South Padre: August 2014

South Padre: August 2014 All decked out in Fish-n-Hunt gear, Mallory was very pleased with her first redfish.

Over the last month our fishing has improved significantly. Still not up to par for this time of the year but we gratefully take any improvement that comes our way. Our water temperatures continue to remain slightly below normal. Believe it or not, back in late-June we had days when waders would have helped during early morning wades. This is totally unheard of my waders are usually in the closet by late-April.

Tide levels have been running fairly normal although the daily lows during new and full moon periods have been uncommonly low throughout the summer. These super low tides kept us away from the remote corners of many back-bay areas. However, all that should change this month as tropical storms push the tides way above normal. Backwater areas will be inundated and the fish might be scattered, still though, I expect the improvement in fishing success will continue. It'll just take a bit more work to find them.

Redfish are being found either in small schools or scattered pods, while not what we have been hoping for it is still an improvement from a couple of months ago. I believe the reds are reacting to increased boat traffic and seeking quieter water as far into the remote backwaters as they can find food. Structure has been the key to finding them, slight changes in depth (sometimes mere inches), sandy spots, or scattered grass. Being that our water is in great shape and the wind has finally laid, we have been enjoying excellent sight-fishing and this is always a bonus.

What will be different in targeting redfish this month compared to the past few; I predict the shorelines, little hooks around spoils, back bay pockets and the sand on the east side will turn on and consistently hold fish throughout the higher water level periods. Topwater action has been improving and I am hopeful this will continue when the higher tides arrive. If I find them to be unwilling to smash our plugs I will be quick to pass out the K-Wiggler Pink Flomingo Ball Tail shads and the 1/4 ounce gold spoons.

Quality trout finally are showing up in good numbers including lots of little ones. We have been keying on sandy bottoms to edges of grass lines, which have been good to us especially during low tides. The bigger trout we are seeing and catching are up real skinny in grass beds and small potholes along spoils. If you're after a trophy, don't hesitate to look for them up skinny!

If targeting a batch of nice-sized keepers, I would say to work the potholes off the east and west edges of the ICW during a falling or incoming tide. You will run into lots of little ones, but the better ones have come when the current really picks up. When releasing the little ones, make sure you handle and release them with care. They are the future of our trout fishery. On a good note, we are presently catching good trout numbers in their usual places when they weren't there a few weeks ago.

A bonus to our catching! Flounder are starting to emerge on the edges of channels and sandy bottom depressions. The ICW and old oil field cuts that are widespread throughout our bay system are good places to give it a go. I believe their numbers should increase even more this month. We presently have a few schools of drum out there, and soon tarpon will show up at the jetties, including some juvenile tarpon that will venture away from the Arroyo Colorado and end up on nearby flats, sure to give some lucky anglers a tug of their life.

Overall, the outlook is much better this month in my personal opinion. Just recently, I saw an influx of marine life that was not present in our bay system. The once absent cownose rays showed up by the hundreds; schools of hundreds and hundreds of mullet showed up all of a sudden. As I mentioned earlier, we are finding trout in places where we couldn't buy a bite a few weeks ago.

On a closing note, with school starting and with many outdoorsmen and women getting ready for hunting season, boat traffic should lighten up and give our fisheries some rest. Bear in mind that with the onset of the tropical weather season and possibly frequent thunderstorms, all boaters and anglers should monitor local and marine forecasts carefully. Safety on the water should be everybody's primary concern.

Best fishing to you!