August, scorcher that it is, is likely the only month when speckled trout are in danger of being bumped from top billing. Unless, of course, you happen to be an avid surf angler. Though wickedly hot, the eighth month is also known for flat seas and a calm surf zone.
Calm wind and blistering temperatures may have a way of slowing bay fishing but there is no better recipe for wading the first and second bar along gulf beaches. Baitfish infiltrate the surf zone and flashy specks can be seen slurping dusky anchovies, juvenile menhaden and plump mullet. Topwater action can be second to none.
Also on the card is the nearshore smorgasbord of kingfish, tripletail on weedlines, and the mighty tarpon. Luckily, this year, we can also include a quick jaunt to a nearby platform for red snapper. The three-day-weekend snapper season handed down by the US Department of Commerce is being well participated and, finally, during August the small-boat fleet gets an even chance.
The only fly in the ointment is the likelihood of tropical disturbances.
This past week the TSFMag team made the trek to Orlando for the annual ICAST/IFTD trade show. The full name of the event is International Conference of Allied Sportfishing Trades/International Fly Tackle Dealers Trade Show. What an event it was! I am very pleased to report that the fishing industry is very healthy and thriving. The array of new products appeared the strongest ever.
This event is billed as the granddaddy of all fishing trade shows and, as such, serves as a unique bellwether of not only the innovation and investment in R&D by manufacturers large and small, but also a profound statement of their willingness and ability to bring so many new goods to market. American Sportfishing Association, organizer and promoter of the event, announced that ICAST/IFTD has outgrown the West Wing of the Orange County Convention Center and will move next year to occupy the larger North and East Wings of that complex – another solid indicator of the health of the recreational fishing industry.
We are planning a Best of Show recap in the September issue.
In wrapping this column, I again want to urge everyone to take a kid fishing before the school bells begin ringing. Jay Watkins has an inspiring article in this issue that speaks clearly to the importance of getting kids outdoors and involved in fishing. Away from cell phones and iPads, away from social media and video games. Unless parents take the initiative, a huge and wonderful outdoor world might be missed by an entire generation of young Texans.Sign the kiddos up for the CCA Texas STAR Tournament and take them fishing. The tournament runs through Monday of Labor Day Weekend and still plenty of time for a lucky young angler to snag a college scholarship.