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!
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