COASTAL FORECAST: Baffin Bay – July 2018

In the Clear

G LORIOUS CLEAR WATER has enveloped Baffin Bay and all of its finger bays, such as the Cayo del Grullo and Alazan Bay.

This gives all anglers a unique look into why this place is so special. On certain days, fishing gives way to “rock marking,” a pastime that serious anglers pursue when the conditions are right.

Clear water will begin to tell some of the “secrets” of the Bay for those who wish to discover them. Marking on a GPS, the “rocks,” sand bars and drains that are visible, can create patterns and piles that hold fish all year.

Having these structures marked, and the opportunity to study them, can graduate an angler from Baffin beginner to Baffin pro when the conditions are not perfect. Invest some time on Baffin Bay to round out that GPS with some important information given courtesy of Mother Nature and the cycle of clear water that the bay is now in.

After a breakout spring, with many double-digit trophy trout caught and released on Baffin Bay, even the summer can bring gigantic trout. They may not be as heavy as they were pre-spawn (which happened when the water temperature rose to 75 to 80 degrees and stayed there, this year about mid-May), but they are still big. They hang out shallow, especially in the early mornings, and a big top-water lure can bring one out with a vengeance. 

Target long shorelines with bait and water movement (in Baffin usually created by a little wind). Find where the grass grows out in long fingers to the deeper water, or the sand pockets up near the bank.

This year, there are so many good choices for good fishing spots, that anglers can spread out and enjoy the serenity of wade fishing, with the ever-present King or Kenedy Ranch quail calling along the shorelines. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the birds and wild life that will appear here. Keep your camera handy.

Fly fisherman or fly fishing wannabees, this is the time of year that makes it tough to fish anywhere other than ankle deep. Leave that casting rod home and “live or die on the fly.” Doing this will help you focus on the act of seeing the fish and making the cast. No one cares (especially not the fish), how the cast looks, it’s all about getting the fly to the fish.

Good news, these fish aren’t very spooky, so getting to make four or five attempts to get the fly near the “dinner-plate zone” of one fish is not unheard of. Be persistent and don’t worry about the “catch,” focus on the presentation. Once a fly fisherman starts to catch, thoughts of the cast go away, and the ratio of cast to catch goes way up. 

Toss a clouser or crab in a white variation so both fisherman and fish can see the fly. Use a 12-pound tapered leader looped onto a good fly line for everyone such as the Orvis Saltwater “All-Rounder.” This fly line will help everyone cast a little farther, a little easier. Use a lightweight rod like the Orvis Helios 3D, in an 8 or 9 weight, or its less expensive cousin, the Orvis Recon.

All of these “tools” will add up to a successful day of fly-fishing. A must-have, of course, is a good pair of polarized sunglasses in brown, amber or copper. There are many great brands out there, so pick the best one you can afford. These glasses are essential for fly-fishing or sight casting on the Texas Coast.

If the afternoon gets windy, and it usually does, hop on the boat for a few long drifts. Break out the four-inch Saltwater Assassin Sea Shad, hooked to a Black’s Magic 1/32-ounce jig head. Use light colored plastics like Mighty White or Sugar and Spice in clear water to catch big reds laid up in the potholes or off the edges of the grass line.

The redfish in Baffin Bay are a lot tougher than in other bay systems, as they don’t move around much and stack on the pounds. Those big schools of gigantic reds that live in Baffin are also known as “The Ghosts of Baffin Bay.” They appear out of nowhere and all of a sudden the fight is on.

Landing a redfish in the 50-inch class is time consuming and tiring. Keep a tight line and “reel when you can, and don’t when you can’t.”

It’s all about the picture, so get that big fish in and take some good shots and most importantly that release shot. These fish don’t leave Baffin so they are the ones that are breeding to make more of one of the most sought-after predators on the bay.

Spending a lot of time on Baffin Bay is an adventure like none other. The sheer amount of open space, the serenity, peace and wonderment cannot be compared. To be so blessed to be there cannot be understated and catching fish is really just icing on the cake. 

Whether you are seeking that one big trout of your fishing career, catching a stringer full of reds and trout, or want to learn to fly fish, Baffin Bay Rod and Gun is the best place to be. Not to mention the fact that we have a great Five Star Chef and a beautiful, tropical swimming pool at our first-class lodge.

Capt. Black and I sure look forward to hosting your corporate group, a family fishing trip or a group of buds wanting to hang out together. From top to bottom, we are pleased to provide a “Five Star Adventure for Everyone” here at BBR&G, and you will feel the difference when you walk into our lodge.

We are dog friendly, family friendly and want to include anyone—woman or man—who wants to learn about fishing. There’s not a better place than Baffin Bay Rod and Gun. We can sleep 20 guests, and we hope you are planning a trip to see us this summer. 

See you soon!

Email Capt. Sally Black at Sally@captainsally.com

Web: www.baffinbayrodandgun.com


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