Mid-Coast Bays: September 2010

Mid-Coast Bays: September 2010
Dale Spencer and Kimberly caught these beautiful reds using Texas rigged Gulp Jerk Shad and Bass Assassin’s new color, hot chicken, Saltwater Shad.
Fishing here in the Seadrift/Port O'Connor area has really been good of late. The water quality has been very good thanks to all the rainfall we received in July. San Antonio Bay is in the best condition that it has been in for the last few years and with the calmer winds I have been able to venture out there on an almost daily basis. As with most areas along the Texas coast, this time of year, most of the trout we have been catching have been coming from four to six foot depths. And while this means many wading trips have been neck-deep affairs as compared to more comfortable shoreline wading, this deeper pattern will continue until we start to see cooler temperatures.

Panther, Little Bird and some of the "no name" reefs on the west shoreline of San Antonio Bay have been producing the best action. Redfish have been taking smaller topwaters very readily. Plugs such as the Super Spook Jr. in clear and bleeding shiner colors and also the Top Dog Jr. in the 808 color have been especially productive baits when worked alongside the crown of the reef first thing in the morning. As the sun rises most of bites come from fishing the drop-offs where the water is 3 feet and deeper. This is when I elect to start throwing soft plastics and the new Salt Water Assassin 5" Shad in hot chicken and pumpkinseed/chartreuse have been my go to colors. You will notice when fishing these drop-offs that most bites happen as you work the lure low in the water column, just barely bouncing across the shell. So be sure to allow your offering to sink down all the way with each twitch of the bait.

Espiritu Santo Bay has also been a hot spot along the north and south shorelines. Fishing over grass beds and casting to open sand pockets have been the ticket when fishing early in the morning. Nice sized trout and redfish use the grass as cover ambushing bait that happens to cross into the pockets. Gulp Jerk Shad in the smelt color rigged on a Texas weedless setup have been my most productive lures when fishing this pattern. I usually like to start my wades close to openings of one of the many back lakes. These shorelines have been most productive during the weekdays and tend to slow down quite a bit when weekend boat traffic starts to hit on Fridays.

Back lakes are still producing some impressive catches of redfish but lack of wind can make drifting these flats almost impossible without the aid of a trolling motor or push pole. On calm days the fish in back lakes tend to be spookier than on windier days so be sure to use a lure that has a softer entry into the water. Opt for lures like the Bass Assassin rigged weedless/weightless or a 1/4 or 1/2 ounce weedless gold spoon. Both of these lures can be fished in grassy areas and are not obnoxious and loud like your bigger topwaters. Tailing redfish will be easy to spot in the shallower lakes and should be approached as quietly as possible. When casting to a pod or school, make sure you cast to the edge and not dead center. Hitting them dead center using means spooking the whole bunch without a hookup.

West Matagorda Bay has also been yielding plenty of trout action when fishing over grass beds and sand. When fishing this bay system I pay closer attention to tide movements than when I fish San Antonio Bay. Fishing success here is what we call tide dependent; meaning that the fish in this bay have become tide oriented and will feed best when the tidal current is moving strongly through the Matagorda Ship Channel and Pass Cavallo. As the tide moves in and out it pushes and pulls the bait to the predator fish and when the tide is slack the bite tapers off. So be sure to check your tide charts when you plan on fishing this bay system and also the surf.

Remember to always be courteous on the water. Give all anglers wide berth and a bent rod is never permission to move in on ANY angler no matter what type of fishing you are doing.