Well it is finally that time of the year where summer is on the decline and autumn is near. The days are starting to get shorter but are filled with mild temperatures and light winds. Your seasonal “Summer Shandy” is coming off of the freezer shelf and is being replaced Brewmaster’s “Oktoberfest”; a clear indication that the greatest season is right around the corner. This time of the year sparks my interest in more than just craft beer and cool weather. It is the fishing that really seems to grasp my attention.
The past month of being on the water for me has been pretty incredible. It is actually hard to believe that with each passing day fishing is getting better. I mostly have been staying in the marsh chasing shallow water reds to sight cast them; why would I ever veer from that?
Lately I have had a lot of redfish fall to a Zoom super fluke rigged with a 4/0 hook. That one lure helped me place 3rd in the last Lone Star Kayak Series tournament. I had 2-27.25″ reds to bring to the weigh-in that went 14.65 lbs. I sight casted both of those fish which was a nerve-racking experience. Just for the simple fact that this fish can win you a tournament, if you catch him. You can easily blow this with a bad cast and have your whole day ruined. Luckily both cast were precise. I actually spotted my second fish blow up some bait in a pocket and it was a huge blow-up! Then I see 2 fish make their way towards me and for some reason something told me to take the smaller fish. Typically I would never do this, but I have already caught a few over the slot and the eruption I seen was immense. Sure enough, 27.25″ and with out a doubt the bigger fish would of busted and moved me further down the leader board.
I have fished a few different marshes lately and have found fish in every one of them. They have been holding just on the outer edge of the widgeon grass growing on the shoreline. I have a new found love for throwing a Spro Frog along the edge of the grass line. The blow-up of a redfish slamming one of these frogs is a awesome sight to see. Also I like the lightweight plastic material used and how it sits in the water. The back end is weighted and the head floats. I believe that redfish have a better chance of being able to get this lure in their mouth; therefor resulting in more hook-ups.
For a majority of the past month the wind has been ideal for a fisherman. If it has not been out of the Northeast then it has been just a light breeze out of the South. The surf has been slick and the clearer green water was able to move in. I went a little while back with some buddies in search of Trippletail in the surf. We found one right away but he did not want to commit to our lures. Not long after the sun went behind some clouds and ruined our chances for sight fishing. Along the way we did find a huge school of Spanish Mackerel smashing bait and it was a pretty cool sight accompanied with a few fun fish to catch.
I also had another chance to make a trip to the Gulf in hopes to find a few Tripletail again. Although we came up short on that task, we did find a few ling hanging around. We free lined live shrimp and they could not resist. At the time I thought that I wanted to catch one of these fish, 20 minutes later I started to rethink what I had done. I have never fought a fish like this; she was extremely powerful, like nothing I have experienced before. In the end though I ended up winning (barely).
The next day I had planned meeting up with a few of my kayaking buddies to hit the surf to find some bull reds. We arrived at High Island right around daylight and began our way out. It was not long and we began to catch bull after bull. At the end of the day we landed 15 and lost several others. If anyone ever gets the chance to go sit in the surf and catch these big brutes, do it! It was such a good time and a complete different experience while doing it out of the yak.
Of course (and I will take the blame 100%) my GoPro had a smear on the screen and a majority of my pictures came out blurry. Luckily, one of the few good ones was Brent’s leopard red that he had caught. I think afterwards he counted 114 spots which is amazing. Beautiful fish!
As you can see too, it was a awesome morning to be on the water.
As of more recent, I have been trying to find a few new places to find some reds for the next Lone Star Kayak Series. I fished several places and found good fish, just not your tournament winners. I made my way back into a unexplored marsh and found some crystal clear water. I do not think I have ever seen water this clear on the upper coast of Texas. I slowly make my way back and see a group of lilly pads and then I see a bright orange/red tail sticking up in the middle of them. I cast my fluke on the other side, she bit, and the fight was on. She was not a huge fish but I just sight casted a red in lilly pads! Not many people can say they have done that. Really cool experience just because of it being so different.
I continue may way back and hang into another decent red back in the flat I wanted to reach. Along the way too I caught 3 smaller river bass which was cool addition to my fishing day.
On the way out I was standing up and I seen a group of 4 reds in a small pond. They were slowly swimming around looking for food. I eased over to the bank, staked out maybe 10 yards from them and watched them. After it was all said and done I think I took over a little of 400 pictures. It was so incredible to watch these fish act naturally and do their thing.
The very next day I went with my buddy Chad in search of fish in a completely different marsh system. After a few mile paddle first thing in the morning we started to realize why we never heard of anyone ever fishing it, it was far! We found a few decent size 22-24″ fish and I picked up a stud 32″. I actually hooked him right beside my yak and when I did my exact words were “Oh shit, that’s a big fish!” and it was! Chad had a pair of Boga grips that went to 15 lbs and they maxed out. We were thinking she probably went 17-18 lbs. She had a logger head and that is about the only way to put it.
Well the L.S.K.S tournament was next weekend and I was unsure of where I was going to fish. I went with a spot that I felt comfortable I was going to catch some fish in. At 6 a.m. I launched and could not of asked for any better weather. October is finally here! I arrived at my spot right at first light and I eagerly start to fish. I see a few reds busting bait but could not get them to bite. After 20 minutes or so I finally see a red and she smashes my fluke. I land her and automatically know that this is a winning fish. She measured 27 7/8″ on my stick and weighed 9 lbs. on the Boga’s. A absolute perfect tournament fish! I figured all I need now is another fish to join her and you have first place in the bag. I continue to fish and can not buy a bite. I thought the fishing God’s have cursed me and it was time to leave the marsh. This was when I made a cast and pulled out a 5.5 lb. fish. Time for me to head to the weigh-in. I get there and wait it out but long story short, my fish busted the 28″ mark and did not count. She did weigh 8.8 lbs. on the scale and was a huge fish. I later found out that my measuring device is a 1/8 ” off so that had a lot to do with it.
That has been fishing though all across the coast for the past month or so. Fish know winter is near and is time to fatten up while there is still plenty of food in the water. It will not be long until every baitfish will start to leave in mass numbers and head for the Gulf as temperatures drop. Anglers can line up and catch limits of trout, reds, and flounder. During this time of year that is an easy task to complete. October is my favorite time of the year to fish; there is nothing that can compare! The fishing is great and the weather is even better.
Germany has a 16 day Folk festival that they celebrate this time of the year; they call it Oktoberfest. I am sure that it is a hell of a time and I would like to attend one day. On the other hand though I am glad to be from Texas and right now we need to be enjoying our time on the water. There is no finer time to do so. This upcoming week I will be at Boondoggle in Louisiana. We will be fishing, camping, and having a damn good time with a few hundred other people that are there for the same reason. That reason is to celebrate a perfect time to be outdoors and that is October.