W henever you happen upon a discussion here along the coastal region of Texas where game fishing is the topic of the conversation, the folks who are participating in that little chat are most likely talking about the speckled trout, the red fish, or the flounder.
Now then, in my opinion, the trout is probably the overall prettiest of the three species of fish. It is probably also the one species that most of the coastal anglers wish they owned bragging rights for catching the biggest one ever caught.
However, when the discussion turns to which of these three species offers anglers the greatest fight, I agree with the rest of redfish anglers. I say there is nothing that can rival the feeling you get each time you hook one of these bronze-shouldered brutes. It’s simply magnificent!
With that out of the way, there’s really only one more thing to discuss about these three fish. That would be how much we love to eat each them, and how we might rank them accordingly.
If fine taste is what you seek, I would highly recommend the southern flounder. Trout and redfish are truly prime table fare, but even with all of the scrumptious and savory trout and redfish dishes I’ve experienced over the years, none of them can hold a candle to a well-prepared flounder. Saltwater fishing in Texas dates back to the 1800s within my family, so I have all sorts of recipes for trout, redfish, and flounder that have been handed-down for decades.
Seafood recipes today featuring one, or all, of these three fish can be found just about any place out on the Internet. Also available in abundance is information pertaining to the many different ideas as to what are the best methods anglers can use to catch one of these three popular saltwater species.
Generally, one of the first questions asked of me is whether I believe it to be better to wade fish, or is it better to fish out of a boat. Throughout the years, my answer to that one has always been wade fishing.
In the early years, my answer was based on the fact that wade fishing is all we had whenever we were able to go fishing. We didn’t always have a boat, so we would walk in wherever we were able to do so.
As years went by, my answer remained wade fishing, but my reason had changed. I had learned that water slapping a fiberglass hull in shallow water wasn’t really what you wanted while trout hunting.
Stealth is the name of the game while wading. A boat doesn’t play a role other than to get you to where you want to wade, especially when searching for really big trout.
Another bit of information folks always seem to be interested in is fishing gear. Again, today’s response is a lot different from my earlier years.
Way back in the beginning, I would say they should take with them whatever they could get their hands on. We used to fish with some of those thick, sometimes two-piece, epoxy-glass rods. They were heavy and cumbersome, and they would seem to break quite easily at times.
Some of the reels we used as boys didn’t even have a drag brake on them. So, when you’d cast your bait, you needed to pay extra special attention to what your thumb was doing at all times, both during and after the cast.
Today, however, things have changed considerably. Once folks discovered there was a great demand for fishing gear back in the 1960s and 1970s, the fishing industry seemed to take off like nobody’s business.
Bait companies and “gear” companies began coming out of the woodwork, and the marketing race was on to see who could build and sell the most overnight.
It was a big time for anglers in our country, and even a bigger time for those anglers who liked to fish the saltwater shallows of our inland shores, places like the states surrounding the Gulf of Mexico.
Today, when asked about gear, I simply tell folks to take what they have most confidence in. It seems like most everyone is out looking for a trophy trout nowadays. They already are aware of the latest-and-greatest out on the shelves at the huge tackle store outlets.
Most of the big trout guys know what they are going to have to do to make things happen before getting into the water on that particular day. Their needs are simple. Their gear needs to be safe, reliable, and durable.
Beyond that, the only thing I can add is to emphasize the word confidence. If you are a seasoned veteran of big trophy trout, then you already know the importance of having confidence in yourself. You know your own general fishing talents, the places you select to fish, and the baits you select to present to the fish.
You’ll already know, too, that chasing these big spotted beauties is only one aspect of the game. You will need extra motivation and endurance to outlast the fish on those days when it’s too cold or too wet to fish comfortably. You’ll need to fish from before sunrise to beyond sunset for even the slightest inkling of acknowledgement from the fish. Simply put, there will be days when you will need all the confidence you can get.
Email Chris Martin at [email protected]
or visit bayflatslodge.com