Find Some Summer Solitude

By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

School is out! This has always been my marker for the official beginning of summer. I know the bays will be filled with everyone getting out to enjoy Mother Nature, so finding solitude is key to catching fish. My family and I will be there too, but if I’m lucky, you won’t see me. Here are some methods to avoid the crowds and catch a lot of fish!

Let’s focus on kayaks and areas only small vessels can access. Small, shallow-draft watercraft help us elude the summer crowds and find our solitude. Pushing farther back into the shallows and marsh areas requires some planning, so let’s start with some satellite scouting on the computer.

The first thing to do is find areas that have tidal movement. One way to determine this via satellite is to zoom in on the openings of bayous and drains. If you notice a deeper hole at the mouth, this lets you know it has good current flow, which is what causes a washout in the mouth. If the mouth looks shallow or silted in, search for another spot.

Once you have identified areas with sufficient current, find the structure. I like areas with scattered grass, shell, or both. Add in some depth changes around bends, and you are set.

Depending how deep into the marsh you are going, and if you are new to the area, taking a GPS is a great idea. Once you get in the marsh, it looks completely different on the way out. Cell phone service might not always be reliable, and I know on my phone the bright sun really makes it hard to see the satellite imagery.

Now let’s get down to the business end and talk about lures and presentation. I generally like to throw a paddle tail. If I am fishing a new area, I’ll have one rigged weedless on a weighted swimbait hook.

I prefer this style of lure for a couple of reasons. One, it is a great search bait. I can simply cast, reel and cover a lot of water. It is also my preferred soft plastic when fishing shallow water, which is what you find in the marsh. Redfish will not hesitate to hit a lure reeled in a straight line with a vibrating tail. Adding sound into the mix really grabs their attention. Like the clicking sound of a fleeing shrimp, the Knockin Tail Lure, with its built-in tail rattle is my lure of choice in this scenario. These swimbaits rattle on a steady retrieve and can make the difference between just fishing and catching.

Be safe, find an out-of-the-way area, and catch some fish! I know my family and I will be tucked away in the backwaters in June.

Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures, Controlled Descent Lures and the owner of

Fishing Magazine, Coastal Angler & The Angler Magazine is your leading source for freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing videos, fishing photos, saltwater fishing.

Leave a Reply