AS MOST OF OUR CLIENTS, friends, family and online stalkers are well aware, we are dog people. Having seven of our own and five more belonging to our employees plus the hunting dogs of each of our guides, it is common around the lodge to see wagging tails and happy pups.
We are asked many times, “Which one is your favorite?” Capt. Black’s response is always the same, “Whichever one I happen to be closest to.”
The second most asked question around here is, “What time of the year is your favorite?” In the spirit of Capt. Black’s response we would have to say that it’s the season we are living in at the moment.
Each season has things we really love about it. Spring comes with an explosion of life, both in the water and along the shoreline. Summer has our swimming pool at the end of a long day on the water. Fall brings the huge influx of migratory birds and hunting season. Winter has ducks, sand hill cranes and the one thing that draws so many to Baffin Bay, Trophy Trout!
The chance to catch that once in a lifetime speckled trout is what lured us to Baffin Bay in the first place, and we have been extremely fortunate to be able to put many of our clients in the position to achieve this goal. All of our guides at Baffin Bay Rod and Gun are dedicated “students of the game”. That means they are dedicated to learning every single time they are on the water.
The information we all share and the things we have learned from each other are not insignificant. Having been fortunate enough to attract some really good fishermen as clients has also added to our collective database. Therefore any clients who do show up on our doorstep will be the beneficiary of all this accrued knowledge.
What is it that makes this time so special? Why are many lifetime fish caught now? The answer is simple and is tied to Mother Nature’s calling. When it’s time to get ready for the spawn, trout have to build up their energy reserves by eating as much as they can.
It seems that “fish love” must take a lot of energy. Big trout eat big this time of year. That doesn’t mean every meal is a giant mullet or other hapless denizen that gets too close. Sometimes they will gorge themselves on smaller baitfish, shrimp, etc.
One key fact to remember is that when the water temps are cold like they are this time of the year, shallow water warms up the quickest during the day. Therefore trout are seeking their prey in shallow water. Over the years, we have learned that many of the biggest fish we catch are in thigh deep water or less.
Bigger plastics such as Saltwater Assassin Die Dappers or big Gambler Flappin’ Shads are effective. But don’t discount the smaller lures such as Saltwater Assassin Sea Shad or DOA’s CAL.
We rig each of these lures on our Black’s Magic 1/32 oz. jigheads in order to work them slowly in the shallows along grass lines or around drop-offs or rocks. The slow fall rate makes these lures very enticing to a hungry Big Girl.
Big topwaters worked slowly or with a stop and go retrieve are also a great way to force an explosive reaction strike from a lurking trout. Of course the suspending twitch baits such as Corkies, X-raps and Barboleta LeLes are solid consistent producers.
Just remember that these big trout we seek are the future of our fishery so land them quickly, handle them sparingly, take a quick pic and release them to finish their job of making sure that there will be plenty of big fish for us to catch for years to come.
So come join us at The Last Best Place on the Texas Coast and fish with the best guides on Baffin Bay. It’s that time of year, and there is no better place to focus your efforts on a true once in a lifetime trout than here with us at Baffin Bay Rod and Gun.
Email Capt. Sally Black at Sally@captainsally.com