Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11, 2010 Fishing Report, Saltwater Angler Magazine

Saltwater Angler
On-line Edition
August 11, 2010

After spending the majority of the past two weeks on the water in the Rockport area, fishing in the hot part of the summer is a real art form. Since the fish have no real signals from Mother Nature that anything is happening in their lives, they only feed when the water is moving. There is plenty of bait around and the fish are fat and happy.

Finding feeding fish revolves around cooler water and tide or wind driven currents. Early in the morning, begin your search closest to the best water movements, like jetties or fish passes. Whether incoming or outgoing, this early morning water flow can start the day off right. The shallow water is the coolest in the morning and the bait and predators that follow seek this out. On low water days, find fish on shorelines that are near your favorite shallow water fishing areas. On high water days, go into the shallowest water you can find.

Large schools of redfish can be found now starting to gather up for their annual migration. These feeding packs of predators can be seen roaming up and down the usual shorelines such as Mud Island, Super Flats, Quarantine, San Jose and Traylor. Watch for large wakes, frothy water and frantic bait fish as these redfish move along and feed as a group.

Talk about frothy water! The Jack Attacks have begun in the Rockport area. If you are interested in catching a Jack Crevalle on conventional tackle or a fly rod, make sure you’ve got the right gear on board. From 15 to 40 pounds, these toothy critters can wreck your medium light tackle and take all of your 12 pound test line. Fly anglers, toss your 8 weight line and you might be making a trip to the Swan Pointe Landing Orvis Shop in Rockport for some new line and backing. Nothing less than a 10 weight rigged with the right leader and tippet will do for these big, powerful Jacks. Go see Dave at Orvis and get the best advice on the coast. Conventional anglers toss a big topwater into the washing machine water as these Jacks are feeding, but make sure that you’ve got a rod with some backbone and maybe some 40 pound braid with an appropriate leader! I’m not kidding. This game is fun!

Paying attention to tide movements and solunar feeding periods to target feeding fish will make your hot summer fishing much more productive. Edges, shorelines and deeper flats now come into play, but the super skinny water is still fair game, especially earlier in the day before the sun heats it up into “mullet soup”. Floating grass is a big problem, but not until after noon or so. Topwater fishing in the early mornings is very productive. Look for lots of mullet moving in the “right” level water, such as knee deep or so. The 1/8th ounce gold spoon is a go-to for sightcasting to cruising or tailing redfish.

Fly anglers toss the white/chartreuse or all white Foxy Clouser, visible crab pattern or a spoon fly. Target really shallow areas with short grass near deeper water.

The fall migration of redfish will be the main focus of many anglers, but trout fishing is still great on the deeper grass edges. Add to that the opportunities to run off shore when the winds subside and the blue water comes in and the Jack Attacks in the channels near the jetties and you’ve got a great mixed bag of fishing. This year, big schools of black drum have been sighted near Allyn’s Bight and the San Jose shoreline. Probably the most under-rated fish in our bay system, sightcasting to and fighting black drum is fun, but eating them is even better! Birds working frantic bait out deep might tell of big schools of ladyfish, gafftop or even trout. Keep you eyes and your mind open to all of these angling opportunities at this time of the year.

Subtle changes are occurring now, as the end of August approaches. My black lab, Kelly, is beginning to look to the sky for some reason. I guess she knows somehow that dove season is right around the corner. If you are interested in dove hunting or a cast and blast in Baffin Bay, Capt. Aubrey Black and I will be offering that again this year. Dove season should be great with all of the rain we’ve had this summer. The skies are filled right now with resident birds and more will be arriving soon.

As always, after a long, hot summer, everyone dreams of fall fishing, dove hunting and the onset of cooler weather. Our area provides such a diverse offering of outdoor activities, make every effort to enjoy what God has given us. See the sunrise as much as possible!

Capt. Sally
Facebook: Capt. Sally’s Reel Fun Charters and Sally Ann Moffett
Twitter: CaptainSally

July 14th Fishing Report - Saltwater Angler Magazine

Saltwater Angler
On-Line Edition
July 14, 2010

After the bizarre twist of weather that occurred recently when two tropical systems approached very near the mid-coast of Texas, “catching” got a little interesting! At first, the fish in the shallow water were really on-board and feeding as the big push of water came in. Then, the sight casting got a little tougher, as more and more fish scattered about.

Now, however, anglers and water levels are both trying to get back to the fantastic pattern being fished before the storms blew in. After these recent rains, fishing should continue to improve all summer and for the rest of the year. It’s amazing what a big fresh water influx can do to a bay system. After Hurricane Dolly last year, Port Mansfield and the Lower Laguna Madre really became alive and the fishing there was off the charts. The size of the fish improved and the numbers went up dramatically. The effects of Dolly are still being realized today in the LLM.

Shrimp and crabs are the main source of food for shallow roaming fish now. Target areas with short, thick grass, flats with potholes close to shore and utilize any and all moving waters to find feeding fish.

In the Rockport/Port Aransas area, July and August fishing really does rely upon real-time water level changes (see ). Fishing closer to the source of the tide flow makes targeting these feeding fish a little easier. Some areas of The Lighthouse Lakes, the Brown and Root Flats and South Bay can be flooded with big schools of redfish during this time, especially on heavy falling waters. Watch the tide charts, moon phase charts and feeding periods to put together your “prime time” fishing events. Think of how the bait fish might be “sucked off” the flat or lake by heavy falling tides. Don’t just think of the obvious places where bait fish might be drawn, but look closer at the connections of the marshes and lakes of your fishing place. Remember, fish move into the current to feed and this might occur at more than just the most obvious place, as in the mouth of a lake or marsh, but even further back, where other drains or guts occur.

Fly casters toss white/chartreuse clousers, crab patterns and spoon flies. No magic needed, just good fly placement and stealth, especially when the winds are calm. Light tackle anglers still throw small topwaters like the bone Super Spook, Jr.. Add a 1/8th ounce weedless gold spoon and a weedless/weightless 3” or 4” paddletail soft plastic in natural colors to your arsenal. Floating grass will become a problem, so avoiding it with lighter weight lures will increase your catching ratio.

As the summer wears on, the beautiful blue waters of the Gulf will encroach from time to time into the shallow waters, making it appear almost Caribbean. Keep a watchful eye for the opportunity to cast to Jack Crevelle and big schools of Ladyfish feeding along the edges of the Lydia Ann Channel, Shrimp Boat Channel, Super Flats and Quarantine from now until mid-September. This action can make a slow day of redfishing really come alive!

As in any other time of the year, good baitfish concentrations, baitfish jumping and birds in the area can tell a lot about the prospects of a fishing spot. All of these things mean water flow, bait movement and predators feeding. Target this, as well as good tidal movement for more dynamic “catching” in the summer!

Tropical systems bring much needed flushing to the shallows in the summer. Although the increased water levels make it tough for the angler, it really is a benefit to the fishing in the long run. Look forward to some really dynamic summertime fishing!

See you on the water!
Capt. Sally
Facebook: Capt. Sally’s Reel Fun Charters (for real-time fishing reports and photos)
Twitter: CaptainSally