The Beauty of September

Everett Johnson

It's Sunday morning and I had the alarm set for 5:00. In our normal beat-the-heat style of late, we had planned to splash the boat at first light but the drizzling rain will delay that, if we make it out at all. No complaints, though. Daily highs have been crowding triple digits for weeks and with high humidity the heat index has been beyond sizzle by afternoon. Seventy-three degrees sure feels good watching the rain from the patio.

In a few weeks it's going to be difficult deciding whether to grab a fishing rod or shotgun, but herein lies the beauty of September. Sporting options will be many and varied and sometimes tough to squeeze them all in.

Bull redfish will begin making their way to the gulf for spawning and these guys are a blast for every angling age group. Flounder will begin feeling the urge as the days grow shorter and they too will begin trickling toward the passes. Trout that have been too lazy in late-summer heat to chase down a lure will soon be feeding like piranhas. Throw in flights of doves and teal and it could hardly get any better.

Barring the arrival of a wicked tropical weather system, (I try not to use the H word), the stage is set for the coming of a great fall season. Our writers have provided angling strategies for everything from sight-casting on the flats to chasing tarpon along gulf beaches. If you haven't scratched a Texas silver king from your wish list there's still time. Also for the nearshore crowd – kingfish, Spanish mackerel and bonito will be active on clouds of menhaden and anchovies. The surf stays in play all month with plenty of light tackle action for trout and reds and maybe some shark fishing. Migrating shrimp and hovering gulls are always a September delight in the bays.

More great state water artificial reefing news. The Rio Grande Valley Nearshore Reef, a true grassroots project that began in 2014, will soon see its first load of reefing materials deployed off South Padre Island. This has all become possible thanks to the diligent efforts of Friends of RGV Reef, University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, CCA's Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow and Building Conservation Trust, TPWD's Nearshore Reefing Program, the Texas General Land Office, along with a host of local individuals and businesses also contributing. This is yet another outstanding example of Texas angling enthusiasts coming together to enhance fishing opportunity for the small boat fleet.

Meanwhile, back on the patio. The rain is now coming in buckets and I cannot say it disappoints me. Maybe I'll just brew another cup of coffee and head into town for a taco. After that I might take advantage of this cool morning and get my Labs out for a little tune-up. Only eighteen days 'til the central zone dove season opener and I like my dogs sharp – even if my shooting might be a bit rusty.

Whether you make plans to hunt, fish, or both... do not leave the kids at home. Getting them involved is the single greatest means to insure the future of our sporting traditions.