The recent heatwave has impacted fishing along the Texas Coast. It has not shaken things up dramatically but it has changed a few things and if you pay attention to these tips you can overcome any obstacle it has produced.
With temperatures soaring by October standards look to the cuts in the marsh and any big “s-turn” or crossroads in the marsh with lots of tidal flow to hold perhaps more trout than normal. Normally by this time a good portion of the shrimp have been purged out of the marsh but now lots of them are still there. Throw Gulp! under a popping cork or live shrimp if you can get it.
By nature, the biggest specimens of speckled trout are lazy and if you happen to find trout under the birds on the open bay then try going deep. The bigger trout don’t surface much when schooling.
Instead of fishing a soft plastic lure on a 1/8- or 1/4-ounce jighead, simply upgrade the head 1/2-ounce so it sinks to the bottom quickly. I personally prefer fishing with a 1/2-ounce silver spoon which allows you cast a long distance and cover lots of water. You can reel the spoon in quickly or bounce it along the bottom. Both are effective. If you’re considering reds switch to a gold or bronze spoon. They will hit the silver too but for whatever reason gold is their favorite.
I have my best luck finding redfish under birds by seeking them on the outside of speck schools.
If I have had my fill of trout or are simply hungry for some tasty redfish fillets, I pull up about 20 yards farther out than you would while trout fishing under the birds, and then make pattern casts around the school with a gold spoon or a popping cork rigged with a gulp under it. Live baiters can score by free-lining live finger mullet or small blue crab on a circle or wide-gapped hook. Anglers rarely use live crab in Texas waters, but it is very popular in Florida and it works here, too.
Reds will inhabit the rivers north of the bay systems throughout the year but right now on Upper Coast rivers like the Trinity, Neches and Sabine there are more than normal as bait sources have not left with cold fronts. Remember to target the rivers in the heat wave if you cannot find reds on the bay.