Make it happen

Make it happen
Orange shirt: Doc's first Texas snook weighed ten pounds.
As I write, the wind continues to howl. How wrong I was in predicting the wind for July and early August. For the last two years, July wind has been the strongest I can recall and thus far August has been no different. How have we been dealing with this? Well, the wind hasn't stopped us from going but, we did have to make adjustments. Single-hooked topwaters catch far less floating grass and Gamakatsu's Weighted Spring Lock worm hooks rigged in weedless fashion with soft plastics have been saving our days. I have been fortunate many days this summer to fish where grass was not a big issue, but for large areas around South Cullen bay, from Gas Wells north all the way to Port Mansfield to name a few, the grass has been a big issue when throwing artificial lures.

I have been fortunate to fish alongside some of the best fishermen on the Texas coast this summer and their advanced skills have given me opportunity to learn much. Just the other day, I had four guys fishing a grassline when two of them made their way to a large pothole, getting blow ups or hooking fish on every cast. The other two were about thirty yards to their right and casting to no avail. I was forty yards furthest right with the same results. The two guys in the middle started inching toward the pair that were catching. As they drew near, they too began hooking up. Soon the words "Make it happen" popped to my mind. By this time the group was having a blast, giggling like little kids and betting who would get the next fish. That's when this story came to mind; if it's not happening where you are fishing, it doesn't hurt to try to make it happen. Learn to use your eyes. Scan the water for signs of life below the surface. Look for bait activity, nervous water, swirls, and do not forget the birds. There is an area I fish frequently that is home to an osprey. There have been countless times when that osprey has showed me where that bait is located. Once near the bait we start catching fish.

Equally important are your listening skills. Stop fishing for a few minutes, especially on calm mornings, and listen to the surface activity. Splashes and wakes can show you where the bait is concentrated or perhaps where fish are feeding. All the signs are there; you just have to be observant and willing to pay attention. When you are patient and observant, you will learn every time. The key is to learn something new every time the opportunity arises.

Currently, the grass situation is bad and will be like this for a while. You have to choose your spots or change the way you fish. There is plenty of bait in our bay system right now, lots of little trout with a few big ones mixed in. As for redfish action; we have been lucky to find schools from just south of Port Mansfield all the way down to Port Isabel. Our best redfish bites have been occurring between mid-morning and late afternoon. Around this time of the year the water heats rapidly so we have been concentrating in deeper water on the flats. Guts and channels have been producing well for us. Deep potholes have been attracting lots of fish as well. As far as baits, darker colors like purple and chartreuse, black and chartreuse, and amber have brought us good results and I expect this will continue well into September.

History shows that September is usually a wet month. Being that our salinity levels are very high due to lack of rain, a wet month would certainly more than welcome. The tides in September will be much higher; therefore, we will be spending time in the shallow back bays. If we are lucky, we should see some tailing action from schooling reds. The sand on the east side should start to hold larger concentrations of fish as the general tide level rises and we should start to see an increase in trout catches. Hopefully, we will be lucky and no hurricanes will head our way. I know there's nothing we can do to prevent a hurricane, all we can do is prepare for it. There is something you can do about our catching, and that's to try to make it happen. Remember to always take advantage of opportunities to learn, fish hard, and fish as much as you can.