Coastal bayous are a productive location for redfish, speckled trout and flounder during the early fall period but they require study.
Whether you are fishing for flounder, redfish, or trout, the first thing to look for is an eddy or area of slack water. They form at the mouths of bayous and are often very pronounced, particularly on incoming tides. Baitfishes moving into or out of a bayou seek refuge in the slack water and are easy prey for predators.
The second thing to look for is stands of roseau cane, which often grow around the mouths of bayous and along bay shorelines. This is the tall cane duck hunters use for blinds, and it often signals a change in bottom structure, as it needs slightly harder bottom than marsh grasses to grow. On high tides, its intricate root system draws baitfishes, and when the tide starts to drop, predators—especially flounder—take advantage.
Moving toward the bay, look for the first big “S” turn. This spot is usually the deepest spot in the coastal bayou, and like those inland areas, any drop-off will hold lots of fish. One coastal bayou I fish has a 19-foot deep hole in the first “S” turn in a system that averages about 8 feet deep, and it is a killer spot to fish.
Many of our coastal bayous have manmade canals and square lakes dug by pipeline companies and ranchers to make levees and roadways, and at times, these spots can make for killer fishing. High tides and big south winds bring lots of fishes into these spots, as the fish are almost pushed in by the forces of nature. A good way to gauge if the fish are in these spots is the presence of alligators. If there are lots of gators, there are lots of fish
Unlike inland bayous that have lots of structure, coast bayous do not. So, when there is some kind of structure in the water, fish it. Bridges, pipe stands, old docks, boat wrecks, and other man-made habitats are fish magnets. We pay attention to things that stand out, and so do fish. That is why any kind of structure in these barren areas can be such hotspots.
Chester Moore, Jr.