Play weather for spring reds

On cooler March days, look for redfish in slightly deeper water around dropoffs or around the deep edges of mud flats.
On cooler March days, look for redfish in slightly deeper water around dropoffs or around the deep edges of mud flats.

Weather patterns are key to fishing

Late March and early April are transition times for the weather and inshore fishing patterns. What that means to anglers like guide Stephen Fields is that the fishing can be just as hot from one day to the next, but it will take some trial and error because what works one day may not work the next.

This is typical this time of year because a few days of warm weather are usually interrupted by a cold front, rain or windy weather, all of which have an impact on the fish. Fields said knowing a few strategies will keep anglers on the redfish until the weather becomes more stable.

When the wind is blowing to the point that it makes casting difficult, Fields likes to focus on docks that are protected from the wind. He finds a small creek or a stretch of shoreline that offers a windbreak, then casts to those docks, either with live bait or with a Z-Man PaddlerZ. Mud minnows have been the ticket on his most recent trips, and Fields said dragging the bait on the bottom has been the best way to entice a bite.

On a nice, warm, blue-sky day, Fields likes to concentrate on the mud flats. He said a lot of redfish are visible in the shallows and the edge of the shallows where the water depth begins dropping.

“They are usually at that edge of the dropoff, but sometimes they’ll be shallow, so I like to anchor far enough away that I don’t spook them,” he said. “I see a lot of anglers go in too shallow, and they run right over the fish. Whatever you do, anchor so that you can cast tight to the bank or grass line and then drag your lure all the way to the dropoff.”

On windy, March days, focus on docks and areas of the shoreline that are protected from direct blows.

When a cold front comes through after a few days of nice weather, Fields said anglers should look for deeper pockets, especially those just off the flats. He targets fish in these areas with Z-Man soft plastics and a bass lure, a LIVETARGET BaitBall Rattlebait.

“This is a lure the redfish around here aren’t seeing a lot of, and they respond to it really well,” he said.

Fields stresses that anglers need to familiarize themselves with the areas they fish through maps as well as electronics. A lot of anglers unknowingly scatter fish out of their holes because they don’t know what the terrain looks like under the surface, he said.

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