This month could be considered the beginning to some of our best fishing. Springtime is always a great time to be on the water as the water temperature is warming but the air temperature’s still comfortable. Our local fish like snook, redfish, and even the spotted sea trout are transitioning with the warmer water and are moving around looking to fatten up after the slim pickings of winter. In particular, they’ll key on the scaled sardines that will move back into the harbor and surrounding bays and sounds from offshore where it’s been holding in the deeper more stable habitat all winter.

Too, we could find ourselves fishing anywhere from the backcountry to just inside the beaches. For the most part, the wind on any given day will determine where I’ll fish. On the calmer days, I’ll put in some time looking for early season migratory tarpon and when it’s blowing I’ll stick closer to the backcountry looking for snook and redfish. For snook, remember that corners and points hold the most fish. Snook are ambush feeders and do prefer moving water or strong current. It’s no coincidence that there are more fish in spots where the current moves swifter, around points. However, keep an eye off of the mangroves.  On more than one occasion, I’ve found myself poling tight to the mangroves while spotting fish moving off from outside the boat. Moreover, these were always the larger fish.

The spotted sea trout bite has been pretty good all winter and there’s a good chance the larger fish will get more active when the scaled sardines make their way onto the grass flats. Keep in mind, when this bait first arrives it typically sets up on the best grass flats closest to the passes.

If you find yourself on the East or West Wall and are looking for a change of pace, don’t hesitate to drop off the bar and spend some time looking for cobia. Pompano are still around and the hard bottom just off Cape Haze Point can be good. Also, spanish mackerel should be scattered all over the harbor. The easiest way to find one of these schools is to find the birds.

For another good idea on a calm morning, take a look in the upper harbor for rolling tarpon. These are resident fish coming out of the rivers. They’ll spread out from the U.S. 41 Bridge to the mouth of the Myakka and down to the 20 foot hole off the West Wall. The numbers of ladyfish in the upper harbor probably have something to do with why the tarpon like the area. In addition, I’ve seen schools of big jacks making their way through this area. 

Spring is coming to the Golden Isles

With the advent of Spring, our waters begin warming.  68 to 70 degrees is the magic temperature.  The big winter schools of reds begin to break up and we are able to find them in more places.  Trout come up from the depths and gather around oyster beds and grass.  In May we expect the first "tailing" tides of the year where the reds get into the grass and tail aggressively grubbing for fiddler crabs.  Tailing redfish in the grass is classic, southern fly fishing for redfish.

In St. Simons we have an interesting fishery chasing free floating triple tail just 1-3 miles off of the beaches.  This is an unusual behavior because they are not floating close to structure.  They are simply free floating.  We look for these fish by idling around just off the beaches.  When I see one, I motor close to it and try put you in a good position for a cast.  The flies are generally lightly weighted or unweighted flies that mimic small shrimp or bait fish.  If you make a good presentation a little beyond and in front of the fish, you may come tight with a triple tail up to 20 pounds.  Triple tail are a hard fighting fish that jumps and runs.  I have said many times, if you can imagine how hard a 10 pound blue gill would pull, that is how hard a Triple Tail pulls.  This pattern runs from late March until June or July.  

At this time of year, I like to combine a red fish and Triple tail trip.  As in all sight fishing, a clear day with light wind makes for the fishing.  So, click the link below to inquire on booking a trip for a species I would bet you have never caught on fly.

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