Hooked Up: June 2024

Hooked Up: June 2024
Royce Moran of Victoria with one almost as long as him. Plum Bass Assassin tricked her into giving us another great memory.

I’m not sure what the official first day of summer is per the astronomers, but I’m confident in saying that it has started in south Texas. At least the trout think so.

June has always been one of the best months for the angler that wants a lot of strikes and rod bending. Yes, the quality may be down a bit, but if you want to get kids or grown rookies into the sport, it’s about as good as it gets when it comes to fish at hand. Not every trout is four to nine pounds, but the action more than makes up for it.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record in my articles the next few months, our trout fishing traditionally follows a pretty simple pattern for myself and clients.

Our mornings start early in the summer months. I prefer to be in our first area just as the very first light is breaking. Coming into any area we are going to be fishing via trolling motor versus the big Mercury bouncing vibration off of the bay floor. This is very important as the areas I am targeting are almost exclusively nighttime feeding zones, aka, the edge of flats that have quick access to deep water for a trout’s perception of safety and cooler water temperatures as that summer sun creeps up to about 9:30-10:00 a.m. Of course, this area will be predetermined by where I know a great food source (mullet) is available. In Baffin, this can be found up and down both the north and south shorelines. From Penescal Point to Los Corrales is always a high percentage area this time of year. Saying that, you need to use some caution approaching as there are many deep rock formations just off the flats in that area.

Just using this area as an example, I like to approach just to the edge of the flat before sticking the Power-Pole. I’ll have a guy in thigh-deep water (and casting shallower), and another in at his hips to work the drop-off itself, while myself or the next angler will be bombing out deep to be on the safe side. If you have chosen your area wisely (bait in area), it should not take long to start catching instead of just fishing. In one of those realms of water, one of the three will get the hot hand and determine where everybody in the group needs to start focusing their casts.

My favorite bite in this situation is when they are shallow, and still on their hunting grounds from the nighttime feed. Without doubt, getting them going up shallow will greatly improve your chances of catching “the one.” Why is that? Pretty simple really. The less water you are dealing with the more concentrated the trout will be, the more likely they are to strike a lure before the fish next to them does. Trout are greedy, and you can use that against them while they are more concentrated in shallow water amongst other fish, competing for the same food source. Have you ever thrown a Cheeto up in the air in front of a bunch of seagulls and seen how many react to it? Sure you have! In my mind, it’s not much different under the water. They are not thinking, they are reacting. As humans, we know how that scenario usually plays out… hopefully not a hook in the face, but usually something else we regret.

This shallow water bite can run well into the morning, if all of the stars have aligned. However, the one thing that will end the bite in those shallow feeding areas is when the boats start burning by. When the inevitable happens, they will push the fish off the flat and right along that drop-off where you parked the boat. The trout have just become acclimated to having to do this. It’s there safety mechanism. They are not as concentrated now as the deep water lets them spread out more, but they are still there and can still be caught. It may take a little more patience from us to grind them out and they may have gotten a bellyful during the night feed, but they haven't gone far and are still catchable for the guy willing to do a patient retrieve with a Bass Assassin dusting the bottom of the bay floor. It’s just fishing. Experiment with something new and just have some fun.

Remember the Buffalo! -Capt David Rowsey
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