Saturday, January 30, 2010

On the Zone 1300 Austin. Listen live right now on line right now! Talking with the host Ken Milam in the studio right now!

Monday, January 25, 2010

There’s just one thing to say about the recent, long cold snap and it can’t be printed! For shallow water anglers, an extended cold and windy period of time means not many fish to cast at as they are “hunkered down” in the deeper, more protected areas of the bay system.

The Intracoastal Waterway and the spoil islands that line it are the most likely places to fish in the winter. When ever it actually does warm up, the wind slows down and the sun comes out, this is the first place predators and prey will move to, emerging from the deep holes there seeking warmth and eventually food.

In the Rockport area, the Intracoastal Waterway runs North-South. Poling skiff anglers could start poling in Estes Flats and end poling around Ingleside! Kayak fishermen put in at Hampton’s Landing and fish the spoils and high banks of Ransom Island, Dagger Island and the Intracoastal flats there, or put in at Conn Brown or Cove Harbor and approach fishing the same way.

At this time of the year and in some areas of the bay and flats, ducks and coots paddle around in big rafts. Feeding on the grass there and kicking around, they stir up the bottom and create off-colored water. On cloudy days when sight casting isn’t an option, blind cast soft plastics in these “ducky” places. Redfish and trout hang out below these birds, preying upon the life that has been dislodged by the birds feeding activity.
Be wary of tide movements now, avoiding cold incoming waters. Falling tides off of sun-warmed flats can create good feeding action on the shallow water edges of deeper bays and flats systems like South Bay and Brown and Root’s East Shore.

Fly fishermen must simply pick their day, but lure fishermen have a few more options. Prospecting deep potholes on flats near deeper water can be very productive with soft plastic paddletails, Corky’s, Catch 2000’s and crank baits. Moving the lure more slowly and near the bottom will produce the most strikes.

Another lure to toss during the winter is the Chattertube by Texas Rattlin’ Rigs. This lure is a plastic tube bait with a rattling chamber that can be used as a topwater, jerk bait or a slow sinking suspending bait, depending on the retrieve. Some of the best colors are Black/Chartreuse, Pumpkinseed/Chartreuse, Red/White and Red Shad, depending on water color and fishing conditions. The treble hook can be mounted near the front of the lure or at the back, depending upon fishing style and retrieve. Get some at This lure, along with a Baby 1- crankbait work best when there is little or no floating grass.

Fly anglers toss bigger flies in natural colors on those days when the sun is out and the wind isn’t blowing too hard. Super clear water in the winter means longer, more accurate casting might be necessary, especially to those gigantic trout that lurk shallow. A good supply of dark grass still exists in and around the flats and spoil islands of the Intracoastal which collects warmth from the sun. This, along with a muddy bottom, some sand and shell and the proximity to the deep water of the Intracoastal make for a perfect winter fishing combination.

Finding water temperatures in the 60 degree range can be a challenge on some days, but on those days when the conditions are right, shallow water sight casting in the winter can be some of the best fishing of the entire year. Crystal clear water, easily targeted fishing places and hungry fish can make for an exciting fishing day!

Staying warm and dry is the key to having fun on the water in the winter. Don’t underestimate the layers of clothing necessary, along with ear covers and gloves. Layers can be removed if it warms up! Kayak fishermen must always wear waist belts on waders and PFD’s at all times when fishing deeper water. Waterproof gloves make paddling a kayak a little more fun when the water is cold as well.

Anglers in South Texas, are usually blessed with mild winters, but this year has proven to be an exception. Water temperatures in December fell to February levels. Let’s all hope for a return to “mild” very soon!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Doing a live radio interview this morning on the Doug Pike show, 790AM in Houston, or on the Internet, 8-10am!