GO WITH THE FLOW

Sport Fishing - - GAME PLAN -

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.

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