Generally, February and March are the most challenging and discouraging months for anglers. It’s due to the typical winter conditions that dump a combination of obstacles on us like strong northerly winds, cold weather from the constant barrage of cold fronts, low, muddy water and a lack of live bait.
Capt. Eric Olsen (504-715-3006) said we’ve been dealing with all of that this winter, but there is good news — April is here and it looks a lot more promising.
“April is the turnaround month, when the sunlight is longer, the weather becomes warmer, the tides get better and the trout start showing up in better numbers,” he said. “Even with the low water and colder weather we caught trout and reds, but the fish were scattered all over so we really had to hunt for them and they never fell into a consistent pattern. But the good news is there are trout right now in the marsh and this is when the fishing action in the Biloxi Marsh starts getting good.
“I think we’ll probably see an early spawn this year because of the warmer weather and bigger trout are already hitting hard baits and soft plastics around the islands out in the Sound. That will only get better unless the river gets high and ruins it. Mid-March and April is when the river rises from all the melting snow up north, so we have to hope it doesn’t flood our area with muddy water.”
Between the fronts
Olsen said we can still get strong fronts in April, though not as cold, so you’ll still want to fish between the fronts this month.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to get live bait this month, but if not the trout will hit plastics under a cork,” he said.
Olsen suggests fishing the lagoons, bays and lakes in the Biloxi Marsh, looking for cleaner water, signs of baitfish or shrimp or current moving around points. Drifting and trolling off a shoreline can also be productive this month.
For reds, Olsen said he’ll fish points, pockets, grass-lines and windblown shorelines with live bait if it’s available, and dead bait if not.
You can also try the Berkley Gulps when live bait is unavailable. They are messy but will often outperform plain plastic.
And when the weather permits, and you can afford the fuel bill, the islands in the Sound could pay off with big speckled dividends. And maybe the best thing about April, is that May is next month! Things will only get better.