Can’t get here fast enough!

I’m talking about the equinox; September 22 is the magic day when the hours of daylight and darkness become equal, which is also the beginning of gradual daily cooling. Equinox also brings a significant rise in tide levels. Just the other day I was wading a shallow flat with several buddies. As we were boarding the boat to head back to the dock at noon, one remarked he hadn’t had a bite in more than an hour. I agreed it had been quite slow. But not to worry, I consoled him; “All we need is the tide to rise about a foot and a few degrees cooler water.” It happens every year…thank the Good Lord!

We have a story in this issue about late-summer angling options. I love getting out to the surf and do it every chance I get, but the surf can be fickle. Doesn’t take but a few miles per hour from the wrong direction to churn it into a muddy mess. Pretty much anything even a few degrees west of due south can be a bummer, ditto anything stronger than about 10 mph from northeast, for some parts of the coast.

I’m a wade fisherman and never gave much thought to jetty fishing this time of year for bull reds and jack crevalle, until a friend invited us on his boat several years ago. That we found it to be a hoot is an understatement. Taking kids and newbies adds to the excitement and enjoyment.

September also marks the beginning of bird and waterfowl hunting in Texas, and I’m really pumped about that, too. To me, a perfect day includes a morning of fishing followed by an afternoon dove shoot. We reverse the order during the early teal season. September is stacked with opportunity, no matter the order of your outings.

The federal water 63-day red snapper season ended on August 3. The best information I’ve received says we fell short of the federal fisheries’ allocation, which sparked hope for the possibility of additional fishing days. However, the same sources say that’s not going to happen.    

Encouraging, though, is the level of voluntary snapper harvest reporting by rec anglers. There’s two ways to look at voluntary reporting. Some say go fishing and keep your mouth shut. Better, to my way of thinking, anyway, is to use iSnapper and report the landings. The biggest hammer that’s been held over our heads is that rec anglers are not accountable, and the risk of overharvest is too great for longer seasons. Yeah, I think that’s hogwash, too. So, let’s beat them at their own game.

Another bit of advice I’ve been offering several years now deals with descending devices. Red snapper allocations are buffered to include significant release mortality and the descending device is hands down the best defense against this argument. Put a SeaQualizer on your boat and use it!

September promises better fishing and the beginning of hunting seasons. Get outdoors and take a kid!