June Trout: Tides, Birds, and the Moon
JUNE WATER TEMPERATURES will continue to climb. Trout will be found roaming into the shallows atop sand and grass flats after waiting months for the comfort of warmth and a steady food supply.
The winter and spring months are behind them now, and they’re hungry. Fooling a really nice speck into swallowing your favorite artificial bait shouldn’t become too much of a chore this month, that is if you present the bait properly.
The water is constantly warming right now. Remember you should be able to speed your retrieve a little bit more with each passing day.
This is the month when trout will start becoming a bit more aggressive when chasing a fast moving dinner. Keep that in mind as your experiment this month in developing a successful retrieval cadence.
Topwater baits presented during low light hours of the day just after sunrise, and just before sunset will work with the trout. Any of a myriad of sub-surface slow-sinkers and twitch baits, along with the ever-popular shrimp imitation plastic tails are also good.
Work your top water lures along the more shallow portions of the flats. Pay special attention to any areas where you find pods of mullet schooling or floating on the surface during the cooler parts of the day.
As the shallows against the shoreline begin warming under the morning sun, the bait will start to migrate to deeper water. Tie on a slow-sinker or subsurface twitch bait and move to deeper water with the bait.
Another quite effective tactic for June trout will use the movement of the tide. During a period of low tide, and when the current is slack (non-existent), try placing yourself over any type of structure located in deeper water.
An example in our Texas bay systems may include mid-bay oyster reefs or substantial sand flats covered by lots of grass located just adjacent to some type of deep water access. This might be sudden drop-offs, tapered shorelines, or an undulating bay floor consisting of a number of troughs that continue to deepen as they progress away from the shoreline.
On an outgoing or falling tide, position your wade session outside area drains and sloughs that empty water out of a back lake into the main bay system. The water current can often become very swift in the narrow portions of these sloughs and bayous. Their draining point at the mouth where it empties into the bay is often packed full of trout waiting for free food samples to wash their way in the midst of the falling tide.
Don’t forget to look for the birds this month, as well. Shrimp, croakers, and mullet will all be thriving this month in our Texas bays, and the trout will be stuffing their gut at every opportunity.
The birds in the sky can be used as our eyes upon the water. Pay particular attention to birds when you see groups of them diving from midair down to the surface of the water. Granted, the big birds (such as the pelicans) can sometimes indicate feeding fish beneath them, but right now is the time to pay special attention to the larger seagulls.
As the trout chase baitfish to the surface, these big gulls will suddenly appear out of absolutely nowhere, feeding on anything and everything that makes its way to the water’s surface.
When this happens, the trout that are feeding below will hit almost anything. However, the trout are more than likely going to be quite skittish also. You’ll want to make sure you approach them in a quiet manner (either drift into the working birds, or use a trolling motor if you have one).
Birds you see sitting on the water are also a good sign. They’re probably right above the fish, as they wait for the trout to chase bait to the surface. All in all, birds are a good thing this month!
Lastly, when trout are feeding, they tend to over-indulge at times. When this happens, the trout will often regurgitate the food they’ve just eaten during their feeding frenzy. Then an oil substance makes its way to the water’s surface.
This is known as a “slick.” You’ll often smell it before your eyes pick up on it, especially if you happen to be downwind. It smells very close to the scent of fresh-sliced watermelon. The smaller the slick, the closer the trout will be. You can track movement of the fish by watching the progression of these slicks, so pay close attention to their size and movement.
If you’re looking to catch a Texas trophy trout in June, try fishing two or three days before, and two or three days after a full moon. The trout in our neighboring bays will often congregate on the many mid-bay reefs of San Antonio Bay, large sand bars, or other structural flats areas during this time period.
Good luck this month, and be careful out there!
Email Chris Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit bayflatslodge.com