South Padre: June 2016

South Padre: June 2016
Javi had a great day with the redfish – plum/chart K-Wigglers.

The days are already becoming longer and hotter, even by Deep-South Texas standards. Fish patterns will soon change as water temperatures reach the 80s and continue climbing toward the 90s. The school year will end soon and many anglers and family groups will be hitting the water I expect greatly increased boat traffic. Leaving the dock at first safe light will be necessary to beat the crowd to your first spot of the day, especially if there is a tournament or two underway.

I mentioned last month that we had been enjoying one of the best years for respectable trout this winter and early-spring. I expect that trend to continue into June and I credit the five-trout limit and increasing numbers of anglers practicing catch and release on trophy fish. I believe our trout fishery is in great shape and should continue to get even better.

The present overall excellent water quality and the recent above-average tides have given us unusual opportunity for finding concentrations of trout in several back-bay areas. Areas normally thigh to waist-deep are currently up to our chests. And while all this water has made us think more creatively to find fish, the upside has been so many places normally too shallow are holding solid numbers of trout with little boat traffic.

There are two predominant keys to locating these fish–stable supply of bait present in the area and good current flow. Generally low levels of boat traffic seem to encourage trout to remain once they have settled in.

The trout have been more than willing to feed on the surface lately, the Super Spook Jr., Skitter Walk and Bagley Finger Mullet baits have all been great producers. Rigging with single hooks will soon be necessary as we are seeing more floating grass by the day.

Evening trout action under the birds in open water has been pretty consistent but you need wind in the range of 20-mph and stronger. Off-color water is no problem, this pattern actually seems to work better as the water becomes murkier. Plum-chartreuse K-Wiggler Ball Tails are a good bait choice. Keep an eye on the area the birds are working, this will tell you the size of the school. Don't surprised if you find a few redfish.

Speaking of redfish, with the water being as high as it has been we've been having loads of fun catching them in skinny water, way up on the sand. They have been very willing to crush topwaters. As long as the tides remain high I expect the Eastside sand flats will remain very productive.

A few words on flounder. If you really think about it, I believe they never truly left our bays this winter as we are accustomed to seeing. We managed steady numbers through winter and I believe a big part of that could have been the generally mild temperatures we experienced. Taking advantage of an outgoing tide along natural drains on the east and west sides of our bays have produced excellent numbers of flounder so far this spring. What a rebound flounder have made! The numbers are great for this time of the year, but look for it to get even better in June and the coming months.

Writing this, I have a big smile on my face because I am now fully retired from education. For those of you that didn't know, I have been an educator for the last 28-years in the field of science and still managed 140-150 trips a year for the last fifteen. It's a wonderful feeling to follow your dreams, and now I am eager to follow my passion on a full-time basis. You could say I have moved my teaching facility from a building with walls to a sea with no boundaries. I will no longer have to decline a charter because I'm tied up in class or race the students out the door to make it to the dock in time for an afternoon charter.

To Everett Johnson-Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, and all those that believed in me from the beginning, I say, "Thank You!" Thanks also to all my sponsors: Fishing Tackle Unlimited, Shallow Sport Boats, Simms, Costa Del Mar, K-Wiggler, Concept 13 Reels, Power Pro and MirrOlure.

Special thanks is also in order to all who have fished with me over the years, my close friends that have been with me through my growth and, most of all to a person I hold very dear in my heart, my Mom. I did it!