A New Beginning
T his summer, Baffin Bay is a shining jewel of trout-green water, crystal clear shorelines and grass growing in abundance.
This new beginning for Baffin Bay has been long awaited and highly anticipated. Baffin Bay has been living up to her reputation for producing some really big trout recently, and that trend will continue into the summer months.
Stalk shallow and early for some really nice Baffin Bay Big Girls! It seems that, with the lack of a winter, everything is running a month or so late. So, for that reason, it’s still “prime time” on Baffin Bay for the trophy trout seeker.
All summer long, bait is in real abundance. With the emergence of the new grass on all of the shorelines, you will find lots of blue crabs, shrimp, glass minnows and pin perch too. It’s a veritable smorgasbord for all fish living in Baffin Bay.
When I moved to Baffin Bay from Rockport in 2009, the entire bay was clear, even in the middle. All of the rocks were visible and there were meadows of grass, filled with fish. Then, there was a slight freeze in 2011, and a very windy spring. What followed changed everything, including our styles of fishing.
The drought began to set in, and it spawned a stubborn brown tide that lasted almost five years. Everyone evacuated Baffin Bay, but, Captain Black and I were totally invested there, so we worked very hard to discover the recipe for success under those conditions.
Our number one instinct was to look for active bait, but then after a lot of really hard fishing, we discovered that all of the really big fish were in knee-deep water, or even less. The results were incredible, with 2013 and 2014 being two of the best years we’ve ever had for big, trophy trout on Baffin Bay.
The most exciting thing about this summer, however, is that the bay has come full circle in its cycle of life. The conditions now remind me of the first time I fished on Baffin Bay, with crystal clear waters and beautiful grass meadows.
Welcome back, Baffin Bay.
Because of all of the new grass holding crabs and shrimp, it appears that big redfish have taken over Baffin Bay. Whether fishing the back of the bay, the Cayo del Grullo, Laguna Salada, Alazan and all places in between, the unbelievable emergence of redfish everywhere has been a very welcome sight.
Even the “Ghosts of Baffin Bay” (our name for the really big reds from 40 to 60 inches that inhabit the deep waters of Baffin Bay), have been showing up frequently, giving anglers a super pull and a great picture. Dr. David McKee says that these monsters of the deep are 50 to 60 years old. That’s incredible to think about. These giant redfish have been lurking about in Baffin Bay for a long time.
Top water lures can produce some great action in the early mornings along shorelines filled with bait. Try the “One-Knocker Spook”, the “Skitterwalk” and the “Super Spook Jr.” in variations of white, pink, silver and chrome. A sure bet will also be a 4-inch Saltwater Assassin Sea Shad in light colors rigged on our signature, “Black’s Magic” 1/32 ounce jig head with a #1 hook.
You can find it on the Baffin Bay Rod and Gun website, Roy’s in Corpus Christi, or Tackle Town in Rockport and other tackle shops that cater to saltwater anglers.
Light colors have always been the key on Baffin, including white, and all variations, whether straight tail or paddle tail. The five- inch Saltwater Assassin “Die Dapper” in a color called “Snowstorm’ has been tearing up the big trout all year. The very light jig head lets the plastic work more naturally along the bottom, which in turn entices more strikes from big fish feeding there.
The well-known “Rocks of Baffin,” which in essence, act like a coral reef, are holding bait and all kinds of fish, including good, solid keeper trout, big reds and lots of black drum. Whether you drift the deeper rocks or wade the shallow ones, the Rocks of Baffin are a great place to start for a fresh fish dinner.
Drift across them tossing a Cajun Thunder popping cork with an 18-inch leader under it, tied onto the 1/32-ounce jig head. Screw a 4-inch chartreuse Gulp “Swimming Minnow” on the hook and toss it down wind as far as possible. Pop that cork loud and get ready to set the hook quickly. Nothing on the rocks can resist this set up.
Summertime is a fly fishermen’s dream on the shorelines of Baffin, the Upper Laguna Madre, the Land Cut and the Nine-Mile Hole. Stalk the super shallow edges for cruising or tailing redfish, black drum or a laid-up big trout lurking in the grass or sand pockets. These shallow water fish just can’t say no to a #4 Clouser in white or small white crabs tossed to the “dinner plate zone.”
One of the greatest seasons for fishing on Baffin Bay has begun. The bounty is large and diverse, so focus on shallow edges in the early mornings for big trout. Then, stalk super shallow shorelines or sand for redfish and black drum while sight casting with a fly rod or conventional tackle.
Wear a lot of sunscreen and drink a lot of water. When the fishing day is done, if you are staying with us at Baffin Bay Rod and Gun Lodge, you can grab a cold one and jump in the pool for the perfect end to the perfect day on the water.
The “new” Baffin Bay Rod and Gun Lodge is a great place to stay for your adventure of a lifetime. We have the best guides on Baffin Bay and a fantastic staff, including Chef Adam, who produces some very delicious food. BBR&G sleeps 20 people and we can’t wait to show you how beautiful everything is at “The Last Best Place on the Texas Coast.
Email Capt. Sally Black at Sally@captainsally.com