Finding the right time to go fishing is futile. There is really no right time to go, just the opportunity to do so.
Recently, finding that time has been a challenge -- whether it is a last-minute change of plans due to something I had forgotten, or a drop-in visit from someone with a problem that needs fixing. There are conditions I can control, but far too many of late from which there is no escape.
Take the other day, when I inadvertently let it slip that my new fly rod was in need of attention. Suddenly, the whole house seemed to collapse around me, and my attention to favors and chores was in demand.
Is it age that has mellowed my choices to the passage of others? I can remember times I would pass on family outings or concert tickets to spend an hour or so on the water.
Never miss a local story.
Truth being told, I would not trade any of the interruptions at this stage of my life; It brings a fond recall of usefulness, the once-upon-a-time days when distractions were more a matter of necessary learning skills to be passed to others. Nights spent tinkering with old cars, math homework, driveway basketball and backyard birthdays. Not to mention the countless hours being dragged through the mall with the women of the family in search of just the right this or that to match the other thing that was a need-to-have.
Life at any age is a chore, and in spite of all the distractions, we do survive. Fishing is opportunity, enriched by the necessity of life, a part of the everyday challenge to retain a small portion of the day just for ourselves -- regardless of how it is accomplished.
Spottail bass are plentiful and hungry. The flats are holding good numbers and the schools are tight. Spottails presently are holding close to the points and drops of larger feeder creeks and can be tempted to hook easily. Due to past rains, the water is still a bit cloudy, but fresh bait and shiny artificials are breaking the code and many have come to the net.
A popular fish for the boat runners has been spadefish, which are also in great numbers. Jelly balls are crowding the surface, and a slipped hook with small weight will bring hungry spadefish to the boat.
Flounder are hitting minnows slow-trolled using a torpedo rig. Fish the shallow bars and rises from deep vertical banks first and mark your hook-ups for the return.
At the pier and pilings there is a good bit of sheepshead activity using fiddlers and cut mussel. Stout hooks with short shanks are in use at this time and the points are exposed.
Some nice blues have been taken recently. Although not favored as a food fish, the action is hard and fast.
Sharks are on the prowl for an easy meal as well, with black tip and bonnet head topping the list. On the beach there have been a few large sharks and plenty of rays pulled on the sand.
Offshore, the dominant species continues to be Spanish mackerel.
On the freshwater side, the lagoons and brackish water reaches have provided entertainment for those wanting less travel time and a quicker return. Largemouth bass are hitting the shiny and the slimy, which is to say topwater silver plugs and spinner baits, as well as live and artificial worms, and -- with some exceptions -- a few minnows are in the mix, too.