Hooked Up: June 2011

Hooked Up: June 2011
Nathan Bilnoski – First strike of the morning on MirrOlure She Dog.  CPR!
Well it looks like we have made it through most of the wind, but dang it if May didn't get off to very windy start and we can only hope it will calm down soon. Luckily the grass that disappeared over winter has grown tall again and is finally offering some filtration to prevent the water quality from turning into a "bad word". Amazingly, it can blow 40 mph out of the southeast and the entire King Ranch Shoreline stays crystal clear. The South Shoreline, Rocky Slough, Yarbrough, and Padre Island side have also remained clear in these windy conditions. With any break in the wind Baffin clears up really fast providing lots of options and opportunities.

Baffin's rock formations have been my main target of late (when the wind permits). This pattern will carry on deep into the summer and provide for some easy fishing if you fish with your eyes before making a cast. I mentioned in an article a couple of months ago about mullet being stacked on top of rock piles to seek protection from aggressive trout that lurk in the depths. Every rock in Baffin is not going to hold fish, but if you can locate the ones that have the mullet doing donuts around the top you will be on the right track. Baffin is littered with hundreds of individual rock formations, and they are not all in depths we can wade in fact most of them are not. Point being, a good trolling motor and a Power-Pole can be the difference in fishing and catching in these warmer months. Giving the rocks so much love is all good, but deep grass lines and potholes will produce throughout this time as well. Not to mention the big lonely girls that cruise around in less than a foot of water all summer. There are lots of options. You just have to get out and fish.

Late spring and early summer have brought us a great topwater bite that has been most enjoyable to clients who refuse to take them off, regardless of the action. I rotate between about three lures, in a variety of colors, throughout the year. My wading box may tell a different story, but the bottom line is that the 5" Bass Assassin, MirrOlure She Dog and Corky are always my go to lures. I experiment with some others but I have learned over the years that if I can not get it done with the "big three" it is just not going to be done for trout. Redfish are a different story. They are crazy about the Bass Assassin shad paddle tail, and ounce gold spoons. Day in and day out we can catch all the reds we want if we should decide to go that route. While 99% of my clientele spend good money for a chance at a big trout, I hear very few complaints when the "mud ape" blows up on a topwater and makes their drag sing.

Our "snowbird" lure guides have headed north for the summer to their home waters, and the trout under 25" are damn thankful for it. The end is not over though, as we are headed straight into finfish season for the local guides, and this is when they make their living. I have become friends with the out-of-town guides, the local bait guides, and everyone in between. All of us are trying to fulfill a client's wishes and make a living off of a public resource. Personally, I am way past the point of worrying about how people catch fish, (i.e. croaker), but am not past the point of careless harvesting of fish. TPWD says that there is nothing to worry about, so who am I to be concerned? Well the truth of the matter is the TPWD czars need to spend more time on the water to see what is really going on and less time crunching numbers.

So once or twice a year I will challenge my guide friends and rec anglers to buy a camera, let the trout over 20" go, promote the sport of fishing, and not measure the day on how close to the top of the Igloo the fish are stacked. A good photo is more appealing than a freezer burnt fillet.

The POC Bash was moved to Baffin this April due to a fish kill that occurred during the freeze. The Baffin Bash II was won by my good friends, Lee Roy Navarro and Travis McKee. They took the lead on the first day with 18.5 pounds and were able to hang on and pull out the win. Could not have happened to more deserving guys. Congrats!

"Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God." -Tony Blake

"Set 'em Loose." -Capt. David Rowsey