Water temp 70-71
Tide: rising till around noon, range around 1.3’
Wind: 4-8 knots mostly N
Josh and I hit BSM again today. This time I bought 30 of the minnows and a pound of dead shrimp for backup. It was pretty quiet for the first little bit at the dam, then the tide kind of switched on and we got some bites. We each caught a few nice trout between 16-19", and I caught a 30" and 24" redfish. I think he caught a red there as well. Had a few croakers mixed in, and I think he caught a small mangrove snapper. We eventually headed over to the canal opposite of the launch, and fished cuts into the marsh. The trout were sucking the minnows down pretty hungrily. Unfortunately, due to some bad bait management (those minnows are slippery and they jump like madmen), I ran out of bait right as I was sitting on a bite. Switching over to a vudu tipped with shrimp yielded a couple more nice trout, and I should have had another redfish, but foolishly tried to lift him in rather than use the fish grips, and broke him off. Josh took off and I briefly went into the marsh to see if I could find a red or two. The bite had pretty much shut down as the tide flattened out, and I did see 3-4 fish, but they were sitting absolutely still and showed no interest in my lures, even flashed a couple inches in front of them.
I brought home 10 trout from 13-19", and the 1 red at about 25". I think Josh ended up with 15 trout and 1 red. It was nice to have some bigger ones in the mix.
Takeaways for today:
- Almost zero interest in artificial lures today. I caught a few nice fish on vudu and on a matrix shad (under cork), but had to tip it with shrimp. This was in the marsh area with somewhat dirtier water, which could be the reason.
- When the tide switched, the fish switched on, and when it petered out, they switched right off.
- Storm minnows did great again. I almost feel bad using them, they are so cool. I had two jump out of my bait bucket, and found them in the hull when I got home after hours without water, still alive. I lost a couple over the edge of the kayak as I was trying to hook them. Also, they jump like crazy when you first get them in the water, and a couple jumped right off the hook. I had a 3/0 Kahle, not sure if there is a better option.
- I have been rigging with a clamp on weight instead of a Carolina rig or other bottom rig, and while I did lose some tackle at the dam, I think the clamp on weights are more forgiving, since they can move a little bit.
- I bought a dive reel, and have been anchoring with that clipped onto the anchor trolley, with a crab trap float also clipped on. It was great today, could adjust which way I'm facing via the trolley, and easily unclip the anchor to go get unhooked or troll around, then come back to the float for the anchor. That is new to me, but I dig it. I am thinking about adding a cam cleat for the anchor, so I can easily stop the line from playing out.
- For guys with a Cuda or other kayaks with a center console, I have been keeping the live bait in there and enjoying being able to dip right down in there with my hand and pull out a bait. Trying to find somewhere to balance the bait buckets or reaching down into the water always kind of annoyed me. I used a 1 gallon plastic pitcher, drilled a hole in it for the aerator tube, and the bait were lively throughout the whole day. I did freshen the water up midway through the day.
Bonus of the day: not a single catfish was hooked in an entire day of fishing live and dead bait. I almost can't believe it myself.