GO WITH THE FLOW
Bar-hopping begins as oyster reefs overtop with rising water or become exposed as the tide drops. Knowing the depths of different bars allows anglers to fish all of them when the conditions are optimal for each.
Barrera prefers to fish a falling tide for five or six hours, so when the water drops too low at one bar, he moves 20 or 30 yards to a deeper bar, and makes repeated casts as he waits for the water depth to get right.
“If we hook one or two and it’s pretty fishy, we’ll stay,” Barrera says. “What’ll happen lots of times is we catch one or two and spook the fish, and they’ll scatter. Then we’ll move to the next patch.”
Todd also moves to deeper oyster bars on a falling tide and targets seatrout “because those trout’ll stack up on those deeper bars as the bait comes to them.”
The best bars are not solid masses of oysters but rather clumps of oysters that offer multiple ambush spots for game fish. Bars with sandy spots also can be productive.
“Oyster bars with character, ones that are broken and have little pockets, tend to hold more fish,” Todd says. “I also look for bars that have breaks in them or are horseshoe-shaped or have little holes in the middle of them. The fish can stay in the holes in the bars.”
Says Sanders, “I don’t concentrate on big, giant oyster bars, but scattered oysters near a beach or an island.”
I LOOK FOR BARS THAT HAVE BREAKS IN THEM OR ARE HORSESHOE-SHAPED OR HAVE LITTLE HOLES IN THE MIDDLE OF THEM. THE FISH CAN STAY IN THE HOLES IN THE BARS.