It’s Specks and Dots Time
Here in the northern gulf, we’re truly blessed with plenty of top-notch charter fishing guides. The FYO team has had the good fortune to fish with some of the best from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle. They all share the ability to find the fish and when they do, each has their own “secrets to success” in catching them.
“May kicks off our summer fishing here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” says Captain Chris Barlow with Barlow’s Charters and Guide Services. “Speckled trout move to more saline waters to spawn during the large tidal range cycles which typically occur around the new and full moon. To survive the many predators, it’s crucial that the eggs be quickly dispersed by the tidal flow. These spawning fish will gather just offshore on oyster reefs and jetties all the way to the barrier islands where conditions seem ideal.”
ABOVE: Captain Chris Barlow from Charters and Guide Services pictured with a nice speckled trout.
“Trout are in my crosshairs in the spring and one of my favorite times of year to teach clients how to fish the shallows for trout,” says Captain Alan Patrick, with Chasing Dots Charters “The weather is starting to calm down and the water temperatures have made it to high 60’s or low 70’s. The fish have followed the bait back out to the islands, it’s like the entire ecosystem comes alive!!”
“It’s all about finding the grass beds and large schools of mullet. This is a killer combination for catching big trout.” Captain Alan favors top-water lures in the early morning when it’s hard to see what’s going on beneath the surface of the water. “But don’t be afraid to throw them in the middle of the day as well. We’ve caught lots of good fish then too using top water lures.”
Saltwater Therapy Custom Charters’ Capt Marcus McDavid agrees. “Don’t let people tell you that topwater is only good for first thing in the morning or late in the evening. We regularly catch limits mid-day with them at the islands.”
ABOVE: Captain Marcus McDavid from Saltwater Therapy Custom Charters with a string of fish.
Captain Marcus also likes wade fishing this time of year and offers some advice. “Don’t be afraid to cover some ground. Many people only walk fifty yards from the boat and give up if they haven’t hooked up. But I regularly end up over a mile from the boat. Keep moving until you find the fish,” he suggests. “There’s nothing quite as exciting as a big trout blowing up on a top water in knee deep water over the grass beds.”
“Being stealthy and covering a lot of ground when wade fishing can be very effective. Just be mindful of the bull sharks and alligators,” Capt Chris Barlow cautioned. “And remember, take only what you need and release the rest to breed and repopulate.”
Check out our website, FindYourOutdoors.TV for more tips and advice as well as information on how to contact our charter team to book your own trip with these pros.
Frank Wilem is CEO of The Wilem Group which produces television shows including Find Your Outdoors (formerly Gulf South Outdoors.) Info on FYO air times and channels may be found on their website at www.findyouroutdoors.tv.