Categories: Saltwater

Coastal Cold Front Tactics

Fall is trout season around here, and November is a prime time to run into healthy, hefty speckled trout in San Antonio Bay and the surrounding waters. It’s a time when anglers of all ages and all degrees of experience can boast equal opportunity to enjoy the “catching” part of the sport of coastal angling.

Although there may be days here and there with tough winds and precipitation associated with the passage of the latest cold front, November is often a fairly mild month as the Texas coastal regions begin making preparations for some of the upcoming colder months.

When the winds subside and the sun is given a chance to warm the water, fishing for speckled trout can become nothing less than stellar. It might be cool and drizzling one day, and the next day there’s not a cloud in the sky with only a five-mph wind.

It’s on these cool, dry, calm days when almost anything you offer the fish will be the absolute correct thing to offer them, regardless of whether it’s live bait or artificial bait―there are days (believe it, or not) when almost anything you throw at them will do the trick.

Naturally, everyone has their own opinion as to when the best time is to hunt for trout following the passage of a cold front. Rarely, however, will you be able to get anyone to agree that fishing is any good during the onset of the storm system, as the winds are horrendous, there’s often rain, and an open bay can become downright unsafe during the surge of a wintertime cold front.

Some anglers prefer to fish on the day immediately following a frontal passage, claiming that things are generally back to normal by then. But when I look back at logs from past years, I am quickly reminded of the fact that we have found that the second and the third days following a cold front turn out to be routinely better than the actual day of the cold front, or the day following the cold front.

Why? Well, most of the days that directly follow the passage of a front still have strong, often piercing, winds associated with them which can often lead to water temperatures and air temperatures that remain somewhat on the cold side of the thermometer.

It’s usually not until the second or third day that the winds subside and the water begins to clear once again. Once this happens, the trout tend to venture out from beneath the protective cover of deeper water and often cruise the flats in search of baitfish which are also taking advantage of the warming shallows.

It is also on these overall calm days in November that we will begin experimenting with offering different types of baits in different places at different times of the day. Small or mid-size topwater lures can be presented early in the day and into the latter part of the morning when the sun begins to warm the water.

Or, anglers taking advantage of the calm weather might wish to throw surface walkers all day, maybe going to places you generally aren’t able to work top water baits simply because the winds are normally too strong to do so in a particular location.

It might mean that you’re able to throw your slow-sinking or suspending bait up into shallow water atop a mid-bay reef so as to be able to actually see how it reacts to different motions you make with your rod and reel.

Or, the calmness might just mean that you simply sit with your family and friends in your anchored boat above your favorite shell pad while making offering after offering of live bait to whatever happens along and notices the bait.

But nonetheless, November is a perfect month to take advantage of all that the Texas coastal region has to offer anyone who loves to spend time out on the water.

This time of year we give thanks for many, many things― most of all the opportunities given to us to enjoy the great outdoors. It’s a time to reflect back on all the memorable days out on the water and express our true gratitude for all that has been given.

Our team wishes you and yours a most safe and Happy Thanksgiving. May your boating be free of danger, and may all of your fishing be fun. Keep grindin’!

Story by Chris Martin

TF&G Staff:
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