Mid-Coast Bays: June 2008

Mid-Coast Bays: June 2008
More kids like Morgan Gray will be hitting the water more often now that school is out for the summer.
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 recently than I care to remember. Strong southeast winds have pinned us to the south shorelines when the better opportunities this time of year usually come on the north shorelines of Espiritu Santo Bay.

Casting soft plastics on 1/16 oz Assassin jigheads into the wind made for some sore arms and shoulders and the slack the wind puts in your line makes it tough to feel a bite. Naturally we were forced to set the hook anytime we felt even a slight pressure on the line. This brings quite a few misses, especially for clients who do not fish this way often.

Over the past two years a lure that has become a favorite for redfish has now risen to the top of my artificial arsenal for my speckled friends as well. The 4-inch Swimming Shiner made by Bass Assassin has proven itself in every locale 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 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 strong wind I usually switch to the darker colors or solid chartreuse. Since this bait has such great tail action it probably is not necessary to change colors as the fi sh should have no problem homing in on the “thump-thump” vibration made by the larger paddle tail on this big-bodied lure. You can actually see the tip on my American Rodsmiths H3 Titanium Ultra vibrating due to the extreme tail wiggle.

Weather permitting; our first choice of fishing spots during June 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 on topwaters and the Assassin Swimming Shiners. I can remember more then one occasion when we caught more trout wading with topwaters than my friends who were fishing from the boat using croaker. Not only did we get more action, we were also more comfortable in the water.

When fishing the surf I like to wade the first gut until 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 I follow. 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 I’ll be in the same places I fished during May. When I have wade fishermen we’ll be on hard sand and grass as these areas hold good numbers of fish during June. We will start out fishing in calf to knee-deep water early, and as the sun grows, we will slowly make our way through the deeper guts until we end up chest deep along major drop-offs.

The same techniques will hold true as well when fishing the shell reefs in San Antonio Bay. Early in the morning I like to start 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.

I use the same lures whether I am fishing shorelines or mid-bay reefs. I and many of my customers love the blow-ups and explosions you get when angry redfish and trout attack our surface lures but I found out long ago I can’t make a living throwing topwaters. It is hard to fillet a blow-up when customers are hoping to take a few home for the grill.

My go-to topwater for June will be She Dogs in chartreuse/pearl/chartreuse and chrome/black back. Whenever my speckled friends want a smaller morsel I will switch to the new MirrOMullet from MirrOlure. These smaller plugs match the size and shape of a finger mullet perfectly.

For plastics I will be slinging the lure I mentioned above, the Assassin Swimming Shiner, in pearl/chartreuse, mostly. For backup I will have the tried and true Texas Assassins on hand 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 the “man in the gray suit.”

Fish hard, fish smart!