Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Secret of The Sand

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My constant companion Rosie (well almost) and I are headed for the Arroyo City RV Park, where I keep my little trailer and have my boat. Julie is in Pennsylvania, so except for Rosie, it's a guys' weekend. My brother Chip will join us for early morning fly fishing.

Randy Cawlfield emailed me a couple of days ago to confirm what I've been observing this year--that the sand is fishing better than it has in a couple of years. Last year was a lackluster year for the sand, at least in the afternoon. The year before was phenomenal all spring and summer long. I believe that last year's lull was due to the huge deposit of silt that the heavy rains in the Mexican mountains brought down the river and into the LLM the autumn before last. Even though it was bad for the bay to suffer so much deposition all at once, the positive benefits of all of the fertility are now being seen on the east side. Indeed, much of the sand is covered by short sprigs of grass where only barren sand had been before. This, of course, promotes the food sources there, especially the shrimp, which tend to avoid the most barren areas of the sand. Until we have a major sweep of the sand (as during a hurricane), we will probably see the reds gravitate toward the east side after mid-morning when the west side water heats up.

The sand fluctuates in attractiveness through a given day. In the summer, the sand is cooler both during the night and at daybreak, but because of its shallowness, it warms up more quickly on calm mornings than the deeper water. Without the breeze to cool it (via evaporation), it becomes relatively unattractive by midmorning. During summer, you will see almost all of the fish stream off the sand by 9 am. But then, the grassy bottom of the west side heats up because it absorbs the sunlight, and the sand begins to cool relative to the west side as the wind rises. The harder the southeast wind blows, the more attractive the sand becomes by early afternoon. That's why our highest catching days are on windy afternoons. So don't fear the wind in the afternoon! Pray for it! The reds feed upwind in the only clear water left in the late afternoon. You can really score if you stay out and don't fear your greatest ally.

1 comment:

Carlos said...

The year before last was the best I have seen so far...taking into consideration I've only had a bout for 4 years I don't know how much that says, but I did try last year to replicate the success I had previously had for several days straight on the east sand, but the sand was devoid of life even in similar conditions. For some reason even on relatively high tides the east side seems shallower than it did last year and before. Seeing as how it's hard to get out of hard sand I've avoided wading it this year sadly. I'll definitely keep your comments in mind about the sand. Thanks.