B ECAUSE THINGS CAN CHANGE quickly along our coastal region, spells of varying wind conditions can often mean anglers have to make some rapid adjustments to previous plans.
During periods of unstable wind patterns, you may find yourself heading to the surf to toss top waters, or to a south shoreline to wade in chest deep water over deep sand guts. You might have to go to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) just to find some clear water and some protection from the wind.
However, the wind direction and speed may not be the only things you’ll need to think about when changing your plans for August conditions. As we progress further into the month the water temperatures in area bays will grow to be even warmer than they were in July.
If you’re unable to get out atop shell due to strong winds, you should locate a sand bar first thing in the morning that is surrounded by deeper water. The bait and the fish often congregate atop shallow spots during the night and the early morning before the sun heats the water to an uncomfortable level.
Once the water becomes too hot, chances are that both the bait and the fish tend to retreat to the cooler deeper water nearby. Follow the bait out to deeper water, and you can often locate a strong bite.
Some of the sand bars can be rather large, but you should look for ones parallel to a shoreline. However, you won’t always find a sand bar set just the way you’d like it to be. More often than not, you will need to rely on your GPS and depth finder (i.e., aluminum push-pole) to find sand bars in water too deep to wade out to.
Once you’ve located a sand bar, focus on the lower water column. That’s where you’ll most likely be successful when water temperatures are at an all-time high.
If the action slows a bit, try dragging one of your plastic baits across the floor of the sand bar, giving the end of the rod tip a slight jerk every few seconds. This style of retrieve results in a “cloud” of sand trailing the bait. That’s sometimes all you need to entice a strike.
You might also notice that when you do get a bite, it’s not like one you’d normally get from a trout. You might find August trout to be lackadaisical. They might appear to “sit” on the lure—almost as if they’re skeptical.
Another factor is that August sometimes has extremely low tides. When this happens, many anglers are completely unable to fish in the back lakes at all.
When the wind won’t let you get out to open-water shell, and the tide is too low to let you into the back lakes, you’ll probably need to work the secondary sand guts along protected shorelines of the open bay.
You’ll need to start your morning wade sessions in water deeper than you would normally start in. Sometimes you’ll do better by setting up right out in front of bayous and guts that lead directly into some of the back lakes.
August coastal fishing can be some of the best you’ll see all year for speckled trout and redfish. However, you might need to alter the way you normally do things.
Don’t worry about making adjustments if things don’t work for you, especially if conditions throw you a curve ball at the very last minute. Stay abreast of the situation, and make changes as needed. Good luck out there, and have fun.
Email Chris Martin at [email protected]
or visit bayflatslodge.com