Mid-Coast Bays: September 2009

Mid-Coast Bays: September 2009
Texas rig without soft plastic lure.
The fishing in our area for the last month or so has been unpredictable to say the least. With unusually high winds and low tides the fish have been hard to keep located. Even when we would locate solid biting fish in an area, the bite never seemed to last very long.

I am hoping September brings our more seasonal calmer winds. Fishing for trout in the surf or on the reefs in the middle of San Antonio Bay has been off limits for the most part due to the higher winds. Lucky for us we are blessed with many back lakes and protected shorelines that offer us some relief from the winds and decent redfish action with a few trout mixed in.

Under these conditions I prefer to start the mornings off with someone on the boat throwing a small topwater such as the Super Spook Jr. or a MirrOlure Top Pup. It is always exciting to watch a fish blow up on a topwater whether it results in a hookup or not. While I wouldn't say topwaters are the best bait for catching numbers of fish, they are however, a great fish-finder. Using something I like to call the buddy system will help increase your odds of catching more fish. While one angler throws a topwater the other angler throws soft plastic. If the topwater provokes some kind of reaction from fish but no hookup, then the other angler throws the soft plastic just past the blowup. Most of the time if the fish are only somewhat interested in the topwater, offering a soft plastic usually completes the deal.

Our back lakes have an abundant amount of grass that makes it difficult to use any soft plastic unless it is rigged weedless, some call it a Texas rig. I prefer to make mine by attaching a #10 or smaller barrel swivel to 6-8 inches of 20lb leader line then sliding a 1/16 to 1/8 ounce bullet weight on before tying on a 4/0 worm hook. A 5-inch Salt Water Assassin in the Texas Roach color is one of my go-to colors. If the fish aren't cooperative I will switch to a 5-inch Gulp Jerk Shad in the smelt color. I have found that even the most hesitant fish have a hard time passing up the scented Gulp baits. On some occasions I will also attach a mauler or Cajun Thunder to my weedless setup to create a little more noise and slow down my presentation. Don't be surprised to see trout and reds attacking the cork before finding the soft plastic underneath.

I look for the fishing to be much of the same in September with the water temperatures still being very warm. Patience is a big factor when it comes to catching fish during a slow period. Many anglers give up on an area too easily and decide to move after catching only a few fish. During these low tide high wind conditions I have better results if I stick with a little catching instead of a lot of boat riding. If I have caught 4 or more keepers on a wade typically I will then circle back and wade the same area over again before deciding to move to another spot. Same goes for drifting as well. If you catch a few keepers on one drift make sure to go back and drift the same area again. If you have invested in a Power Pole it is a good idea to stop your boat within casting distance of a windward shoreline and saturate it with many casts before moving on. Bait tends to congregate on windward shorelines on windy days; therefore, trout and redfish will be there too looking for an easy meal.

It also pays to concentrate your cast towards sand or mud pockets that are void of grass. Even old prop scars make for good possibilities when looking for a hungry fish. Fish use the grass next to these areas as camouflage hiding themselves while waiting for their prey to come into these open unprotected pockets. Fishing this pattern and remaining patient will usually yield you better results by the end of the day.