South Padre: June 2011

South Padre: June 2011
A common occurrence lately in the LLM – flounder!

Summer is here and with it comes the need for sun protection unless you are willing to get roasted every day and possibly run the risk of developing skin cancer. I have been wearing the Simms Sunclava for protection on my face, ears and neck. Over the years I have gone from wearing no protection to wearing the best I can find. I feel qualified to say the difference is night and day. Your skin will not only remain cooler in the hot sun but you will no longer have crispy ears and lips at the end of the day. The Sunclava is rated 50-SPF; check it out online at

As I write on May 9, we had a couple calm days last week and we were encouraged but the wind is back. Despite reaching near gale force at times the fishing continues to be really good. Getting an early start and working protected areas have led us to some nice catches. I mentioned in a recent article that some areas of our bay system will hold decent clarity even with strong southerly wind. This remains true and with the recent rise in the tides these areas are also holding lots of bait, trout and redfish. Fishing unprotected areas means you will need to find lots of grass and then work the edges of those grassbeds. Early morning high tides have helped us find fish up shallow at the edge of the sand. Receding and lower tides have produced best along deeper grass and potholes.

The topwater bite is getting better everyday and don't let anybody tell you they do not work in windy conditions. The Super Spook Jr. and the Skitter Walk plugs are still producing for us. Soft plastics on 1/8 ounce jigs are what you need when the surface slows done. We are currently seeing lots of small brown shrimp so let that steer your choice of baits color and also size.

Lately when we catch a red or two we usually get into them pretty good. Schooling tendency is usually pretty strong in early summer and I expect to see this pattern increase. By their nature, when redfish find an area they like, they tend to stay a while. Two factors that always seem to dictate how long they remain in a particular area are how long the bait holds and also the boat/fishing pressure on them. The best part of finding them schooled up is that they'll take almost anything you throw.

Recent trips have taken me north and south of the Arroyo. Judging from our catches I would say that the further south you travel from the Arroyo (closer to SPI), the better chance you have at catching solid trout. I must also tell you that the steadiest redfish action is further north. The areas within a few miles either side of the Arroyo seem to be offering about equal shots at both species. I wrote in an earlier report that flounder have been fairly plentiful compared to previous years. Targeting them along channel drops, guts and sloughs all across the Lower Laguna is not always a "gimme" but we are seeing quite a few.

The general tide pattern for June will be higher tides in the morning and falling (lower) tides in the evening hours. As you well know, current almost always improves the bite. Keeping track of tide and current schedules can help you be in the right place at the right time. Ditto the Solunar feeding periods. Start shallow early and retreat toward deeper water as the day progresses. The best evening action is often found in deeper regions within a generally shallow flat. On rising (incoming) tides I focus on shoreline points and out-of-the-way flats. Don't be surprised to find them hunting breakfast with their backs partially exposed or their tails waving in the breeze.

We have already noticed a significant increase in the number of boats at the ramps and with the school year ending we can only expect to see more. Exercising care and common courtesy on the water this summer will ensure that everyone will have a good time and be safe. Always give your fellow anglers plenty of room whether wading or drifting no matter who was there first. Protect yourself from the scorching sun. Don't forget to sharpen and polish your gold weedless spoons and always keep one handy they're dynamite on schooling summer reds for anglers of all skill levels.