Also located at: http://www.buggs-fishing-lures.com/marsh-fishing-tips.html
I’ve been getting a few PMs and e-mails recently asking different questions about how I fish a marsh. Anything from what to look for, how I choose where to go, what baits to use, etc. have been asked so I decided to try and put all of this information together in one spot. I can remember searching the internet for all kinds of information when I first started fishing the marsh and I had a hard time locating anything useful. Hopefully the information provided on the next several pages can be of some use to those interested in fishing shallow marshes.
I do want to point out that my approach towards fishing a marsh is not the only way nor is it necessarily the right way. It just happens to be the method I use because I have had success with it over the last few years and I really enjoy this style of fishing over others. As I gain more knowledge and experience over time I’m sure I will change my opinion and approach on many of the following methods.
Locating a Marsh
Google Earth is one of the best resources for people that fish shallow marshes. It allows you to discover new areas that you would have never found otherwise while sitting in front of your computer. It also lets you zoom in and get a good view of an area before you even make your first trip. I’ve spent a countless number of hours looking at areas all along the upper Texas coast that I believe are worth exploring. Shallow marshes will show up on Google Earth as a lighter brown color when you zoom in because the water is so shallow you are seeing the mud bottom. A bay or deeper body of water will appear as a green or blue color.
Once I have located a marsh that looks promising I will login to my Google account and on the maps page click on “My Places” and then “Create Map”. From there, I will name the map and start marking certain areas that I believe are worth checking out so that I can save them and view later if needed. This could be a patch of shell, deeper guts, drains, or any other areas that I think look promising.
Patches of shell will show up as tiny dots that can be a lighter or darker color on the map. It’s good to make a note about the location of shell because you will probably be trying to fish around it or keep away from it so that you don’t tear up the bottom of your kayak. Either way it’s important to know its location.
Deeper guts will be a darker blue or green color. The reason a gut shows up as this color in the marsh is because it is at least a few feet deep so the satellite is capturing the water in the image and not the mud bottom. On a really low tide this will be an area that a lot of redfish will stay in or at least close to.
Drains are areas where faster moving water is being released after it has been funneled through a narrower channel or pinch. Most of the time a good drain will be a deeper area that is similar to the guts mentioned above due to the heavy flow of water digging the area out over time. I like to look for multiple channels or pinches that are emptying into the same location and have formed a deeper gut. Reds, trout, and flounder will stack up in these areas on a moving tide and wait for baitfish and shrimp that have been caught in the current to come by for an easy meal. Drains can be productive on both the incoming and outgoing tide. Drains are normally the only areas that I will stop and blind cast into. When fishing a drain that has a depth of at least a couple feet I like throwing a popping cork with anything gulp under it because the chugging sound, smell, and the ability to keep the bait suspended in a certain area is a great way to pick up fish.
Hopefully this information will help locate a few new areas to explore and fish. Knowing as much about an area as you can before arriving gives you a better opportunity to have a successful trip. The next page will discuss the different things I look for and the types of baits I like to throw in certain situations.