COASTAL FOCUS: Upper Mid Coast – May

May’s Situational Trout

T HOSE ESPOSED TO TODAY’S corporate America know that anyone who is considered a leader in dealing with ambiguity is one who can function effectively in vague, unexpected, or changing conditions—such people are quick to recognize situations or conditions where change is needed.

If that sounds like just a lot of office talk, back up a minute and read it again. This time try to apply the meaning of the message to you and any other avid Texas coastal angler who inherits natural change at seemingly every approach to their fishing goals.

In reading it for a second time, did it make sense to you. Were you able to figure out how this might apply to you in your quest for success in speckled trout fishing? There’s a close connection between this office jargon and our sport of coastal fishing. Here are a couple of examples of why this is so.

Summer months along the coast present warmer water temperatures, and the month of May is generally the first in a list of hot months yet to come. It’s this time of year when many coastal anglers are sometimes walking in neck-deep water as they try to place their next cast into the lower, cooler portion of the water column.

Why? Because experienced trout anglers recognize that speckled trout prefer a cooler environment during the warmer months of the year. Even though the trout will pursue the coolness of depth during summertime, coastal anglers need to remember that speckled trout are simply another link in a seemingly endless food chain.

The trout, too, have their own feared predators. The warmer months commonly produce saltier bay waters, which attract larger marine life—natural trout predators such as porpoises and sharks.

Next time your deep-water efforts have suddenly become non-productive, try investigating nearby shallows. You might just discover that the trout have made a hasty retreat to avoid becoming the “catch of the day.”

Over the years you may have taught yourself to accept the need for change based upon the conditions at hand. The circumstances referred to here are those days that you might have spent the majority of the morning (or entire day) surrounded by truly perfect trout conditions, but with few results.

The water is clean and clear. You’ve managed to wade well-protected shorelines, out of the way of a howling wind. Sporadic groupings of baitfish are present, but none are notably active.

It’s time for a change, so you raise the Power Pole and you’re on your way. It isn’t until you happen upon an unprotected shallow body of water that you see any noticeable signs of life.

The shallow leeward shoreline is being pounded by the wind. As a result, water clarity is equal to that of a root beer and ice-cream float, but baitfish are popping .

What to do, what to do!


The conditions may tell you that any attempt to fish productively in such an area is a waste of your time. However, the hours you spent wading in textbook conditions have left you little to write home about. You decide that you are ready for a drastic change in strategy, so over the side you go with topwaters loaded. After spending a couple of hours sight-casting to frenzied mullet, you manage to end the day with extraordinary results.

You realized beforehand that it was contrary to all popular belief that such conditions would ever prove productive for you. However, you had also determined you were strong enough to accept change in the face of the requirements.

Now that temperatures will soon get hot enough to bake a pizza on a flat rock, anglers need to take caution in the approach of the extreme summertime heat.This time of year can be hazardous to your health, literally!

Remember to protect your arms and legs with long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Protect your exposed skin with sunscreen during the day and reapply multiple times throughout the day.

It is of utmost importance for you to hydrate regularly by taking in plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Also, remember to eat when you get hungry, you’ll be glad you did! Until next time, have fun out there and be safe!


Email Chris Martin at bayflatslodge@gmail.com

or visit bayflatslodge.com

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