Some months require great skill and precision to catch fish. It takes years of experience and knowledge. Fortunately, according to guide Travis Miller of Dularge, April isn’t one of them.
“April is pretty straight-forward,” Miller said. “It’s pretty much an easy month in terms of not having to know a bunch, because the trout are typically in all of the lakes. You don’t have to run up in the marsh and know everything in the marsh.”
That’s not to say April doesn’t have any challenges.
“The toughest thing about April is the wind,” he said. “You’ll get a lot of hard southeast flow. Try to pay attention to the wind direction a couple of days before your trip, because if it’s doing the washer machine at 25 mph, you don’t want to go.”
However, the wind can actually work to your advantage if it is out of a consistent direction.
“If it’s straight out of the east or southeast, all you do is target the east or southeast sides of all the lakes,” Miller said.
When he’s in the lakes, Miller stays on his trolling motor most of the time.
“I drift as much as possible,” he said. “You hit a fish, you put the Power Pole down, and you might pick up 10 or 12 fish, and then you move again.”
In early April, Miller fishes a tight-lined, green hornet-colored Matrix Shad, but his main bait is a shrimp creole Matrix Shad 2 feet beneath an oval cork.
Fishing under the birds
One thing that can make it easier to locate the fish is diving seagulls.
“Last year, we had some shrimp come in, so we were able to fish quite a few birds,” he said. “The birds stick in Lake Mechant and Sister Lake.”
Miller said that trout under the birds can be small, but if you fish enough flocks of birds throughout the day, you’ll catch keepers. He also said that spending more time on a bunch of birds can yield bigger fish.
“Often, what I find is you’ll catch the real small fish right off the bat, and then it’s almost like the bigger fish stay a little bit longer,” he said. “A lot of times you can sit without a bird for like 15 or 20 minutes and catch fish.”
There is an art to approaching a flock of birds, and how Miller does that depends on how the birds are acting that particular day.
“There are times where as soon as you pull up, the birds are gone, and when I find that, I fish them very aggressively,” Miller said. “I jump right in them, I try to catch 2 to 5 fish right off the bat, and then it’s off to the next flock.”
Winds with an easterly component are very common in April, but when the direction turns 180 degrees, Miller certainly doesn’t mind.
“Sometimes, you get these routines of everybody pounding the east side of these lakes because of the wind, and when you finally get a west wind, there is very little pressure on the west side, you get to flip the lake and a lot of times you do a lot better that way,” he said.
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