Had a chance to hit the water for a brief outing recently searching for that elusive citation Speckled Trout. I launched at the start of the flood tide in the pre-dawn hours into a slight breeze of 8-10 knots (believe me, that's practically dead calm for my outings these days). I had three target areas for the day planned, and I needed to make haste if I wanted to be able to hit all three in the short window I had afforded to me this day.
After a short pedal, I made my way to the first area, a long shallow point that normally holds fish. I made a cast to the starboard side of the Pro Angler and slowed my pace to a slow roll the Hammershad. Within a minute, it was hammered but there was little fight. I knew it wasn't a speck or red for certain. It had to be only one other species that I know in this area this time of year - a juvenile striper........measured in at 15".
After a quick photo, I made another cast with the Hammershad to continue the slow troll until I made it to my second target area. After I crossed another hole that rose to a significant flat, the Hammershad was literally hammered and drag started ripping - had to be a redfish. The challenge in getting this fish in was the incoming tide had picked up in earnest and the winds had shifted and gained in strength. Now I was battling a strong incoming coupled with a wind that was riding the current as well. It pushed me directly into the bank and I risked getting hung up on something and losing the fish. Fortunately, I wrangled the feisty 19" red to the side of the hull right as I reached the shoreline and just lifted him in. Nice fight but not what I was looking for.....
At my second target area, I deployed the trusty 8' YakAttack ParkNPole and waded out onto the flat trying to position myself for any predators schooling and chasing bait. Nary a bite to be found. I threw topwaters, suspending plugs, moving plastics. Varied my retrieves from the normal to the unorthodox just to try and discern the presentation that they were looking for. Nothing.
I repeated this procedure at my third target area and finally found some baitfish, but I knew it was all for naught. I had reached the end of my allotted time on the water. I know if I could have hung around for just another hour or two the bite would have turned on. I would have been in perfect position to ambush the monster trout I know were staging offshore and waiting for the outgoing to begin.
No worries - I will be back and pursuing that citation. I will persist, and it will happen.
The lure of the day, as mentioned before, was a Powerteam Lures 3.6" JP Hammershad with a small drop of Hog Tonic. It is a very versatile bait and can be rigged in a number of ways. On a standard jighead, as a trailer on a swimming jig or spinnerbait, as a drop shot - the choices are only limited by your imagination. the beauty of these baits is that they are flat on the bottom. This is helpful in two ways - one, it helps with skipping under the canopy of overhanging trees, docks and cutting through the wind. And second, it is awesome as a suspending jerkbait. Rig it on a 3/0 EWG or swimbait hook with a keeper pin. The neutral buoyancy of the lure helps it float or levitate in the water and exhibits a slow sink.