Hooked Up: August 2015

Hooked Up: August 2015
This 32-incher was caught site-casting on a calm day. Cloud cover made her hard to see until right at my feet. She was lean but the fight was epic as most of this class are, especially when hooked only 12' away.
Are y'all hot enough yet? It's pretty toasty here in Corpus Christi and Baffin Bay. I don't understand how guides and recs can sit cooking in a boat all day when temperatures are hitting 100F. If there was ever a time you would want to become a wade fishermen, it is now. There is a lot to be said for submerging to the neck and then rising up to have 15 mph wind cool you down. The heat is the real deal this time of year and can be dangerous. Y'all do what you have to do stay cool. I can already hear the "Drink more beer" jokes.

We have had an amazing summer thus far and see no signs of slowing down. I have not witnessed the whole bay system with water this gorgeous since 2007. Fishing has been so much more rewarding due to the fact that we can see every piece of structure and make specific casts to trick most any species to take a lure.

Site-casting has been the norm when in skinny water. Spotting a giant trout lying shin-deep will give even the most seasoned anglers a raging case down of buck fever. I have had it happen so many times this summer that I have lost count. The good news is that we get to see them and watch them behave and react in their natural state. The bad news is they can be very hard to catch. They did not get big because they are stupid. My best advice for catching them is to go small on the lure selection and make accurate casts. If your line crosses their body before your lure; you are busted!

Large trout and reds are being caught throughout Baffin and the Upper Laguna Madre. Large schools of reds have been popping up all along the ICW and King Ranch shoreline. Most of these schools are oversized fish but they are a hoot to catch at the end of the day. During low boat traffic days they are pretty easy to find, but the burn boat crowd can shut it down real fast if they are out buzzing the shorelines and around every island. This style of "fishing" has become a plague down here, unfortunately. If you find yourself having to deal with these "fishermen" you will be best served by moving into deeper water where the reds will be fleeing.

The largest trout that we have been catching have been in skinny water. When conditions are perfect, we are site casting them. As mentioned before, this a ton of fun, but tricky. Ideally a little chop on the water is best for success, whether you can see them or not. As always, a good supply of bait is always a great place to start when going the skinny route for big trout. If you just want to get bit and throw some filets in the box, head for deeper waters. Areas that have sharp drop-offs and grass lines growing into the deeper water are my first choice for catching numbers.

The area known as the Badlands is full of this kind of structure. Other great areas are the Kenedy shoreline as well Rocky Slough. All of the spoil islands stretching from Bird Island offer more of the same. Generally, the best technique is to cast a Bass Assassin out deep, on a quartering angle, and work it back toward the grass line. The transition area between the grass and sand is your money spot 90% of the time. Expect to catch all species doing this. We are routinely catching some great flounder and reds when targeting trout in this manner.

The MirrOlure topwater bite has been awesome all summer. We have found a few areas that are so loaded with fish that you can catch them all day on top. They are not always big fish, but good fish are mixed in with the small ones if you have the patience to deal with the little guys. The 5" Bass Assassin is still my go-to lure for the big trout and their 4" Sea Shad paddletail is my favorite for the schooling reds. Swimming the paddletail on a heavier jighead is my favorite technique for the reds.

Remember the buffalo! -Capt. David Rowsey