Hooked Up: September 2017

Hooked Up: September 2017
Zane Childress getting familiar with some big reds for the first time. I think the kiddo was diggin' it.

When I started guiding there were some things I did not expect or think through very well. This is not a sad story, so do not feel sorry for me. Actually, it's in the context of good. Really Good! What I am getting at is that I have developed friendships that I know will last the rest of my life. The different people from different backgrounds that board my boat so early in the morning are, mostly, amazing. Everyone has a life story and I love hearing about them all – good and bad.

Watching the news, it's easy to recognize that there are some real derelicts and misguided people around us on a daily basis. But I’m telling y'all, with all the nut jobs out there, there are a hundred more for every one of them who are the salt of the bay and would do a kind deed for a perfect stranger at the drop of a hat. Thanks to all of you for giving me the chance to know you.

The hardest part about writing these articles is giving an authentic report or prediction about what you can expect on the water each month. The truth is that it is tough to try and sound original about what to expect, when patterns are just that – patterns. I have thousands of journal entries to prove this point. Regardless, each year throws its own curve balls and unexpected events are cast our way by Mother Nature, but those are so unpredictable that they can never be measured.

One event I can predict with absolute certainty is that September 1 marks the opening of dove season in the Central Zone, and you can count on me having a Benelli in my hand and smoking their feathered back-ends. Good Lord, after a fishing season that has been just super busy since December of 2016, I am ready to smell some gun powder, eat some sausage and tortilla wraps on a tailgate, and laugh hard with some of those fine people I mentioned earlier in this article. I’m also sure that I’ve been hunting with some of them longer than some of you young bucks have been alive. Not to get too philosophical, young folks, but trust me on this…spend as much time as you can with people that make you laugh and smile, that you can trust, and have your best interest at heart. Life is too short for anything less. 

July and August blessed us with some very fine action. Although I am a trout man tried and true, the redfish were the main act for us. We experienced some amazing days, with numbers reaching 110 slot reds caught in a single day. The average was about 75 per day for a three-week span. I would land only 2-5 per trip, so the clients were doing all the damage on their own.

It was funny to see grown men throwing in the towel by 9:30 because they were worn out from the constant battle. One memorable new customer asked me, "Captain, can we get away from these reds and go some place where I can just cast and not catch another one?" That was a first!

September should produce a quality trout bite in Baffin. Calm winds should keep the water quality in good shape and you will find that trout are feeding a bit heavier than they do in the summer. This has certainly been the case in years past. Short of a big tropical event, I see no reason why this year would be any different. 

One thing that is certainly different this September is the amount of new growth grass in the Laguna Madre. Holy cow, you can hardly find a sand hole to cast into. For me, that's a bad thing as I need some bottom diversity/structure to cast to, where I know the predators are lurking. The current scenario is not conducive to lots of action, therefore my Haynie HO and 250 Merc will continue to head south for the best action.

If you are into a solid topwater bite, now is the time. We have had some mornings that have been just short of amazing on top. If its choppy, go with a MirrOlure He Dog, anything with chrome. My go-to Bass Assassin color has been Crystal Shad. Funny things how things work out, as this same color is the one that got me hooked on Bass Assassins in the early 1990s. It is just such a solid, mullet-like color that it seems to produce in all conditions, year ‘round.

Remember the buffalo!
-Capt David Rowsey