Hooked Up: August 2013

Hooked Up: August 2013
Brian Kiefer with a solid 29
It's been a hot summer down here in the Coastal Bend. Heat index of recent days feels right up in the range where I prefer to pull a fat ribeye off the grill. My clients and I have a small out in that we are wading and get to take a dip down into the bay for some relief. To each their own but, I cannot imagine sweating it out on top of a boat deck all day during this time of year. Another month after this article reaches your mailbox, we will hopefully see a front or two pass by us and gift us a little relief. The good news is that we are enjoying some outstanding lure fishing for all game fish species during the heat wave, and there are plenty of open dates to still get a few days in on Baffin.

Brown Tide Update: As mentioned in last month's article, the prevailing SE winds have done wonders for the water quality. The mouth of Baffin and west are still affected by the brown tide, however, areas from East Kleberg to Los Corallos and back east towards the mouth have been somewhat diluted by the influx of cleaner water pushing in from the Land Cut. By no means is the water green, more of a iced tea color, versus what I call the dead nuclear-brown stuff that was there all winter and spring. We are actually catching some solid fish in it now. Although the bite can be slow, there are some big trout being caught in that tea-colored water.

Everything south of the JFK Causeway and on the east side of the ICW is green and fishy. This includes Nighthawk Bay, the National Seashore south of Bird Island, the Meadows, Yarbrough, and all of Rocky Slough. Areas west of the ICW, such as Emmord's Hole, Boat Hole, and Corpus Christi Bay (up to Shamrock Island) are now feeling the impact of the brown tide.

As the water has cleared down south we have been rewarded with some awesome days of catching many game fish of all species, as well as big trout. It's imperative to get an early start during the heat of the summer. Regardless of moon phases, you can pretty much always count on a early morning bite, and this is typically when we are pulling in our largest trout (but not always). By the end of this month, the big trout will be prime for another spawn. All of the females have obvious, plump roe sacks in them now, which will only grow by the last day of the STAR tournament. With a 10.2# leading the lower coast, chances are going to be minimal to top that, but it is possible. I would encourage anyone who is blessed with a big trout under 10lb that cannot top the current leader, to take a great photo and let her go. It's hard for me to imagine killing such a magnificent beast for a gift card.

My pattern of fishing will continue with an early morning start, working shallow areas laden with bait before the sun cracks the horizon. As the day heats up I will follow the bait to transitional waters, and on out to deeper dropoffs if they decide to move that far. Every day is different when fishing for the biggest trout in the bay, and weather conditions are a big part of that scenario. Sunny, high pressure days moves us a little quicker to the belly deep water and beyond, while cloudy, overcast days can keep us up in the skinny for the better part of the day. Trust your eyes and go with the bait. As it moves, you will need to follow suit to be successful.

Topwater lures are pretty awesome in the morning but high pressure and clear skies has been killing the bite for us pretty early. As a general rule I am going on the small side of lures in calm conditions and then a larger, louder profiled lure when the water has some chop on it. The MirrOlure She Dog is a hands down favorite, especially in the brown water. Slow rolling a 5" Sea Shad by Bass Assassin in the brown water has been very effective, and has produced some summer trout in the 8 pound range. The 5" rat tail design by Bass Assassin is always my go to lure in the trout green water. Color choices vary depending on sun light, water clarity, and what kind of bait is moving around on the flats. Brown water calls for very dark to very bright patterns. More natural colors to solid white are utilized in the green water with great success.

Remember the buffalo! -Capt David Rowsey