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WOODS, WINGS & WATER: August brings 'cooler' temps

Aug. 4, 2013 at 3:04 a.m.

Lower tides this week forced redfish out of shallow back lakes to deeper shell haunts.

Could someone please turn off the southwest wind?

Low summer tides, hot, cloudy water and west, southwest winds are nothing new for a late summer day on the bay.

It certainly makes for a tough day of fishing, giving rise to the term "dog days of summer," which has certainly been the case the past two weeks.

When west winds persist, there are few places to hide, and there are only so many westerly leeward shorelines. Those back bay areas that so often provide refuge from the wind - well, those west winds have drained tides to more than 2 feet below normal in most estuaries.

So where do you find fishable waters?

Oil and gas wells in Galveston Bay have held quality fish. Most are stationed in at least 10 feet of water with shell pads around the legs of the well - perfect terrain for fish to stage and cool off.

Again, though the water may seem off-colored on the surface, often, it is much clearer on the bottom.

Work the entire water column with baits.

Sometimes, the fish can be caught under a popping cork. Sometimes, they can be coaxed with jigs. And sometimes, a free-lined shrimp is the answer.

Cuts and channels have been my focus in Matagorda Bay.

Though waters have been chocolate in the bay, incoming tides from the channels and Intracoastal Waterway have ushered clear water through the cuts. Speckled trout use these channels to swim with the tides, especially during the summer.

Those deeper channels hold cooler water, an established locale when water temperatures inch close to 90 degrees.

I have waded the edges of channels with heavy jigs on the incoming tide, bouncing soft plastics on the bottom much like I remember doing at Rollover Pass in my youth. Sensitive graphite rods and braided lines have been a must, especially when the tide is really rolling.

Live bait has been the best bet out of the boat.

Most of my focus has been concentrated on the north shoreline reefs in East Bay.

Yes, I said north shoreline.

That's where the best currents from the incoming tide have entered the bay.

If you fish the south shoreline, that new water may never get there with southwest winds "holding up" the water. Fish still eat in muddy water, and often, what seems off-colored on the surface is clearer a few feet down in a deep channel.

Remember those shorelines with low-tide reefs and sand flats exposed?

Somewhere adjacent to those pieces of shell and sand is a gut with a trout or redfish just waiting to eat your offering.

The good news is August is upon us, and customarily, calm winds follow as feeble cold fronts push through Texas.

Be ready for the surf to "slick off," the jetty to "fire up" and the first sign of blue-winged teal to smack a shallow shoreline.

It will definitely be a welcome change but don't get out the scarf and mittens yet.

Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed fishing guide (binkgrimes@sbcglobal.net).

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