Mid-Coast Bays: July 2008

Mid-Coast Bays: July 2008
It was a pleasure to fish with future Pro Angler, Beau Benson, who is 10 years old. This young man has more knowledge and “know how” than most anglers three times his age.
I don't have to tell you that summer is here because we all feel the heat. You know it is hot when you step out at 5:00 AM and the sweat starts to drip. Fishing during the heat of summer can be somewhat daunting for all of us anglers but can be productive if we change our game plan just a bit.

It is no secret that getting a very early start can improve your odds of hooking up but you may want to consider going out later in the afternoon as well. Our summer days stay bright until about 8:30 p.m. each day, so starting your trip at 5:00 p.m. still allows you four hours of good angling time. For the hardcore angler who just can't get their fix with a four hour trip you may consider fishing early then getting off the water by 11:00 a.m., grab a bite to eat, take a nap, then resume your fishing later in the afternoon. Another advantage to fishing the late afternoon is that there will be fewer boats on the water.

The areas of water Gary and I will be targeting in July will be the reefs in San Antonio Bay and the outside surf in Port O'Connor when the wind allows. If redfish are what anglers want to catch then fishing sandy shorelines in Espiritu Santo Bay should produce good results.

Bait selection will depend on where I am fishing and how deep. Typically, in July I will be wading deeper water from waist to chest deep. On these occasions I will almost always be throwing soft plastics. My top three colors will be Bass Assassins salt and pepper silver phantom, pumpkinseed or roach all with a chartreuse tail. I rig these lures on a 1/16 oz Bass Assassin jighead attached to an 8 to 10 inch 20 lb leader. The leader is very important when fishing in the surf or on the reefs. The fish in the surf are very aggressive when they feed and it is not uncommon to hook up with a toothy mackerel so a strong leader is a must. Also when fishing over oyster shell like the reefs in San Antonio Bay you have to expect to get a few nicks in your line from the shell's sharp edges.

While I am discussing lure selection you will remember back in March I wrote about a couple of lures that have earned a place in my tackle box. Mann's Tidewater Mid 1-Minus and a Texas rig paired up with a Berkley Gulp 5" Jerk Shad in the sardine color are at the top of my list for shallow water fishing. I also mentioned I would be trying out Mann's new Tidewater Waker and getting back with my opinions of this new lure.

Well, I tried it out and I can honestly say I am addicted to this new lure. The action is very similar to the Mid 1-Minus but this lure dives only 3 inches deep when reeled fast. The "wobble" action of this lure is irresistible to almost every redfish I offered it to. While I have not tried all the colors, I am most fond of the gold/black, croaker and the clown.

What also makes this bait attractive is that it is a great lure for beginner anglers. If someone can cast; they can fish this lure with ease. Simply reeling this lure back to you is all the effort that is needed to make it perform. The number of hook ups it produces will keep everyone going cast after cast.

Does it work on trout as well? I have to admit I did catch some trout while using this lure in deeper water but I had more hook ups using soft plastic so I would be more apt to say this lure produces best results in skinny water.

My only concern with the Waker is that on long casts the front hook will sometimes hang on the front lip or the hooks will entangled with each other. I modified the lure by replacing the front hook and with a smaller one and haven't had this problem since.

While you are out there fishing this summer don't forget to apply lots of sunscreen and remember to drink plenty of water. Terrible sunburn or possible heat stroke can be avoided if you take the right precautions.