Let’s be honest, it is hotter than hell outside right now! We are in the peak of summer here in Texas and of course, the heat is no joke. At times I question why exactly I put myself through what I do. Paddling in sweltering heat is not exactly fun or easy. Once you start fishing though, the effort put forth is rewarding.
I know 2-3 months ago with the torrential downpour Texas was having, there was not one saltwater fisherman happy about it. Now anglers can rejoice and thank Mother Nature. I believe that everyone can accredit that rain for their successful fishing trips they have had this summer. The fresh water has made an ideal habitat for spawning crabs, shrimp and shad. It also helped spring up mats of widgeon grass, which I have not seen in 6 or 7 years.
With all of the grass growing, shrimp and crabs find refuge here until they are big enough to migrate back to the Gulf. Since the bait is here, so are the redfish. It has been close to 7 years since I have seen the redfish in the marsh like they are. That being said, it is worth battling the heat to find these fish. I have been waking up at 4 a.m. and launching at 5 a.m. so I can start my paddle before the sun gets up. I start the morning off by paddling 2-3 miles which will put me deep in the marsh at first light.
I have found a few fish on a SkitterWalk, when I can throw one. The thick grass makes it difficult at times. I actually have been throwing a Spro Frog lately; it is weedless, lightweight and makes enough action to get the attention of a redfish. And for anyone who has bass fished with them, you should see how violent it is when a redfish blows-up on one!
The top water bite is always fun but I have really enjoyed being able to sight cast these fish. At times they are crawling around in 4″ of water and are always fun to stalk. I have been able to pull some out on a Zoom Super Fluke rigged weightless/weedless on a #5/0 hook. Also throwing a Buggs jig has been pretty successful for me as well.
This is always an exhilarating feeling being able to see a redfish slowly move across a flat and having a chance to catch it. This is equivalent to bow hunting to me. You put in time and effort to outsmart your opponent and when you do it is always a great feeling. No lie, just before making a cast to a visible redfish, I get the same feeling when drawing back the bow on a deer. Nothing like it!
And when they will not bite, might as well see how close you can get.
This gal fell to a Baby Bass fluke, she went 27.5″ and was every bit of 7+ lbs.
After making a bend through a channel, I found this one crawling around in a few inches of water. I slowly paddled out into the flat, tossed a Buggs jig in her face and the fight was on. Being able to watch a redfish take off in 6-8″ of water while pulling drag is why I keep coming back. It’s the little things! She ended up going 32″.
Needless to say, the redfish are thick in every marsh across the coast. The trout are also doing their thing on the south end of Sabine Lake as well. My buddy, Scott, called me and said a few friends were going out to his pier on Pleasure Island and asked if I was in. Sabine Lake and spending time with my best friends is my favorite thing to do, so of course, I was headed South. We ended up drinking a few beers, grilling and what not before we decided to make our way out there. When we did, we found that the trout were everywhere! It has been a long time since I have seen that many fish at the lights. We called some of our buddies a few piers down and they were having the same luck. We actually stayed up catching fish until the sun broke the horizon on the Louisiana shoreline. Had an absolute blast catching fish, drinking a few beers and spending time with some great friends.
This is also one of my favorite pictures I have taken so far. As soon as I get a man cave or beach cabin, this will be framed in there.
Recently the wind has been pretty calm for the most part which has made surf fishing pretty great. If you are able to, hit the surf, there are some good fish to be found right now in the Gulf. I also have been making afternoon trips with my brother throwing top waters in the ship channel and along South Levy Road on Pleasure Island. For the most part, they have been pretty successful.
I have made trips in the past few months that have been pretty sporadic. Often times on my way to the water, I question why exactly am I going fishing today? Sometimes the conditions are not ideal or even favorable, but when you have that “itch” there is only one way to satisfy it. Some days have been absolutely terrible conditions but have paid off. Others, absolutely ideal and can not find a fish. That is just part of the game I suppose; you live and you learn. With out a doubt though, a fisherman never learned how to catch fish by staying home.
“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein.
Sometimes you just got to go.