I t’s the dark before the dawn of a peaceful summer day on the Texas Coast. Another pick-up truck begins the backward crawl down the ramp to splash a bay boat into the saltwater.
The breeze is still cool while the gang of fishermen loading up gear, coolers and breakfast tacos, silently go over the checklists that live in a fisherman’s mind.
The draw of sheer freedom leads all fishermen to the ramp at that unbelievably early hour, totally escaping the traffic of the city, the confinement of the cubicle and the call of the landscaping at home that needs to be done. That first push on the throttle is the powerful announcement to everyone that the getaway has been accomplished, and the real game of the day is beginning—fishing.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t close their eyes for just a second to feel that wind in their face and to breath in the salt air as they travel to the first fishing spot of the day. Summertime fishing brings everyone out a little earlier than usual to escape the afternoon heat and sun. Those precious early morning hours can’t be wasted by starting at a place that does not hold fish.
It’s all about the bait, and that’s the first thing to look for as you cruise along, deciding where to stop. Frantically jumping mullet usually means that the predators are about, sometimes beneath, waiting to strike an easy target. That target, should be your topwater, corky or soft plastic, depending on the depth of the water and the portion of the water column the fish are feeding in.
Give it a try. Toss that She Dog or Super Spook, Jr. just past the mullet and work it through. Get ignored or have a few slaps? Try that paddle tail on a light jig head. Reel it through the line of working bait just below the surface and see what happens. Lift and drop or just reel straight back.
If that’s where the fish are feeding, it won’t take long to figure it out. Still feel the love there even though nothing has worked yet? Maybe a Corky is the key (whichever one you like). Move it low and slow on the bottom and see who’s home.
Find something that works, then pattern that entire scenario in another place you know that has similar characteristics. This “patterning” works really great in the summer, mostly because the conditions don’t change a lot. Almost every day it starts out with a Southeast wind, light early, kicking up later, and this makes it easy to pattern your fishing success for quite a while.
Target big, big trout super shallow and really early, then move out and catch your limit on edges, drop-offs or other structure that trout prefer. Re-hydrate, snack up and move to the skinny flats to drift, wade or walk the sand. Sight-cast or fly-fish to reds, black drum and an occasional giant trout.
That’s a great pattern for a summertime fisherman. If you follow this pattern, your highly anticipated day will end as an exciting adventure, a couple of great fish stories, dinner and memories you will not forget. Plus, get back to the condo in time for a siesta, a refreshing dip in the pool and a delectable fresh catch dinner with friends and family.
Hot spots in the summer in Baffin Bay include the Tide Gauge Bar (inside and outside the sandbar and the shoreline as well), the north shoreline of Baffin, (if it’s not too windy), the sand bars of Alazan, the mid-bay rock systems, such as Center Reef and the A-Pole, as well as the entire south shoreline and rock systems there (Black Bluff, Corralos and Penescal).
Upper Laguna fishermen check out the spoil islands on the east side of the Intracoastal on the way to the Landcut, Rocky Slough, the Landcut grass beds and even the 9-Mile Hole if you want to use up some gas (and why not?).
Because of all of the grass, use a very light jig head, such as “Black’s Magic” 1/32 oz. jig head with a #1 hook to present a soft plastic as naturally as possible. Finesse fish with this presentation, generally reeling straight back, right above the surface of the grass, dropping or lifting the plastic into sand holes along the way.
If you’re using this light hook with a straight-tail plastic on a drop-off or a grass line, gently drop the lure to the bottom by raising the rod tip to slow the drop. Mosey the lure along the bottom, bouncing and darting it all the way back.
Color choices are all over the map, my personal favorite is a light-colored lure, such as Saltwater Assassin’s “Sugar and Spice” four-inch Sea Shad Paddle tail, or the “Fried Chicken”, or the “White.”
Topwaters such as the Skitterwalk (baby or large) in pink/chrome, blue/chrome, white/red head and bone are producers, as are the Yozuri 3DB’s, One-Knocker Spooks and Super Spook, Jr.’s.
The beautiful water in Baffin Bay and beyond this year should make this a pretty easy summer to get on track with a pattern that works in some favorite fishing holes. With acres and acres of grass flats, dynamic shorelines, sand bars and the wide-open spaces and rock piles, all producing fish, Baffin Bay is the least affected by summertime traffic.
Baffin Bay Rod and Gun is the perfect place for a family gathering, corporate event, bachelor party or just a bunch of fishing buddies to have an unforgettable event.
With the addition of Chef Adam, a highly regarded chef who has relocated from Houston, the food, as well as the atmosphere, the great guides and the unbelievable fishing on Baffin Bay will have you coming back for more. Get out and away from the crowds and spend some time at “Baffin Bay, The Last Best Place on the Texas Coast.”
Contact Capt. Sally Black at
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Baffin Bay Rod and Gun
Email Capt. Sally Black at [email protected]