19 May Saltwater Edge Fishing Report – Let me Count The Ways
Saltwater Edge Fishing Report 5.18.13
Go fishing! Most would agree we have had a “colder” May than we are used to; but here we are like most every other mid May and the fishing is busting wide open. Birds are working, bunker are schooling, bluefish are blitzing and keeper bass are in the bays and river mouths on the chew. At least one 50 lber came to hand this week so the biggun’s are starting to arrive.
Topwaters can be the best of both worlds this time of year…effective and fun.
Many of us are guilty of over fishing a topwater spook or popper because we enjoy the visual of a bass hammering the plug. This might be the best time of year if surface action for big bass is your fancy, Low light and stealth will improve your chances.
Bunker to get down and dirty.
Live bait is the best bait. With the pre-spotter plane populations in the bay the bass are very interested in the real thing. There are a number of ways to rig a bunker depending in part on water depth. The image above is from Captain Jack Sprengel. I suspect he is preparing to lower the bait down to fish that he has located on his fishfinder. This video from neangling.com discusses the common rig used to live line bunker in shallow water. Stout boat rod required.
Tsunami Swim Shads are a solid “Plan B” when you can’t find bunker.
An effective techniques is to identify a rip where the current moves over a drop off on the bottom. Bass will frequently lie down tide of the structure waiting for their next meal to pass over head. Use the sounder to set a drift over the structure. Get the swim shad to the bottom. Crank twice and then vertical jig.
Fly Rodders – big fly = big fish
This time of year you have bass in shallow water chasing bunker, feeding in estuaries and keeping a watchful eye on river mouths on the dropping tide. This is a good time to show them a fly that presents a large profile. Two schools of thought on this.
Deer Hair Patterns – Designed to move a lot of water and get the bass to investigate. Tough to cast.
Traditional Rhody Flatwing – A more subtle fly for fishing in the flow. A river mouth for example.
Another common technique to get the bass in fly rod range is to throw a hookless surface plug over bassy structure. If the fish give chase remove the plug and land an flatwing in it’s place.