Wind: almost none to start, increased about 9 a.m., soon was 10-12 mph from east
Tide: falling to start, low scheduled about 8 a.m., high 11:24 p.m. at Empire Jetty station, range about 1 ft. The tide at Happy Jack lags about 2 hours behind the Empire Jetty station tide.
Water Level: a bit below the grass line to start, into grass line by afternoon
Water Temperature: ~78 F
Water Clarity: fair initially, and found some crystalline water up a bayou, but wind and incoming tide churned it up
Water salinity: a little salty, maybe 3 ppt
Weather/sky: sunny with scattered clouds
Temperature: ~ 76, going up to ~ 88 F for high
Moon: new crescent
Solunar period: major period @ 4 p.m.
Time on the water: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Water covered: ~ 5 miles
Other fishers: solo trip
Game Plan: Find clean water by getting back into protected marsh, catch reds and sheepshead with the fly rod.
Gear: 2 fly rods, one spinning outfit as back up in case the wind got too strong.
Lures: Spoon fly and a small crab pattern on the fly rods. Aqua Dream spoon in chartreuse on the spinning reel.
Strategy/ patterns: I found one of my favorite patterns as I left a big pond and turned up a small bayou. The water was draining out and the further I went the water got cleaner and the redfish begin to appear everywhere. Most were 10”-16”, but there were some 24”-25” reds in there too.
I threw the spoon fly to them and they ate it up. I caught a fish every few minutes, some by blind casting and others by sight when I could see them. The water was only a foot or two deep so I could cast at wakes when I couldn’t actually see the fish. The angle of the sun was still low, but when the light was right it was like watching redfish TV. I had scads of throwbacks and scratched up six that would make the slot. The biggest was about 20”, but they were all fun on the fly rod.
I got one small speckled trout on the spoon fly off a point that usually hold fish, but the water was dirty there and couldn’t find other fish.
I left this spot and went to look for some better sized fish and went across a windy open pond to more broken marsh. I tried the spinning outfit but had no luck. I got up into some tight marsh where I could cast the fly rod. I had to pull up the fins and rudder on the Hobie Outback and paddle here. I’d seen sheepshead here before but none today. I did see some good upper slot redfish but they were at close range and I couldn’t get a cast to them. I did some blind casting and got four smaller sized reds. The water was getting dirtier so I headed back to the first bayou, but found conditions had changed. The water had come up and was dirty. I did some blind casting and threw the spoon some, but without luck. I think the fish were still there, however the conditions had changed and the bite had turned off. I threw the spoon fly some and got one more little redfish and called it a day.
Other notes: Today was stingray day. I saw half a dozen pretty big ones. I’ve heard that seeing stingrays is correlated with good presence of redfish, and this held true today. I lost track of the number of fish that I caught today, but had a limit + of smaller slot fish. All the fish caught today were released in good shape.