Mid-Coast Bays: June 2007

Mid-Coast Bays: June 2007 Kathy Jones tricked this redfish with a topwater.

The fishing in May was good for the Rat Pack and patterns seem to be right on schedule with previous years, except for the wind. We have had more 20+ mph winds during late April and the month of May than I care to remember. The bad thing about the hard southeast winds is the pounding the north shorelines have been taking. The majority of my fishing has been on the north shorelines of Espiritu Santo Bay. Casting soft plastics rigged on a 1/16 oz Assassin jigheads into the southeast winds made for some very sore shoulders on myself and my customers. The high winds made it tough to feel the slightest bites so we really had to set the hook anytime we felt any amount of pressure. This made for quite a few hits and misses with some of my clients who did not have the experience of fishing on these extremely windy days.

Over the past few months one lure that has became a favorite of mine for catching redfish has now risen to the top of my artificial arsenal for my speckled friends as well. The 4-inch Swim Shiner made by Bass Assassin has proven itself in every locale that I have tried it, bait against bait, while wading with friends and customers. Within an hour of my many wades even my most skeptical clients are requesting a few to try so I have to make sure I have a good supply of these lures on hand to share.

In our normal trout green water I have been throwing the pearl/chartreuse but when the water has been beaten into chocolate milk by the strong winds I usually switch to the darker colors or the bright chartreuse. Since this bait has such great tail action it probably is not necessary to change colors as the fish should have no problem honing in on the "thump-thump" vibration made by the larger paddle tail on this big bodied lure. You can actually see the rod tip on my American Rodsmiths H3 vibrating due to the severe wiggle caused by the big tail.

In June, weather permitting; my first choice location will be the surf. The wind should start to calm down this month and we will get our first taste of the tide runners. Last summer my best action came off of topwaters. I can remember on more then one occasion when we were catching more trout wading with topwaters then my friends who were fishing from the boat using croaker. Not only did we get more action we were also more comfortable in the cooler water.

When fishing the surf I like to start out wading the first gut that runs parallel to the beach 'til the sun breaks the horizon. After the sun starts to rise you will notice the baitfish starting to move away to the second gut and then I follow as well. The third gut may hold fish but it is usually the bigger species with more teeth so you will hardly ever find me straying to that area.

When I am not in the surf, my other targeted areas will not change much from May to June. I will still be fishing shorelines for the majority of the time when I have wade fishermen. Hard sand and grass will still be holding good numbers of fish. We will start out fishing in calf to knee deep water early in the morning and as the sun grows we will slowly make our way through the deeper guts till we finally end up chest deep at the major drop offs by mid-day.

The same techniques will hold true as well when fishing the shell reefs in San Antonio Bay. Early in the morning start off fishing up shallow around the crown of the reef then slowly work your way to the deeper drop offs between the reefs or cuts in the reefs.

You will find me using the same lures whether I am fishing the shorelines or mid bay reefs. I, along with many of my customers, love the blow ups and explosions you get by an angry redfish or trout when it attacks our topwaters, but I found out long ago I can't make a living using topwaters. It is hard to fillet a blow up when I have customers who expect to take some home for the grill.

My topwater of choice will be the She Dog in chartreuse/pearl/chartreuse and chrome/black back. For plastics I will be slinging the lure I mentioned above, the Assassin Swimming Shiner, in pearl/chartreuse mostly. As back up I will have on hand the tried and true Texas Assassins in pumpkinseed/chartreuse and bone diamond. I rig these lures on 1/16 oz Assassin jigheads with 3/0 hooks.

In May the sharks and stingrays made a strong showing all along the shorelines of Espiritu Santo, San Antonio, and West Matagorda bays so make sure to wear your ForEverlast stingray guards and boots. If you plan on keeping some fillets for dinner you might consider rigging up a shark proof bucket on some type of float to keep your catch out of reach of those toothy critters. A landing net is another safety precaution I have transferred over from the surf to the bays because you don't want to be reaching for your catch at the same time as Mr. Shark.Fish hard, fish smart!