Epic Fall Fishing Begins
T he advent of fall is evident now, and the continuing regeneration of Baffin Bay is well on its way, with giant grass flats and clear water.
Fall fishing has a well-earned label as “epic,” and it is much anticipated by Baffin Bay’s hearty anglers. Whether seeking trophy trout or giant redfish on conventional tackle or fly fishing in ankle deep water, this is the time to focus on the unique structures of Baffin Bay.
It’s also a great time to drive around the bay and “mark rocks,” on your GPS, which is a local pastime when the conditions are right. The rocks stand out as large, black objects. The algae that grows on them is very dark and the contrast appears stark and unmistakable.
The “rocks” of Baffin Bay are the lead actors in the creation of the magic and mystery of this bay system, most of them appearing like a coral reef. These many reefs attract mass quantities of bait fish which in turn, attract the predators that we, as anglers, seek.
The drop in water temperatures is a reminder to all predators that winter is pending. This signal creates a feeding frenzy when conditions are right. Voraciously feeding trout and redfish gobble up anything in sight, preparing for the impending uncertainty of cold water temperatures.
This means that top water fishing is a major focus. Big trout are also signaled to spawn again, and this creates some really heavy trophy fish, hanging mostly shallow, where all of the bait fish are gathered.
This drop in water temperature is the main signal to wake up all creatures from the complacency of summer. Water temperatures changing, even slightly, give the predators a wakeup call that summer is over and the next phase of their lives is beginning.
Anglers targeting trophy trout, focus on sandbars, rock structures and grass/sand shorelines. Bait is the main thing to key on, along with slicks and birds. These birds aren’t necessarily like those you see in other bay systems, but shorebirds and seagulls sitting on the surface of the water, especially in main bay areas near rock systems.
Toss top water lures and soft plastics. We will still be using the Black’s Magic 1/32-ounce jig head, but may mix it up with all of the different styles of soft plastics. Based on the areas fished, this might be the big paddle tail (Saltwater Assassin five-inch Die-Dapper), the smaller paddle tail (Saltwater Assassin four-inch Sea Shad) and the straight-tail plastic (Saltwater Assassin SW Shad).
The five-inch “Die-Dapper” mimics a larger mullet, which big trout primarily target. Sandy, potholed shallow shorelines are a great place to use this lure, worked low and slow along the bottom.
Deeper water fishing might be best explored with the straight-tailed plastic, finesse fishing the water column, searching for the area where the fish are suspended. Shallow grass flats might require a straight-back retrieve of the smaller paddle tail. Go with your gut feelings and observe your surroundings.
While enjoying the bounty of Baffin Bay in the early fall, it’s hard to deny the flocks upon flocks of ducks arriving to winter here. Dove hunting is already well underway. Add to that the preparations for opening day of duck season and outdoorsmen have their hands full in October. It’s one of the best months of the year for so many reasons, but mostly because, with that first push of cooler air, comes relief from the long, hot summer in South Texas.
Please check out our new lodge on the back of Baffin Bay, south of Kingsville. We have the best of everything here and no crowds to deal with. Our lodge is all-inclusive, and Chef Adam has impressed us with his great cuisine. All of our guides have new boats this year (a variety of Haynie craft with Mercury engines).
We are ready to host you, your family, friends or company on one of the best adventures that the Texas Coast has to offer. This “season” is much anticipated and never lets us down. Please come down to “The Last Best Place on the Texas Coast” and join us in the celebration.
Contact Capt. Sally Black at
Facebook: Baffin Bay Rod and Gun
Email Capt. Sally Black at Sally@captainsally.com