The last few weeks have been excellent for flats fishing in the Big Bend area. We've had plenty of warm weather and some nice wind that allows us to cover lots of ground and find fish easier. The fishing should continue to be great over the next few weeks as the forecast looks prime.
We're finding the speckled trout in clear water while the redfish are in the murky waters near oyster bars or creek mouths. Most of our trout have been caught closer to Keaton Beach and the redfish action seems to be hotter closer to Spring Warrior where the water visibility is reduced. Redfish don't mind the freshwater near the creek mouths, while the trout are seeking the saltier, clear water.
We're catching limits of trout in 3-4' of water and no deeper than 5'. This time of year, the big trout are coming closer to the hill so they can lay their eggs in the grass flats where predation is less likely. These fish are fat and full of eggs right now as they're getting ready to spawn. Once they lay eggs in the grass, they'll move back to the deeper water as summer approaches.
The bigger trout are still being caught mostly using live shrimp and pinfish. The pinfish are stacked in the flats this time of year and the trout are more likely to eat what they're seeing on a regular basis. We have caught a few fish on soft plastics, but most of them are either short or barely legal. If you're going to use soft plastics, be sure to use the scented ones.
The topwater plug action should start getting better in the next few weeks as the water gets warmer. We've also started to see a few Spanish mackerel and bluefish on the flats and they'll continue to move into the area as waters warm. It's a great time of year to be on the flats fishing, so get out there and catch a limit!
This fishing report is brought to you by Captain Jason Witherspoon of Spoon Fed Charters in Keaton Beach, Florida.