Hooked Up: January 2017

Hooked Up: January 2017
Getting it done in early January. So blessed to have great fishermen/clients that "get it."

Well, here we go again. The start of a new year or, as I see it, the beginning of another big trout season. Personally, I am glad to put the past season in the rearview and get on with the new. The charter business and fishing was great, but life threw our family a couple of sliders this year (as many of you know) and I am as ready as can be to say adios to 2016.

Hunting season coincides with my slow charter time of year, so I have had my lungs full of clean air from the West Texas mountains, cedar of the Hill Country, and sweet dew of early morning South Texas brush. I've been jammed up on the water since the beginning of December, and the salt air has been good for the soul. A traveling vagabond or gypsy for a month or so but with the extracurricular coming to an end, my full focus is back on trout.

As observant outdoorsmen are aware, it seems we are headed into another warm winter season. My aging joints don't mind so much, but big trout patterns do. 2016 gave us the same scenario in addition to exceptionally high winter tides. We seem to be headed into that same pattern for 2017; however, that can all change in a moment's notice. There is just no way to predict what Mother Nature will give us, so, for now, I'm going with what recent history has told us.

Last winter found us in high water, and doing things outside of our normal winter patterns, where low tides normally prevail, and this threw a bit of a wrench into the system. Taking that into account, and with at least one guy on every charter vertically challenged, you're better off near the shoreline.

Fishing shorelines has always been productive, regardless of the time of year. We found it to be even more so during the high-water spells. Many areas along the bank have shallow white sand that is barely covered by a ripple of water, or exposed completely. During these high tides, there may be as much as a foot of water in these formerly uninhabitable zones. These spots were big producers on the warmer days after fronts, and the vertically challenged clients seemed to love them as much as the trout, up skinny crashing whatever bait was available.

The potholes that fell off into deeper water were/are equally as productive, and even more so during cold trends. We used these same patterns on the spoil islands throughout the Laguna, areas of Yarbrough, and the south shoreline of Baffin. Short of the tide falling out and "burning" boat drivers staying off the shorelines, this is a pattern that will work well all season for you so long as the water level remains high.

Lure choices are important when fishing this pattern. I know how much everyone loves to "bomb" an area with topwaters, but, most likely, not your best choice. This water is not only shallow it is very clear, in most cases. A subtle approach and natural-colored Bass Assassin are a staple for this kind of fishing. The lightest jig head you can cast is ideal. I prefer the Bass Assassin Pro Elite Series in 1/16 ounce. If the shorelines or spoils get to the point where the water is clouded up, by all means let the wide wobble of a MirrOlure Fat Boy or a topwater do their magic. There will be plenty of opportunities to utilize all these methods, just pick the best one for the conditions.

As all of you surely know, the world of fishing and fishing products is forever evolving. I am proud to represent some of the best in the business; Mercury Outboards, Haynie Boats, Simms, Waterloo Rods, Maui Jim, Bass Assassin, MirrOlure, etc. I am what you would consider to be a very loyal representative of the products I believe in and have field tested for years. I will not back any product unless I am completely satisfied with it.

Saying that, I have made the decision to use and endorse 13 Fishing's Concept reels. These reels are all that we ask for as fishermen, and especially wade fishermen. Small, light, incredible drag systems, and long casting. 13 Fishing is the new kid on the block, but they are swinging for the fences right out of the gate. Do yourself a favor, go look at one and hold it in your hand. You can thank me later. www.13fishing.com.

Remember the buffalo! -Capt. David Rowsey