A FTER THE BIG TROUT FRENZY of the early spring, Baffin Bay settles down to a great early summer pattern that makes everyone happy.
Most anglers are still stalking big trout shallow, albeit post-spawn fish that are not as heavy, but still trophy-sized. The main game is an early morning wade or drift for easy limits of mid-sized eating trout until about 10 a.m. on either top water lures or plastics, depending on the conditions of the day.
This is when the month of May really shines. When the sun is at the right spot in the sky, mid-morning, the sight casting game begins. Early summer is the prime-time for fly fishermen and conventional tackle sight casters. All of this begins in knee-deep or less water, either walking or drifting down long shorelines of mixed grass and sand. These areas of Baffin Bay become infested with big reds and clouds of black drum, all meandering in the skinny water in search of the easy meal.
Shrimp and crabs are the main dish for all shallow water feeders at this time. Black drum will eat all of the above. Plus, they dot the bottom with their open mouths, sifting around for tiny crustaceans.
Tails up means they’ve got their prey. So, keeping this in mind, the presentation of the fly or lure, has to be about the same. Unlike reds, trout and flounder, they don’t usually chase their prey, but instead, like to find it as they mosey along, looking down at the bottom.
Toss the fly across their path and let it sit. When the black drum wanders near, move it ever so slightly in front of their face. Stop and wait. Tails up means they’ve got their prey. Set the hook and hang on. With their big side fins, it’s like pulling up a Thanksgiving platter, sideways. Sight casting to black drum is one of the most under-rated fishing games on the coast.
Catching redfish on a fly is an addiction. Black drum and redfish tend to hang out around the same places. However, redfish are swift feeders that will chase the fly and pin it to the bottom with a vengeance.
In Baffin Bay, the redfish are big and fat and will take a fly fisherman into the backing in a hurry. Fighting these redfish requires an eight- or nine-weight, good quality rod. Any reel with a decent drag system will do, but the rod is the most important component.
A good line such as an Orvis Saltwater “All-Rounder” can get the job done casting to targets either close or far. But really, get the fly close to the fish, and the game is on. For either a beginner or advanced fly fishermen, a redfish chase is both cathartic and addictive, beware!
Other awesome adventures in May include a flounder run on Baffin Bay that is a well-kept secret. Last May, the flounder chase was in a specific place that has big, giant sand pockets. Tossing into the potholes with a Gulp Swimming Mullet plastic on the Black’s Magic 1/32-ounce jig head was a 100 percent success.
After the trout bite and before the redfish stalk, working the big sand spots over for flounder was a great diversion from the usual. Limits of flounder were easy and it’s great to see that the TPWD rules change for flounder has made such a massive improvement. The secret flounder spot should be all of that for 2018 as well.
Never, ever forget about those big trout that lurk shallow, lying in sand pockets, waiting for a meal. Singles or doubles will swim slowly in the shallow water and usually fool the shallow water angler. Around Baffin Bay they are called “Big Black Logs” because they lie on the sand. Sometimes they don’t even look like a fish. They are big, they are elusive, and they sometimes burst out of the shallows, swimming by to give the angler “the fin.” Dial in to that shape and color for a few casts at really big trout.
The shorelines of Baffin Bay and beyond are almost untouched. Most of the fish that feed there are relatively easy to sneak up on, because of the lack of boat and fishing pressure. Long, slow wades are mesmerizing. Even the birds and the wildlife are a huge part of the adventure.
Baffin Bay is truly “The Last Best Place on the Texas Coast,” and the guides and clients at Baffin Bay Rod and Gun get to be a part of its wonder on a daily basis.
Please come and see it for yourself by booking a trip with Marcie, our booking manager. Her phone number is 371-720-9394. The lodge can accommodate 20 anglers. Our chef and staff have customer service down to a science.
Check out our new website at www.BaffinBayRodandGun.com for all of our information. The lodge is dog and family friendly. The outdoor areas include a beautiful swimming pool, a huge veranda with a bar, television and comfortable seating.
Baffin Bay Rod and Gun lodge is also Orvis Endorsed for Fly Fishing and Wingshooting, meaning it has met the high standards that the Orvis Company demands.
All of us are very blessed on Baffin Bay, in so many ways. Please come and experience it yourself, with your family, friends or co-workers. You’ll make great memories that last a lifetime.
Email Capt. Sally Black at [email protected]