Tips for more consistent Spring action for specks, reds and flounder.
Story and photography Danno Wise
March starts a period of warmer weather and warmer water along the Texas coast. This will cause fish to begin leaving their winter homes in the deeper portions of the bays and moving into shallower water.
While this transition is occurring, virtually every portion of a bay system will be in play for productive fishing. The fact so much of every bay will have the potential to produce good catches opens up several options for how to explore Texas inshore waters. The obvious options of fishing from a boat or wading will both be viable, as will fishing from kayaks, canoes and paddleboards.
March is also when Texas bays start experiencing higher water levels. As these spring tides flood otherwise dry flats, fish will follow the water and bait into some areas that are only accessible by foot or paddle. While wading can be productive in many of these areas, some are quite boggy. Kayaks – and other paddle craft – are a good option for those not wanting to wade in muck. There are an ever-growing number of kayak launch sites along the Texas coast. The middle, and to a lesser degree, upper coast also have a number of areas that allow for easy launching of canoes, paddle boards and kayaks that aren’t necessarily designated as launch sites.
Warmer weather will also encourage more fishermen hit the water beginning in the third month of the year. Using paddle craft to reach isolated areas can aid anglers in avoiding crowds, as most fishermen will be in the main bays and along jetties and piers.
For those interesting in paddling, kayaks remain the most popular paddle craft to fish from on the Texas coast. Canoes are not as commonly used in Texas and the higher gunwales can be a bit of a liability in open water as they cause the craft to be much less maneuverable, catch more wind and are less efficient. However, they function well in protected waters and in back lakes as they afford anglers much more room for tackle than kayaks do.