Springtime Fishing the Lower Suwannee River Estuary
Well anglers it’s mid February and the weather remains mild in comparison to historical conditions! Historical for me means readings from at least 40-50 years ago and I prefer to use at least 75 years when it’s possible.
If recent history holds true (5-10yrs) we can expect an early spring, with water temps approach 65 degrees by the end of February. But, then we may experience cool fronts till the first of May that can keep the average water temps down. These conditions tend to keep the fish confused! The water will begin to warm up but then a cool front pushes through and the water temp will cool off again. This results in the fish moving around more and not getting in a consistent early season pattern.
What water temperature is best? Here around the Lower Suwannee River Estuary I have found that around that 60 – 65 degree mark that the fish become more active, with 70 being a great temp! It’s true that fish activity increases with temp but, I have found fish prefer a consistent change of temperature and not a fluctuating one.
Okay so how do we fish in these conditions? First you have to be flexible, you have to roll with the weather! I use several weather sources for my area and if you send me a message or email I will be glad to share them.
The days after a front comes through can be very productive, if you follow the warmer water! The first day after a front comes through the weather can be bright and sunny but windy and cold. On this kind of day think of places out of the wind and with a dark bottom in water from 1 to 3 feet of water (the clearer the water the deeper it can be). The dark bottom can be rocks, mud or grass. The important things are direct sunlight and not too much wind!
You will find that in these areas the water warms faster, especially in a creek or in the back of a bay! But, this is also true on the grass flats,just the wind becomes more of an issue out there!
Let’s touch on baits for a minute. The water is cool to cold so, slow your presentation down! How slow? Let the fish tell you that! Also downsizing your bait can help, especially in early spring. Use a search bait like a Z-man DieZel or Eye Strike ChatterBait that can be fished at different depths and speeds.
Look for more info and tips as we go along!