First Monday in April

| April 3, 2023

No Foolin’

Slot Red on this fly –

Welcome one and all to the Monday Morning Sidewalk Sandwalk from right here at the South Padre Island fish camp. April begins the countdown for return to North Texas, leaving the sand behind, and return to the hard sidewalks of Denton, Texas, where the frogs continue their boil.

The challenges are numerous – here and there. I am approaching an hour’s worth of individual videos just sitting here and waiting for post production to begin, and for some kind of inspiration to create the closing scenes for these videos … putting lipstick on it if you will.

If I were to sum up the differences between fly fishing on open saltwater, and open Texas lakes? It would go something like this: On the salt, it comes down to finding the fish. On big fresh, it comes down to catching the fish you find with ease. At least that is how I see it when seasons are off of prime. 

Fortunately, I will be back home in time for the appearance of a new life in the family, and I will be back home in time for the best of the North Texas carp season. Yes, we will keep it in that order – no matter what. 

Whether the SPI fish camp is ever reset here is one of those known unknowns that I have to deal with … we will have broken camp before the best of the best times on the calendar have rolled over down here. And we will have been here during the worst of times on the Lower Laguna Madre calendar – the “winter” months.


We already have tarpon here – on the Jetties – and according to all conventional wisdom, that is early on the calendar. But, a quick check with friends and guides up the coast does confirm the same pattern. The word is that those schools of jack crevalle are also making appearances mid-Texas Gulf Coast already. The upside: At least the year is starting early.


We have the final spring push happening on South Padre Island, Texas, happening this week. It is a holiday week for Mexico – the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. The Island is again crowded with both the Valley Hispanic community and the blending in of the Mexico influx. It is certainly worthy of social study. I do know this much; the fast food restaurants on the Island are packed with the Mexico customers, and the bands of people walking the streets now – are mostly well behaved families of all ages. 


My neighbors are catching tons of dink speckled trout, almost to the point of annoyance. For those who catch and eat (or ridiculously freeze) their fish, this huge population of dinks takes food off their tables. There’s nothing wrong with keeping and eating fish, mind you, it just amounts to folks who are very accustomed to catching with a great deal of … ease.

For the mongo redfish like the one in the photo above, these fishermen would have to go farther and work harder to find and catch them. There will be more on the discoveries of WHERE to find fish in the off months. And you are going to love that! It’s not nearly as profound as you would think … no magic potion was found, just common sense thinking, thinking like a fish.

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Category: Body-Mind-Soul, Destination Fly Fishing, Fishing Reports, Lower Laguna Madre, South Texas, Texas Gulf Coast

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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