The Allure of Alazan Bay
ACRES AND ACRES of uninterrupted grass cover the shorelines of Alazan Bay, creating the most unspoiled and untouched body of water on Baffin Bay.
It’s a mysterious place that feels like nothing much has changed for hundreds and hundreds of years—and probably hasn’t. The King Ranch encompasses the entire bay and by its giant remoteness, protects and nurtures the place like a best friend. A few long, dusty roads lead to the water, and there’s only one small pier on the entire bay. Remnants of a few old duck blinds and other craggy wooden posts can be found near sloughs and drains from the land, hearkening back to a time long past.
There’s a small band of old commercial fishermen that know Alazan best and they can be found laying lines with their small wooden skiffs on most weekdays, way back in the back. Following them around can lead to new discoveries and some really shallow water.
Alazan is home to some of the giant packs of oversized redfish that never leave the bay. They can grow up to 60 inches or more and weigh in at more than 40 pounds. Now is the time to hunt these creatures who feed a lot with their backs out of the water, eating everything in sight. It’s time to break the water body record with conventional tackle and the IGFA tippet class record, on the fly. Alazan Bay could be host to a number of important records this year.
All of Alazan has beautiful water and lots of grass flats, even up to and surrounding some of the few big rock structures that are relatively shallow. Big sand bars, also covered with grass, are now visible in Alazan and are magnets for bait fish and the predators that feed on them. With the light winds of early summer, it’s the best time to target these grass flats and sandbars for large quantities of fish and big trout.
Since Alazan is basically a North to South bay, depending on the wind direction, pick a shoreline and start before sunrise. Watch for bait working along the shallow, grassy shorelines to begin targeting good fish feeding up shallow. Toss top water lures or soft plastic paddle tails on light jig heads (like our own famous “Black’s Magic” 1/32nd ounce jig heads with #1 Gamakatzu hooks). Watch for jumping bait and slicks to help target the search. As the morning wears on, slide out to edges or drop-offs for more trout action.
Around 10:30 or 11:00 am, its time to change gears a little. Grab a snack and a drink, tie on a four-inch Gulp Swimming Mullet or a four-inch Saltwater Assassin Sea Shad on that same light jig head and head for the super shallow water and sand to start sight-casting to redfish and black drum. As you drift from the boat or walk along in ankle deep water, look for those big, dark shapes, tailing fish and baitfish moving with urgency.
This is an addictive game to say the least. Fly rodders will have the perfect opportunity to present a light colored clouser or a crab pattern and put it right in front of the feeding fish, then hang on. In Alazan Bay, make sure that the 9 weight is the fly rod of choice, in case there’s a run-in with some of those super-oversized reds or black drum.
Alazan Bay is so unique, mysterious and remote, there’s a great chance that there may not be another boat in sight. Think about what it would feel like to have an entire bay system to your own, to read the water and explore an area rich with all kinds of life, deep, shallow, large and small.
It’s a place that is rich with history and timeless South Texas beauty. Besides fishing, bird and animal watching as well as photography opportunities are abundant here. Alazan’s unspoiled atmosphere produces nature unconcerned with human presence.
The King Ranch loves and respects their land and are supreme stewards, keeping most of it the way it was 500 years ago or more. Ancient windmills still fill ponds and tanks for cattle and wildlife.
Big bucks, nilgai, bobcat, turkey, quail and all other South Texas brush country creatures leisurely stroll down the banks and bluffs, their calls and sounds will keep an angler guessing.
Sloughs and small back lakes are hosts to bait, crabs and shrimp in the grass, which in turn brings in the reds and other predators. The understatement of the year would be to say that Alazan Bay has it all. It does and then some.
No matter how many times its fished or visited, there’s still more to observe, catch or photograph. Alazan is truly the most interesting part of the “Last Best Place on the Texas Coast”.
Come visit Baffin Bay Rod and Gun, “The Last Best Place on the Texas Coast” for a five-star adventure and experience you will never forget and. While here, you can experience Alazan Bay in all of its glory.
Email Capt. Sally Black at Sally@captainsally.com