SUBTLE SIGNS OF FALL ARE ALL AROUND NOW, from the quacking of ducks, geese and sand hill cranes overhead, to the tilted angle of the sun tinting the landscape with more golden tones.
Cooler nights and dropping water temperatures are also signs to the lazy, fat summertime fish that it’s time to eat. From the fall trout spawn to the herds of redfish gathered up on the flats, early fall fishing is about as good as it gets.
All summer long, tons of food in the system has fed the lazy trout, reds and flounders on their own schedule, usually on not too windy night times, the change from dark to light and solunar feeding periods, if it was convenient.
These predators forgot about the tough winter months and had settled into a real complacency about survival—until now.
The key to this signal is water temperature. Just as rising water temperatures in the spring signal good times and food after winter, falling water temperatures in the fall signal just the opposite—upcoming winter survival mode.
What happens next is some of the best fishing of the year. Late summer, early fall fishing is legendary because of this reaction to the falling water temperatures. There’s a collective realization of the predators that these meals now really count toward their survival this winter. No more lazy days of summer. Now is the time to pack on the pounds.
Early fall cold fronts start coming in around mid-October and exacerbate this new feeding action. Just as people are temporarily stunned by a blast of cold air after a warm summer, so are the fish. However, it doesn’t take very long to get back onto the game of eating with a vengeance.
Finger mullet, pin perch, shrimp and other little fish take the first hit. Finger mullet along shallow edges get slashed and crashed, pin perch get destroyed in potholes and big schools of redfish eat everything in their path as they mow through the grass. It’s brutal.
Fishermen, who can pull themselves away from Friday night football, deer lease prep, dove hunting and other fall outdoor pursuits, hit the jackpot on the never-crowded bays of Baffin, Alazan and the Upper Laguna Madre.
Top water fishing takes the front stage and can last all day. Shallow water fishing is still where it’s at, simply because of the total amount of bait that lives there. Start shallow and stay shallow for the biggest predators.
Soft plastic paddle tails in all shapes and sizes will produce in both light and dark colors, depending on the days conditions. Still, the Black’s Magic 1/32-ounce jig head is one of the biggest game-changers in fishing because of the natural presentation it lends to all plastics.
Either swum across the tops of the grass in very shallow water, or slow-lifted along the sand and grass edges, deeper pockets, there’s just something about a paddle tail that makes fish eat it.
That vibration of the paddle tail itself, creates an urge to strike. There are so many good varieties on the market now, it’s easy to find a confidence builder. (Like mine, the Saltwater Assassin 5” “Die Dapper” in “Snowstorm” or “Morning Glory/Chartreuse tail”.)
Fly fishermen are having some epic days when the weather allows. Sight casting to big predators along the shoreline is big business now, and it’s not unusual to have 25 to 30 fish days on the fly. Eight or nine weight rods are efficient ways to land some great redfish and trout. Even flounders and of course, black drum are being stalked in earnest, and a white clouser or a white crab pattern fly will be easy for the fisherman and the fish to see for the right presentation and the hook up.
The “Cast and Blast” is popular at Baffin Bay Rod and Gun, which consists of a full day of fishing and an afternoon of dove hunting, which is fun, social and laid back. Our good dogs help out with the retrieves and finding birds and get all tuned up for the upcoming duck hunting season on Baffin Bay. No wonder October is one month that everyone looks forward to, there is so much to offer and so much promise for the remainder of the year.
This year, please come and visit the best lodge, the best guides and an adventure that includes fish, doves, ducks and dogs—who could ask for anything more? We are endorsed by Orvis for fly-fishing and wing shooting, and we have met the highest standards for customer service in the industry.
Please join us here at Baffin Bay Rod and Gun for a five-star adventure and experience for EVERYONE, seasoned outdoorsmen or hopeful beginner. Hope to see you soon.
Email Capt. Sally Black at [email protected]