If you are a fellow trout-aficionado you probably have experienced the topic of this post at some point. I’m referring to the elusive trout feasting window – a short period of time when big trout let their guard down and feed voraciously. I’ve experienced this usually about once a year (and usually in the Spring) when I have been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. When you are in it, the bite is simply crazy. Last year it happened to me in early April. We were fishing in a spot having average results by any measure, then….wham…21″ gator trout. By the end of the window of time I had 3 over 21″ with a fourth lost at the boat due to a net fumble 🙂 By the time we caught our breath from the furious action, it was over. Surely, these big trout were around the whole time, but not feeding.
Well, it happened again to me and my best bud Ray (current President of SSWA) on Saturday. We were fishing a club tournament and in the AM the bite was by all measures pretty shut off. Yeah, we were catching a few here and there, but all marginal fish (male trout – you could tell by the drumming, and the size). I had a redfish miss a topwater plug three times while working the plug over submerged oysters, and finally Ray managed to get a hook in a big red at 27.5″ at another flat. That was the morning’s highlight… otherwise, we probably had 10-15 small trout and an undersize flounder all morning.
Then, it happened.
We pulled up to a spot, and started absolutely bailing trout. Every cast. Doubles upon doubles. For 30 minutes straight. And nice fish too…16-19 inch trout. We were within site of some dock workers and hearing their banter was hysterical. “Look, they got ANOTHER one” “C’mon man, how are we supposed to work with that going on?” “They got another one!”
It was as good as it gets. After the window closed, we drifted over to them and they said “Man, we’ve been here 2 weeks, and have seen boat after boat go there and not catch @#^$&!” “You dudes came here and SLAYED em!” I might have gained a few new customers after showing them our Trout Eyes and Trout Tricks – seriously you can’t buy that kind of advertisement 🙂 Truth be told I think they would have bit a gum wrapper with a hook on it though, but we weren’t lying: we did catch all our trout on Trout Eye jigs and Z-Man plastics though. I did not get any pics during this stretch because we were a little busy 🙂
I looked back at the charts however, and the data is pretty cool. We have all heard about the fish biting well during just before a front. Ralph says you can get too close to the front, but I really think he means after the front has passed its gonna shut off. Check this out. The window occurred right at the beginning of an abrupt drop in pressure, followed by short leveling off, then a steep drop. We felt the wind shift to the south and pick up just as this window happened, and you can see it in the charts. I believe they feed hard just at the very beginning of this drop then shut off. This was our experience, as after this window, the bite shut off hard.
If you look at the charts, you will see this type of pressure drop happening all the time. I don’t think this kind of feed happens each time, but then again, maybe it does. The window is so short, you could easily be moving from spot A to spot B and miss it. Or, happen to be fishing in a spot where the fish are not there.
But, when the right place at the right time come together – man, what fun!
I’m wondering if anyone else experienced this window approx 1pm on Saturday, lasting about 30 min? If so, let us know!
March fishing means gnats! Go on a calm day and suffer the consequences, unless you are prepared. Some sprays such as No Nats work pretty well, but I prefer the cover-up approach. Buffs get made fun of a lot by the cool kids, but I love them. One of their many useful traits is gnat control IMO. Pull it up over your ears and face leaving just an eye slit and it helps immensely when the gnats are clouding. Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks and it can save the day – and your sanity.
I love the Osprey – the ultimate fisherman. Here are a couple good shots I got of one doing a little gigging
Spring fishing is on fire – time to stock up on Trout Eyes and Z-Man Lures. If you enjoy our reports, please consider purchasing some tackle on our site. Bulk jigs are 20% discounted – best deal anywhere!