fish. Finally, I saw the fish dip down for my fly and I strip set when I felt the line become taut. I did not realize the size of the fish until I got it near the kayak, and it took some time before it gave up and slid into the net.
I released all the fish today. They were all upper-slot fish or larger. There are good numbers of redfish around in the duck ponds. If the conditions are favorable, then there could be some good spring fishing in the future.