Winds affecting fishing patterns on coastline
The fishing adventure continues for all those who have been fortunate enough to visit the Texas Coast the past few weeks, whether armed with rod and reel or just binoculars. We have seen a few calm days where fishermen have been able to spend time in areas they "want" to fish instead of fishing areas they have to fish because of strong south and southeast winds.
North shorelines have been prime virgin wading targets as the final fronts of the year bring north winds that allow unfishable water to clear up after being hammered by constant dominating southeast winds this spring. Large speckled trout have been spawning all up and down the coast and move to the areas that have a mixture of sand and grass to lay their eggs. They use several other areas also to lay their eggs but the grassy and sandy shorelines in 1-4 feet of water seem to be one of their favorite areas.
The majority of speckled trout over 26 inches will have already spawned in most bay systems by the time this article is printed. There will still be a few big late spawners but, for the most part, it's over. Jake Goyen caught a 29-inch trout last week that weighed just under 6 lbs. If he would have caught that trout two weeks earlier it could have weighed more than eight pounds. Right now, we have been catching a lot of 3-5 pound trout (22-24 inches) that look like footballs and are still full of eggs. The spawn for speckled trout under 24 inches could last as late as the end of September if conditions are right. A 12-inch female trout is considered mature and can spawn several times a year laying tens of thousands of eggs. They are usually the last to spawn. Remember, large trout spawn first just like large bass. So if you're looking for one to put on the wall that will be fat, you need to head to the Coast as soon as possible. Who knows, you may still get lucky!
Before we take off from the boat ramp when fishing the Baffin Bay arena, I tell my clients that if they catch a trout over 23 inches, let me take a close-up picture of it and please let it go. They are usually full of eggs. Most everyone is more than willing to do this. The best eating size trout is between 15-20 inches, anyway.
I have continued to spend the majority of my trips launching out of Bluff's Landing Marina and heading south fishing the King Ranch shoreline all the way to the Land Cut. Because of extremely warm water temperatures and an inconsistent bite on artificial baits, I ask them if they want me to provide additional insurance on the boat (croakers). Everyone usually obliges. This has only happened three times so far this year. The past few weeks we have started out with the key-lime Gambler with the white tail and also used some with the tail dipped in yellow. Gambler now has a Chicken on the Chain color, which is probably the best color I've ever seen from this company. The yellow headed/root beer Super Spook, Jr. has been the go to top water, but the solid black Super Spook Jr. is by far the best bait for cloudy days with clear water present. About 35 percent of our fish the past few weeks have still been caught on these baits just mentioned. We have caught and released several trout from 24 to 28 inches. The rest of our fish have been coming off croakers fished in knee deep to chest deep water. All fish have come from areas that have open sand with a grass bed close by. I have definitely been the hero more than the zero when I am able to bring croakers to this area. The croakers have been small but still effective. I'll talk in detail in my next article about this seasonal type of fishing.
A huge thanks goes to all those who participated in last Friday's CCA Banquet at the Victoria Community Center. A very special thanks goes to all those who donated raffle items, donated items for the silent and live auctions, donated guide trips to the Guides cup, cap and table sponsors, all those who purchased these items and many, many others that are too long to list. Thank you for your time and effort to make this the all-time record for gross money collected. This event took in more than $300,000. The CCA has already stocked more than 16-1/2 million redfish, trout and flounder into the bay this year because of being able to use the much needed funds collected from banquets like this.
Don't forget that next weekend is the Warrior's Weekend at Port O'Connor. This life-changing event starts Thursday and ends with a meal and gathering of all the troops Saturday night at the Port O'Connor Community Center grounds. After a grand welcome rally, the wounded soldiers and family will begin boarding boats out of Port 0'Connor (Froggie's Boat Stand) Saturday morning between 9 to 9:30 a.m. Additional troops will be coming and there is a shortage of boats. If you can help with your boat, call Kelly Parks at 361-550-4296. For more information on this event, go to web.mac.com/warriors weekend. Come support our troops!
Capt. Danny Goyen
Danny Goyen is an outdoor writer and has been guiding on the Texas Coast for over 25 years.