Hooked Up: June 2020

Hooked Up: June 2020
Big tide-runners have hit Baffin. We are releasing a lot of trout over 20-inches and averaging at least one 7-pounder each day. Lots of solid 3- to 5-pounders. Fun times!

From the bottom of my heart, I hope this finds y'all and loved ones healthy and safe.  These have been the craziest of times. This whole Cov19 mess seemed to have affected the bay as it did the rest of the world. Here in Corpus Christi, with so many off or out of work, the bays were full of boats. A few memorable days it seemed like you could jump from boat to boat down certain shorelines. It seemed like every day was spring break down here for the last couple of months. 

As the world reopens for business, my guess is that there will actually be fewer boats on the water as compared to summers past. Like most full time guides, I lost my share of business and have been scrambling to make up the lost days. I am, by no means, feeling sorry for myself as so many Americans have had it just as bad and, in many cases, far worse. This is the time of year where my dates have been booked for a few months out. Saying that, I have more than my share of openings at the moment, and would love to host you if you have the desire to fish Baffin with lures.

Considering all the traffic on the bay, catching has actually been pretty stellar. Gorgeous green water moved in from the south and the flats and shorelines are just beautiful with visible structure and daisy chains of fresh mullet for the trout and reds to dine on. Being safely past the chance of northern fronts, we have turned the horses lose on the Mercury to locate untapped trout that haven't seen a lure all year. Good time to be a fisherman if solid action is your preference.

With the focus on my charters being 99% trout, June will open some quality redfish action that will last into the early fall. As the sun and temperature rises, my daily program will be to stay on trout until roughly 10:00 AM, and then shift into sightcasting mode for reds and big rogue trout on the flats the rest of the day. For most clients, this is a hoot and they enjoy it as much as I do. I mean, how could you not? It's the perfect combination of hunting and fishing. Stalk – spot – present lure – hookup! So much fun and so rewarding.

So much of my fishing has been in sand/mud and grass structure the past six months, and I am now looking forward to fishing on the infamous Baffin rock structures during the warmer months ahead. Not to say that I never fish the rocks during the cooler months, but the heat of the summer is my favorite to be on these deep structures.  Some of the rock piles are very large and cast great shade during the hot days of summer. Seems to me the bait and gamefish alike are prone to congregating in the shade of the rocks more than any time of year. With water clarity being so good, the rocks are easy to see, which allows for perfect casts to the edge of them. 

The outside edges is where you will find the trout hunting for the next meal. Good lure placement will provide you with the most hits, and keep you from staying hung up on these prehistoric fossils. Tip for you: Take extra jig heads when doing this kind of fishing. You will, inevitably, get hung up and its far better to just bust the lure off and retie. 

Why you ask?  Couple reasons: Your safety is number one. The rocks and barnacles are razor sharp. If you have a misstep or fall, you are going to get cut. In some cases, badly (I have many scars to prove it). The second most important reason to bust the line is to stay out of the area where the fish are feeding. 

For instance, and I have seen this many times, you will be just putting a beat down on some great trout when the hook hangs up on a rock. You can rest assured that if you go in to try and get the lure loose, stepping all over the rocks, the trout will spook and you have just ruined your bite. I'll admit it took me a while to realize this when I was young.  Lesson learned the hard way and not forgotten. 

Let me close out by saying that these awesome trout in Baffin are a gift that should be cherished. Do all you can to catch them, but only keep what you may want for a fresh meal. The supply is not endless. Be bigger, be responsible with this awesome resource.

Remember the buffalo!  -Capt David Rowsey