T he most incredible resource on the Texas Coast, Baffin Bay, has continued on its path to a tremendous transformation this year and just when you think it can’t get any better, it does! Baffin Bay has that sweet combination of great sea grass beds (deep and shallow), as well as clear water and lots of bait. This combination will create a prime-time scenario for some of the most epic fishing and hunting in many years.
Of course, the “rocks” (mostly serpulid worm casings that are more like a coral reef than a rock), are always present in Baffin Bay and, like all coral reefs, attract all kinds of algae, grass and other organisms. Around these “rocks” will be little and big bait fish of all sorts, shrimp, crabs, and most importantly, all of the big predators that eat all of the above. Baffin Bay is ripe for one of the best Trophy Trout seasons on record as well as a truly stand-out duck hunting season, which will end on January 28, 2018.
Include the great expanses of grass beds appearing in all of the systems of Baffin Bay (Cayo de Grullo, Laguna Salada, Alazan and the Tide Gauge Bar) and it creates an overabundance of places for bait to hide. When this happens, the big predators have so many more easy opportunities to eat, procreate and grow! For anglers seeking that big trophy trout, Baffin Bay is completely set up this year to provide that opportunity in abundance!
Most big, giant Baffin Bay trout are found in relatively shallow water, all year-round. Structure is something that attracts them, like grass beds, potholes, shorelines, sand bars, drop-offs and rocks to name a few. Study the maps, Google Earth aerials and then think about water temperatures. Pick a few good places to scout. In the colder weather, find a few protected areas and always look for bait. In the winter, that’s the requirement.
When the water temperatures start to drop, Mother Nature is sending the signal to the predators that cold weather is coming. When big fish get that notice, they start to eat. During warming trends, they eat a lot. When it’s colder, they move really slow, trying to retaining all of the energy they can. To match that activity, an angler must present the lure slowly. This is where Corky’s, Catch 2000, and other slow sinkers work well. Also, larger paddle tails like Saltwater Assassin’s Die Dapper on the famous Black’s Magic 1/32oz jig heads will work low and slow. This super light jig head lets that big bodied Die Dapper paddle tail work like a suspending lure and a lot like a natural bait, which is the key to the presentation of all artificial lures.
When it’s colder, everything moves slower. Anglers move lures slower and lower to match the activity of the big predator being sought. Low and slow is the motto when waters are cold.
Do not take the top water lure off of the table. Warming trends will create massive top water strikes, so, throw them when the time is right, or when top water feeding action is seen in packs of mullet or along a shoreline. Bigger top waters, like the Skitterwalk, One-Knocker Spook or the Super Spook can sometimes bring really big trout to the top with vengeance! On calm days, bring it down a bit with a smaller top water lure like the one-knocker Yozuri 3DB, the Super Spook, Jr and the smaller baby Skitterwalk.
Duck hunting through the end of January will be epic on Baffin Bay! At Baffin Bay Rod and Gun (BBR&G), duck hunting is done on the “X”, that place where the ducks really want to be. Scouting out those places is easy, just by driving around the bay and observing duck habits and where they are rafted up.
Calling the ducks into the spread is fun, and they become easy shots when they are cupped up, slowing down to land right in front of the blind! Rely on the guide to call the shots, identify the species and rely on the guide’s good dog to go and get the ducks that are shot. Add to that experience an awesome boat ride in the dark, the excitement of the hunt and some breakfast tacos with hot coffee as well, while sitting on the banks of the King and Kenedy Ranches!
Winter is a magical time on Baffin Bay and anyone seeking out the beauty and solitude of an early morning duck hunt or the optimum morning wade for a trophy trout can find it here along with brand new lodge accommodations and some fantastic food served up South Texas Style by Chef Adam! Look no further than Baffin Bay Rod and Gun, commonly referred to as “The Last Best Place on the Texas Coast!”
Baffin Bay Rod and Gun is a full-service lodge that is comfortable, not stuffy, and big enough to stretch out and enjoy a huge main lodge, an unbelievable covered outdoor kitchen with a bar and a TV, a warm and enjoyable fire ring where most of the stories are told along with great friends and camaraderie you can only find here. Baffin Bay Rod and Gun is now endorsed by the Orvis Company for wingshooting and flyfishing. This is great news and will give BBR&G the edge with a partner like Orvis, which has around 150 years of experience in wild adventures!
See you soon to experience the awesome opportunities available to fishermen and hunters alike at Baffin Bay Rod and Gun!
Email Capt. Sally Black at [email protected]