I tried my best to come up with a fishing report that would quantify spring fishing this year, and some pretty strange numbers popped into my head.
The first is 29, representing the average number of miles per hour the wind has blown each day. The second is 13, the number of degrees lower the water temperature was on May 27 this year than it was last year according to my log book. The last is 1, the number of days I have left the dock in the morning without a jacket or sweatshirt on.
What does all this mean? It tells me that what we have experienced in spring 2014 is so unprecedented that nothing in my 21 years of log books even came close. Lucky for me, I run in the same circles with some old salts that have forgotten more about fishing than I will ever know. Unlucky for me, their reply was a shrug of the shoulders and a profanity (I did mention they are old salts) that I don’t feel compelled to type. The best I can figure, 2014 is running about four weeks behind schedule.
We are just starting to see croakers big enough to put on a hook, and trout (when we are able to get to them) that are just becoming interested in said croakers. March, April, and May consisted mainly of shrimp under popping corks, on bottom, or cut mullet or menhaden on bottom. Results have been mixed, with one great day and one easy pattern followed by one bad day with no pattern at all, mixed in with a wind that seemed to change 180 degrees of direction every 24 hours. One thing we learned for sure-don’t bother going where you caught them yesterday. All this being said, some really good fishing was had during spring, with redfish and especially with black drum.
Now, what does this mean going forward? Cooler than normal water temperatures can only help us as summer approaches, keeping fish active for a greater portion of the day. Wind always lays down in June, so we will be able to spread out to some areas that have not seen a fishing boat in months. 80% of our fish have been unreachable, so once we can get to them fishing should be pretty great.
Also, it wouldn’t be a fishing report without the mention of rain. The last two weeks have given us over 3” here in Rockport, but the watershed has gotten much more than that. The rivers will again be flowing and the bay salinity will come down a notch. That always does great things for fishing, shrimp, and crabs. Maybe all the suffering and tough weather we endured all spring will pay some nice dividends coming up this summer and fall. And even better news- in 33 years when we have a cold, windy spring I will have a log book that will give me some insight into the fishing!