I have been fortunate to have received many new hard and soft baits to try in the marsh. I haven’t got to all of them but did bring some Trout Tricks along last Tues in a brutal fog. I started out a little greedy with one of my old favorites, the 52M from Mirrolure. I wanted to see if I could find a big one in some new stuff. I probably stayed with it too long, with only 2 taps, lost a small one at the boat, and pulled the hooks on what felt like a decent trout. I moved up river to some flooded mud and grass flats I had been wanting to fish. I started with the DOA clear w/red flake and got into the dinks pretty good. Finally caught a solid keeper after 12 shorts…very short. The bite quit and with time running out, switched over to the Trout Tricks. I ran to a small creek that I knew had a deep drop 2 bends back. The Trout Trick did the trick. The next 6 fish were all solid trout in the 15-17” range. I used a slow lift and drop retrieve and would just shake it now and then. Water was fairly cloudy all day but I fished the cleanest stuff I could find. Water temps were around 59 degrees and for most of the morning the fog was very thick. Definitely going to add the “tricks” to the team.
When negotiating shells, structure and grass, this simple, snag free shrimp works wonders. This particular custom crustacean is created by pairing the popular 3” D.O.A. ¼ oz. shrimp with either a 2/0 or 3/0 red or black Extra Wide Gap worm hook. While it can be rigged traditionally thru the head or front of the bait, I like to rig it thru the tail for a couple of reasons. First, it will look like a fleeing shrimp when twitched, and secondly, this positions the bait weight forward for added casting distance.
Here in the Golden Isles the poor sheepshead certainly doesn’t share the same notoriety as speckled trout, redfish or tarpon, but it probably should. They are hard fighters, quite abundant in numbers and size, and are excellent table fare. Many local sheepshead aficionados have aptly named this finned adversary “the convict fish”, and for good reason. Not only do the seven black vertical stripes on this spiny finned fish resemble that of an inmates, the sheepshead’s uncanny ability to steal your bait rivals that of any common jailbird.