Three good things happened this week, first we said good bye to one long winter and welcomed the arrival of spring (even though it’s still kinda cool). Second, Spanish mackerel showed up all around the southern side of Charlotte Harbor and third, the one that excites me the most, baitfish arrived. I have been hitting the water every other morning at daylight hoping for bait and Sunday morning it happened after a half dozen throws my live well was full of perfect shiners and several dozen pinfish, a beautiful sight.
The arrival of mackerel is a good sign that our waters are warming and the spring migration up the coast is on. Early in the week we caught them on shrimp under a popping cork and white shad tails on a quarter ounce head and on Sunday we fished live shiners and silver spoons and found steady mackerel action. Pretty much every place we fished for trout in open water we found mackerel. Most were averaging eighteen to twenty inches.
We moved north of the bridge and set up on a shoreline and it wasn’t long before we had our first bite in a while. It took a small pinfish under a cork and after a great fight a hefty twenty-nine inch redfish was brought to the boat. With thunder in the distance we released the fish and rebaited knowing our time was running out. It wasn’t long before the same angler was hooked up again, another strong fight and a larger redfish that measured thirty-two inches was landed and released after a picture. The lightning and thunder was getting closer as the sky was darkening, we decided to head for home. A great decision as not five minutes after we hit the dock the skies let loose. I think after this winter I have become immune to fishing in the wind and even some rain, but the lightning is a whole different story.