T he month of September brings excitement to saltwater anglers up and down the Texas Gulf Coast. A big reason is knowing that seasonal change is so close that we can almost taste it.
I personally love the changing of the seasons, especially when going into fall and spring. The thought of changing patterns and techniques to coax the big three into biting just makes me happy.
Another big reason for all the excitement is the fact that Texas’s bays are producing in a big way. Here on Sabine Lake the fish are feeding aggressively and taking a variety of artificial lures as well as the real deal. It’s as if they can sense the changing of the seasons well before it shows on the thermometer.
The heat wave is not quite over just yet, but knowing what the coming weeks will bring is enough to get us excited—along with the bait and fish.
Fishing the mouths of Johnson and Willow Bayous should yield some impressive stringers of trout, redfish and flounder. These areas have been two of our “go to” spots all summer, almost always attracting and holding bait fish.
Good tidal movement pushes shrimp, mullet and shad in and out of these bayous, and that, in turn, attracts predator fish. These fish will be more than happy to inhale any of these baits as well as an assortment of artificials.
Hot choices for soft plastics should be Assassins, Norton Bull Minnow, H & H Cochaho Minnows, GULP Shrimp and Swimming Mullet. Great color choices are red shad, pumpkin/chartreuse, glow, new penny and white. Topwaters like She Dog and Skitterwalks in bone and pink/silver as well as gold spoons and Catch 2000’s will also get serious results.
Your chances of finding fish are greatly enhanced when fishing either an incoming or outgoing tide. Work the points over real good and pay special attention to areas where the current forms small eddies. If these points are holding bait, especially shrimp, glass minnows or small shad, you should be in business.
If you’re looking for flat fish, slowly drag a GULP Swimming Minnow or other curl tail grub tipped with fresh peeled shrimp on a 1/8 or 1/4 ounce lead head. When you feel the trademark “thump,” give it a couple of seconds then set the hook real good to make sure the hook penetrates its bony mouth.
Live bait fisherman have always and will always do well by dragging a mud minnow or finger mullet using a fish-finder rig with the weight about 18 to 24 inches above the hook. For trout and redfish, work your lure a little faster. Bounce it off the bottom by popping the slack in your line or keep it a little higher in the water column. Again, keying on areas where bait is present will greatly improve your chances.
If the September salt air gets you excited, make your way down to the coast. I’ll be looking for you here on Sabine.
Location: Intracoastal Canal Hwy 87 (Sabine Pass)
Species: Specks, Reds, Flounder, Croaker
Baits/Lures: Fresh Shrimp, Cut Bait, Soft Plastics
Best Times: Early and late with moving tides
Email Eddie Hernandez at [email protected]