Hooked Up: September 2015

Hooked Up: September 2015
Stewart Peacock with one of three trout between 27 and 30 inches caught on the first wade of the morning. Plum 5" Bass Assassin - All Released!
This may not be my favorite time of year to be on the water but bird season is just around the corner and that keeps my outdoor focus at its peak. Fast-flying doves, the smell of burning gun powder and a good retriever are always high on my priority list. By the time this article hits the rack or mailbox, we, as Texans do, will be celebrating in the fields with lifelong friends, wore out dogs, and a cold beverage. I'm stoked!

The persistent calm winds have been making for some hot days on the water down here. Fishing has remained steady, however, the trout bite seems to fall off pretty early when casting lures exclusively, as we do. For me, it's about time to slow everything down and get some much needed rest. I'll continue to run trips throughout September but not soliciting further bookings until things begin cooling down a bit. 2015 has been a tremendous year so far for catching great fish, making new friends, and staying booked. I have much to be thankful for in my life; I know where it comes from and never take it for granted.

As just mentioned, the trout bite plays out pretty early in this heat. Oh, you will catch them throughout the day, but consistency is best before the sun is well up and we usually get until about 9:30 in the morning before everything slows way down. After that we are going shoulder deep just to try and grind a few more trout off the bottom, or completely switching gears to other species.

Flounder have been a great way to break up the monotony of a slow trout bite during the late morning. I'm thrilled by the fact that we actually have enough flounder now that we can actually target them with a good success rate. Spoil islands that taper off into deeper water, with windblown current, are a favorite place to find them. This scenario stretches from Nighthawk Bay in the Upper Laguna all the way down to the opening of the Land Cut. As the day heats up, look for them to fall off into deeper potholes along the King Ranch shoreline. Their eyes being on top of their heads, I think they really appreciate the long shoal grass providing some shade in 3- to 4 feet of water. Ever notice how you always seem to catch one next to or under a dock or a pier? I don't think it is a coincidence.

Of course, redfish are schooling up in great numbers and we are spending much of the hottest part of the day trying to locate and catch them. In general, the schools are northbound. They may stay located on a particular stretch of shoreline or a spoil island for a couple of days, then may adjust 1/4 to 1/2 mile north overnight. As I seem to mention way too often, boat pressure plays a tremendous role on their movements. Keeping them on vast section of flats like in the old days is almost an impossibility with so many burn-boats running them down. It's frustrating to say the least, but I guess it is just the new norm that we will all have to learn to live and deal with.

If you want to beat the crowds to the reds and enjoy some semblance of privacy on the water, go shallow and sight-cast. You may not find huge numbers but, then again, you might. Every day is different out here. Move slow, look through the water and scan every pothole for something that looks out of place. Some days they are like ghosts and other days they look like a red flashing light as they cruise over the sand. Sight-casting is truly the perfect combination of hunting and fishing. Oh yea, It's also a dang good way to find that large rogue female trout. Good hunting!

Small topwaters have been awesome in the early morning light and that should continue throughout the hotter months. If I'm not getting hit pretty quickly on the MirrOlure She Dog, I'm switching to the 5" Bass Assassin before too long. Those two lures are my bread and butter for trout right now. If sight-casting reds up shallow, or trout, for that matter, I scale all lures down to 3- to 4 inch Bass Assassins. Grubtails and paddletails are working best for us when up in the skinny water.

Remember the buffalo! -Capt. David Rowsey