COASTAL FOCUS: Upper Mid Coast

Autumn Transition

I t’s September, and windless evenings are becoming more of the norm than the exception.

Sure, the wind is blowing during the days once the sun has had a chance to heat the morning air, but night hours are generally calm this month. Nights like this are very noticeable at the dock prior to sunrise. High humidity levels and no wind can quickly result in a person sweating a lot, so getting underway as soon as possible is a priority.

As you fire-up the outboard and start heading into the pre-dawn darkness, the sun is doing everything in its power to rise into view. You head at a brisk pace accompanied by a predominant southeast wind.

You’re heading toward what you sometimes refer to as your “summertime promised land” —more commonly known as the innumerable oyster reefs and shell pads in San Antonio Bay, Espiritu Santo Bay, both East and West Matagorda Bays, and even Mesquite and Carlos Bays.

 Shell, consisting of just enough bottom mud to attract small crustaceans and bait fish is one thing you hope to find as you approach what looks to be a favorable shell reef. Another item on your agenda when you’re among heavy shell in September is the color and condition of the water atop the reef.

You like it to be perfect—calm, and trout-green in color. And you soon find that today’s shell adventure is beginning to meet your expectations and requirements for a stellar day atop the open-bay shell.

Approaching your first stop of the morning, you bring the motor to an idle, and you quietly advance upon the crest of the reef where you want to start your first wading session. As the sky continues to brighten, you can briefly make out that you are literally encompassed by miles upon miles of a seemingly endless mix of mud and shell.

Next, with dawn’s dimness rapidly evaporating, you let the boat drift in the slight breeze until it positions itself directly atop the long reef in the morning’s high tide. In doing so, you note yet another welcomed presence – the reef is covered with the brilliant margarita-green colored water that you had been hoping for.

Another plus for you on this particular morning is that you are experiencing a noticeable tidal movement in and around your location. These things, along with the fact that the wind continues to gradually strengthen throughout the day, are all signals that the upcoming fall fishing pattern is slowly approaching.

There are a lot of changes each year surrounding the approach of fall. Summer vacation ends, and the kids have to go back to school. Consequently, a lot of sportsmen stow their boats and put away their fishing gear until the next summer as they prepare for dove, deer, or duck and goose season. But for whatever reason, fall generally means reduced boating traffic on area bays and less fishing pressure as a direct result. However, these aren’t the only changes brought about by the approach of fall.

Another change that takes place toward the latter part of this month is the change in the air temperature. That’s right. Along the coastal bend region of Texas, in September Mother Nature finally decides to turn down the thermostat on the neighborhood air conditioning system.

We’re used to seeing temperatures drop from the 100s to the ’80s in most cases. This might be only a brief period this month, but we’ll take what we can get.

This developing cooling cycle also means our bay waters should also be undergoing a greening period as an aftereffect. Anglers should be looking for the presence of a lot of trout-green water toward the end of the month and into October. This means artificial bait enthusiasts should begin having the time of their lives.

 The slow increase of higher tides signals the need to start shifting focus to thick grass-to-mud transitional shorelines to target trophy trout. These very spots will hold some of the year’s largest trout right along the grassy edges of the shorelines.

As the month progresses, the days will be getting shorter, resulting in fewer hours of sunlight each day. It’s at this time of year when many anglers begin transitioning to dark-colored lures, and will even start to experiment with suspending baits like the Corky, and its cousin the Fatboy. Until next time, tight lines to all!


Email Chris Martin at bayflatslodge@gmail.com

or visit bayflatslodge.com

Return to CONTENTS Page

Roy Neves: