For most anglers, Shell Beach is a pretty good hike. If you make the run, you want to be able to catch fish in different wind scenarios.
The summer is generally a calm season, but there are many instances during which the wind picks up, particularly in the afternoon.
When the wind does crank up, big-boat anglers might be able to deal with the high seas in the exterior bays where the speckled trout do their annual spawn, but it certainly won’t be comfortable.
For those with small flat boats, you’ll just provide the newest underwater structure.
But Capt. Mark Munson frequently hits the protected marshes around Shell Beach, and he finds plenty of redfish and speckled trout.
“Fish anything with clean water, moving water and bait,” Munson advised.
Generally, on falling tides cuts will be the most productive, due to the fact that bait is flowing with the water pouring out the marsh. Redfish and speckled trout feast on the bait getting sucked out the marsh.
On rising tides, hard-current points create excellent opportunities for fish to ambush the bait because they can sit in the eddies and wait for their prey to get pulled around the point.
Munson said he finds smaller speckled trout in the marsh than in the exterior bays during the summer.
“You’re not going to catch those big 3-pound trout in the marsh, but you can easily put a good box of trout together on the inside,” he said.
Munson said the redfish vary in size.
“They can be anywhere from 16 to 30 inches, and every once in a while you get some of those big gorillas in there,” he said. “Most of them are 16 to 20 inches, which is the size you want, anyway.
“Those are good eating size.”