My clients and I left the Sea Hag Marina at 7:15 am on Saturday, February 2. The wind was supposed to blow 15 to 20 out of the NE switching to N in the afternoon and dropping to 10 to 15. I did not know what kind of success we would have with the front moving through plus the wind, but we were going to try.

My plan was to run South just past Rocky Creek, tuck in as close to shore as possible to get out of the wind and fish the falling tide. The tide was to be low at 10:55 so we were going to have about 3 hours in close with hopefully some sunshine on the flats then follow the tide back in to the grass.

Our targets today were reds and gator trout. (All catch and release) but as luck would have it, we had the front go through mid morning, the wind was out of the NE in the morning, blowing less than ten, but we did have sunshine on the flats almost all day.

We started out with my favorites top water plugs fishing in about 18" of clear water over hard bottom with scattered rocky structure and lush grass flats. The plugs we were using were High Rollers 3.5" Rip Roller, bone white and a silver and black baby mullet, a gold and black Top Dog Jr. and Capt Mike's gray and white L'il Dog. I also had two rods set up with a Yozuri blue and silver floater diver and a silver and black mega bait with a rattle. Without giving you a minute-by-minute breakdown, we fished this assortment of plugs for hours. In addition we fished Capt Mike's Indian River spoons all colors, Chug Bugs 3 colors and even a 12inch garlic flavored black worm. By late afternoon, we were at Pepperfish Keys and during the journey to Pepperfish we did have two or three strikes from reds but no hookups.

I then decided to return to our starting point and give the area one last shot. When we got north of Rocky Creek and started our drift we changed to Capt Mike's Indian River spoons gold with red mylar tape and silver with bright green mylar tape, and we also started to see large reds swimming by the boat. By this time, it was almost 3:00 in the afternoon, the wind was blowing hard out of the NW and the tide was rising.

We started casting the spoons, and about 30 minutes into the drift we hooked a 24" trout on the silver spoon with green mylar tape. As we continued to fish, we were seeing many more reds moving in about 24" of water. My client fishing on the bow told me he counted over 50 reds by the boat in less than 30 minutes. We did manage to boat 2 reds 1-22" and 1-24" to close a very long day. We returned to Sea Hag about 5 pm.

It was tough all day but if you consider the number of large reds we saw late in the afternoon, it's going to be a fantastic spring!