I took the Beavertail out to West Bay on Saturday, 2/20. I wanted to get a feel for the water temps in some different locations and see if there was any activity in the shallows yet (mind you, Saturday was in the middle of a warming trend).
Water temp. to start the day was hovering around 55 degrees in areas along the north shoreline of West.
We'd experienced a switch from NW to strong E winds, and that caused the tides to come up about 18 inches. I thought the influx of water might bring some bait into the marsh, but everywhere we looked, including Greens and Carancahua, was a ghost town. The water clarity was typical winter gin, but we didn't spot a single baitfish or gamefish in any water less than 2-feet deep. We poled and made long drifts across the lakes just looking for signs of life - but there was none to be found.
With that observation to guide us, we made a move to a deep bayou that had good incoming current. All it took was a few casts to the edge of the gut with a spinnerbait and I was hooked up with a fat 24-inch red.
The bait in the picture is Texas Tackle Factory's prototype "Baby Ray" wing bait. This is a unique bait that has tons of action, and it looks fantastic on a spinnerbait.
You have to see this bait to appreciate it. Here's a short video showing the Ray in action: http://bit.ly/ba9Iwq
Unfortunately, that red was the only thing we convinced to eat on Saturday. With the current frontal system moving through it's going to push the shallow bite back even further into next month. I believe it's ready to happen shallow - we just need a little break from these constant fronts, cloudy skies and chilly rain. If we can get 4 or 5 days of sun that water temperature should hit 60 - and that should get some bait on the move.