Water levels should rise this weekend and, while they might not be at normal tide levels, the increase should attract fish to shallower waters during the afternoon.

We are in that wintertime pattern when fishing tends to be better in the afternoons rather than the morning hours. A reversal from summertime fishing, when avoiding the middle of the day is the objective of most anglers.

A common pattern until sometime in April is for fish, especially speckled trout, to feed around shell and dark mud bottoms during the late afternoon. With water temperatures in the 50s, dark bottoms will result in warmer water as the sun’s rays are absorbed by the dark mud and radiate the waters above.

First, bait, in the form of small bait fish and crustaceans, will be attracted to the warmer water and not far away will be the predator fish.

Wade fishing is especially productive during these times, as avoiding noise is a key strategy when pursuing trout in the shallow waters.

From early March to late April, this same type of fishing is used when the big sow trout are feeding.

With current water readings in the 40s, trout and other fish are slow to move due to being cold blooded. The forecasts call for a warming trend, which should trigger movement. Hopefully, anglers fishing this weekend will experience good results.

The bottom line is that we are in the winter doldrums and better fishing lies ahead and soon, we all hope!

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your catch to reel.report@galvnews.com or call 409-683-5273.

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