Spring is Here!
Well, it's that time. Spring. When the weather in the deep south isn't quite sure what to do. The rule around here is it can be winter in the morning, and summer by the afternoon. There is another thing spring means - the fish are moving.
If you time the weather right, spring is a great time to fish the Mississippi gulf coast. The speckled trout are moving out of their winter holes and are transitioning to a more summer like pattern. Like most animals, movement means HUNGER. Look for trout to be found in good numbers in the marsh, at the islands and very soon, along the front beach. Redfish, well lets just say redfish are special. Seasonal weather is less of an influence on them than trout, but it is a great time to find redfish feeding in transition areas. While live bait is effective, spring is a great time to throw artificials like the Slick Lure, Top Dog, or a suspending bait like the new MirroLure DD.
Then there are the unsung hero's of spring. The lowly black drum and sheepshead. Puppy drum can be found in great numbers around bridges, piers, and reefs alongside their partners in crime, the sheepshead. These two species are the most under rated table-fare on the coast. Drum under 10 pounds and sheepshead of any size are amazing fried, grilled, or blackened and have saved many spring time fishing trips when a late season front keeps us close to the dock. The bait of choice is live or fresh shrimp and be aware of hook choice with these notorious bait stealers. I prefer a #2 or #4 kahle style hook.
There is one more thing you can absolutely count on in spring...sea dinosaurs are on the prowl. Huge mature black drum will school up on local reefs like a herd of Hoover Vacuum cleaners. These fish can average 20 pounds while bigger ones pushing 50 pounds are not uncommon. While not the same quality on the table, there are few memories that can top a child's first true "big fish." When chasing these sea monsters, I prefer fresh cracked crab on a 2/0 kahle hook.
Capt. Mike Freeman