Great Coastal Adventure Lies Ahead!

Goodness – It’s been a long, hot summer. We have been toughing it out, though. Fishing often and doing quite well despite the hot weather. I believe the trout success we have been enjoying along the middle Texas coast speaks volumes about the recovery of this fishery. Thank the rain gods and TPW’s five-fish limit!

September 22 is the big day – autumnal equinox. Hours of daylight and darkness become equal and temperatures begin to gradually decline. I get pretty excited; not just because the hottest days of the year are finally dwindling, but because there is so much happening in the outdoors.

Right off the bat – Texas dove seasons open September 1. Not only is dove hunting a ton of fun for the whole family, it also signals the season’s first cast and blast opportunities. Nothing screams Texas outdoors louder than a morning of wade fishing followed by an afternoon in live oak shade, waiting on the birds to hit the grain fields.

And teal season! September 9 will mark the opening of Texas’ waterfowl seasons and more great outdoor opportunity. Cast and blast the easy way – you can do it all out of a bay boat!

Nearshore and surf anglers enjoy excellent weather and some of the greatest success of the year during September. Migrations of gamefish and forage species occur within sight of the beach; king and Spanish mackerel, hard-fighting ling, a variety of sharks, and the mighty tarpon. Throw in a school or two of bonito and your days can be full of excitement.

Bull reds gather at the passes and in the surf zone in preparation for spawning. Few things can compare with family outings targeting these bruisers. We have spent many great days with our grandkids at the Matagorda Ship Channel Jetty, jigging for bulls when the tide is ripping, and then heading to gas wells and channel markers in the bay for tripletail. The bulls are all released, of course, but nothing beats grilled tripletail.

On the fishing regulations scene, the TPW Commission will convene their annual hearings on August 24, with oysters one of the hottest topics. The passing of HB 51 changed the landscape of the commercial oyster fishery significantly last spring and now the Coastal Fisheries Division has proposed additional measures to further conserve this vital resource.

Early feedback from scoping meetings held August 7 foretell the likely closure of oyster harvest in seven minor bays along the coast, including a 300-yard shoreline buffer to protect inter-tidal oyster reefs.

Oyster reefs are viewed as more important than even seagrass in bay ecology as they filter enormous quantities of water, contribute to shoreline stabilization, and provide thousands of acres of critical nursery habitat for a multitude of species including seatrout and redfish. Keep your eye on this critical issue as TPW seeks to further improve our coastal fisheries.

Pack up the family and hit the coast – September is going to be awesome!