Saltwater Angler On-Line Edition
September 9, 2010
It’s been an interesting end of the summer…. High water, low water, lots of rain, great pushes of blue water, schools of jacks, schools of migrating redfish and everything in between. Shallow water anglers have been offered the entire gamut of conditions to experience recently. The good news, however, is that the catching has been consistently good, even under some tough conditions.
With the advent of a few cooler mornings recently, a change is in the air. Even though summer will wear on, there will be days mixed in where a hint of fall will sneak through. Getting ready for dove hunting, which opens on September 17th in the South Zone is the official kick-off of a new season of the year. It looks like hunting is going to be fantastic down in the Riviera area which is inundated with dove right now. Early teal looks good here as well, with big flocks being sighted in the Alazan Bay area.
Last year was my first season as a hunting guide and I got hopelessly addicted to the sport. My black lab, Kelly, who is now two years old made it so much fun! I am really looking forward to our second year as it looks like the conditions and the wingshooting will be very good.
Shallow water fishing in the Rockport area has been very good as of late, with lots of pods of tailing redfish and some really big schools being sighted in the usual places. This is the time of year to keep your eye out for those migrating groups of hungry redfish, heading out to the gulf passes. The “usual places” to look for these migrating herds are the outside beach of Traylor Island near Trout Bayou, Corpus Christi Bayou and Yucca Cut, the Lydia Ann Channel, Quarantine Shoreline and the Super Flats. Don’t forget to look in Allyn’s Bight and along the San Jose Island Shoreline as well.
Watch for birds diving down, bait jumping and the tell-tale “copper/orange water” patches that give these big groups away. Toss anything into the mix and it will be eaten. Whether fly fishing or lure casting, it’s a no-brainer!
Same scenario in the super shallow waters when coming across pods of tailing redfish. Toss almost anything at this time of the year, and it will be eaten. Once a fall fishing pattern becomes established, anything goes. As a new shrimp migration begins to arrive within the next few weeks, it’s a full-on food fest for redfish and trout eating up after the lull of summer. As water temperatures begin to drop, even ever-so-slightly, the message is being received that the seasons are changing.
Small topwaters, like the Super Spook, Jr. and the small Skitterwalk in light and dark colors like bone, chrome, pink and black are working great. Lately, the soft plastic that has been producing is the Saltwater Assassin small paddletail on a 1/16th ounce jig head and a #2 hook. Natural colors in clear waters or darker colors on cloudy days work great, either with a straight retrieve or a jigging retrieve, depending on the mood of the fish that day.
Sunny days and clear waters are always good for the venerable gold spoon, in 1/4th or 1/8th ounce sizes. When there is a lack of floating grass, try a Waker or a crankbait for some fun action. Both reds and trout can’t resist these two lures.
Fly anglers sightcast to these fish with chartreuse and white Foxy Clousers, bigger Seaducers and light-weight crab patterns in natural colors, depending on the water depth and conditions. It’s still important to be accurate with your casts. Presenting the fly as naturally as possible will produce the best strikes. Make the “magic transect” by crossing the path of the redfish with your fly. A fish can’t say no to this presentation.
Whether fly fishing or tossing lures, the best places to look for pods of tails are any flat or back lake with good, short grass with water levels at knee-deep or less. Moving tides prompt better feeding activity so plan your day around these water flows, either in or out.
September is a transition month for everyone. Getting back to school and football, running out of summer vacation time, planning for dove hunting, getting the deer lease ready and preparing for fall fishing has everyone working hard in all of their spare time. It’s tough to get enough of anything accomplished right now, but it’s well worth the effort. This is a magical time of the year.
And speaking of magical, on August 28th, Capt. Aubrey Black and I got married on the sand bar at Los Corrallos at sunrise. 85 of our friends and family were there with us as we said our vows, standing knee-deep in the waters of Baffin Bay. What an honor and a privilege it was to share our joy with everyone. Marrying the love of my life, who just happens to be a fishing and hunting guide too, has been the most exciting and interesting thing I have ever done. I’ll still be fishing Rockport, but I’ll be adding Baffin Bay hunting and fishing to my repertoire as well. Nothing has really changed, except for my last name, and the prospects for the remainder of this year for hunting and fishing are very bright, to say the least!
See you on the water!
Facebook: Capt. Sally’s Reel Fun Charters and Sally Ann Black