It’s Going to be Awesome!

The best part of October is the fleeting season we call Indian Summer. You cannot find better weather, equally suited for hardcore run-and-gun angling and peaceful family outings.

Imagine wading the quiet edge of flooded spartina grass in a back-bay cove. The pre-dawn is cool enough for knee-deep water to feel warm on your legs. Flights of the first chirping pintails wing their way overhead. Finger mullet spray frantically as a bulge of water rushes your plug. Your rod has a deep bend and the line sings against a solid fish. You could be the subject of a Cowan watercolor or any of several thousand lucky October anglers anywhere on the Texas coast. Pick up a brush and paint yourself into the scene.

October is all about spawning migrations and fishing success is about to rise in a wild crescendo. Millions of white shrimp will exit marshes with ravenous schools of speckled trout and redfish in pursuit, squawking gulls overhead. Flounder stage in drains and along major channels. Bull reds fill the surf zone. Offshore can also be great as red snapper creep back toward the magical nine-mile state water boundary and tarpon head for southern waters.

It is important to recognize that the bounteous fisheries we now enjoy did not happen by accident, and I worry that many of our younger generation do not fully comprehend this. Yes, the Good Lord blessed us with a rich coast dotted with productive estuaries, but man has not always been a good steward. It wasn't all that long ago when too little regulation and greedy fishing practices nearly took it all away.

About forty years ago a notable group of coastal anglers formed an organization of recreational anglers they named Gulf Coast Conservation Association. And they were not alone. Soon thousands of like-minded individuals joined the movement, pooling financial resources and exercising political clout to petition Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas legislature for conservative regulations to enhance the natural productivity of our fisheries. GCCA continued to grow, as the movement spread across the Gulf states and up the Atlantic coast, the name was shortened to Coastal Conservation Association to better reflect all its members.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also deserves enormous credit. No agency in any coastal state has accomplished as much to conserve marine resources for the benefit of recreational anglers. Through peer review of its programs, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division is recognized as the most proactive and prolific in its management practices. And for this we should all be very proud.

Should you happen to encounter a member of Coastal Fisheries Division conducting a creel survey the next time you come to the dock, please show them the courtesy of willing participation. Their purpose is to gather data in effort to further improve fisheries, understand your fishing methods, how much time you spend on the water, how far you travel to fish the coast, and also your level of satisfaction. All it takes is a few minutes of your time.

Get your family on the water and enjoy all that October has to offer.