A Great Month to be on the Water!

June is special in many ways and full of opportunity for coastal anglers. Angling possibilities abound as springtime gales finally settle into summer's breezes. Nearshore and inshore trips can be planned with far greater likelihood of being made safely and comfortably. Migratory forage species as well as predators that pursue them range close to our coastline as fishermen enjoy the presence of hungry and sporting king mackerel, dorado and occasional ling. Tarpon travel northward from the Bay of Campeche and, on good days, can be seen wrecking bait within sight of the beach.

Too bad the current red snapper situation. For whatever reason (that none of us understand), we are being allowed only nine days (12:01 AM June 1 through 12:01 AM June 10) to fish for them in federally-managed waters, even though by all anecdotal observation the red snapper population may have recovered to an all-time high. Luckily, for anglers able to make the run south to fish off Port Mansfield and SPI-Port Isabel, red snapper can be taken year-round in Texas waters, (less than nine nautical miles offshore.) Thank TPWD for holding steadfast to the historic right to manage state-water fisheries and CCA-Texas and their allies for building fish-attracting artificial reefs that lie within reach of the small-boat recreational fleet.

June's inshore opportunity is the stuff of legend as speckled trout and redfish settle into summertime patterns. There is perhaps no better month for so many Texas anglers to find steady action and, the numbers of boats on the water prove it. What makes it even more special is the opportunity to involve families and especially younger anglers, now that schools have closed for summer.

I mention getting kids on the water frequently. Dickie Colburn is one of my heroes in this. Closing his column this month he said, "The kids may someday forget where they buried you but they will never forget a single day spent fishing with you!" I got a good chuckle out of that–because it is possibly very true.

While on the subject of kids and fishing I would like to remind everybody that the CCA-Texas STAR Tournament kicks off over the Memorial Day weekend. Do not be the parent of a son or daughter that lands a winning fish without being registered in STAR. In the April 2016 issue of TSFMag we covered Collin Dziuk, winner of the 2015 STAR-TEENS Lower-Coast Trout Division. This was actually Collin's second potential STAR-winning trout. The first, a nine-pound two-ounce giant landed five years earlier, didn't count because his dad had procrastinated getting him registered.

Can you imagine the disappointment? Luckily for Collin, lightning (or maybe in his case exceptional angling skill) can strike twice.

The water will be very busy this month and I want to encourage everybody to practice safe boating and put forth their best etiquette and sportsmanship. No situation could possibly justify a confrontation. Remember the Golden Rule and walk away, wade away or motor away respectfully. The only actions we can control are our own–lead by example.

Take a kid fishing!