COASTAL FOCUS: Upper Mid Coast

July 25, 2017
July 25, 2017

Red Hot August Action

W e have been fortunate enough these past few months to be able to take advantage of some great trout action.

With the arrival of August, and with the full strength of summer now upon us, things may tend to change a bit. There are lots of options for summertime coastal anglers, but the extreme heat can become a definite issue.

Sunburn, dehydration, and heat exhaustion are just some of the problems the sun brings to us. Another is that the afternoon sun heats the air rapidly, thereby presenting us with a greater chance for isolated thunderstorms. This is one reason why some of the best opportunities for fishing are early in the day.

Another reason is that morning time is the coolest part of the day. Because of this, you should start your trip before dawn and then get off the water before to the heat has a chance to become an issue for you.

Because of the heat, the search for nice trout in August often becomes a challenge, so there may be more things to think about to make your time on the water more successful this month. One thing is that many summertime mornings will offer a light or calm water, but as the sun heats the air in late morning and early afternoon, wind speeds will strengthen as a result.

A good share of August trout may actually be caught on live baits—shrimp, croaker, piggy perch, and finger mullet. Prized trout catches by lure fishermen might become harder. Anglers throwing artificial baits will probably need to search in deeper water for their trout.

There is a bright side to all of this, however. Artificial enthusiasts can still experience a spectacular redfish bite regardless of the hot temperatures. There’s no better way to practice catching trophy trout than by hunting big redfish in summertime shallows.

You’ll learn to handle big fish, you’ll sharpen your overall fishing skills, and you will recognize a level of fun that’s probably unequalled by much else in the world of shallow-water fishing.

Chunking lures at reds along coastal flats sometimes calls for precise actions that aren’t always practiced by other anglers. One reason for this is the redfish itself. These fish are the absolute best at what they do, which is foraging for food and eluding predators.

However, the redfish probably ranks near the top of the list for those species that are most commonly affected by their immediate surroundings. The slightest alteration in water temperature, in tide level, in wind, or in bait availability can relocate them without the slightest notice. This suddenly makes them one of the hardest animals to locate on the surface of the earth.

You may have been on them for several days in one particular spot during a period absent of much tidal change. Then overnight, the water dropped, or rose, and all of a sudden you can’t find them to save your life.

Being able to keep up with consistent redfish action means you must become familiar with the ways the redfish move and eat on a daily basis. Water, bait, and wind all affect redfish movement, but so does sight and distance.

Your ability to recognize fish signs in an area is especially important. You should always take special note of even the slightest things when looking for redfish—small baitfish skipping across the surface, or even the tiniest movement of water or grass right against the bank. Small crabs on the surface, jumping shrimp, a sudden spray of small baitfish right against the shoreline, or a wake of water being driven ahead of one of those big red bruisers are all signs of possible redfish activity.

These are all signs that you can cast your lure to. But because you’re casting to redfish, you might have to surgically place your lure on a very small target spot. It could be fifteen feet or it might be thirty yards, but you had better be able to place it on the bulls-eye.

This might take an ounce of determination and a pound of patience on your part, but the results can be rewarding. You’ll need to acquire a lot of knowledge as you strive to be consistently successful in locating redfish, but all of this knowledge can and will enhance your possibilities for success. Have fun out there, and be safe.


Email Chris Martin at [email protected]

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