AUGUST IS A “MIX” MONTH of sorts for anglers on the upper Texas coast. Warm water is great for bringing just about all of our popular sport and food fishes into active feeding modes.
However, the days can also be too hot in the August sun to spend extended times in a boat or in the water for comfort or safety. Early mornings and late evenings are best.
Dawn is a great time to be on—or in—the water. There will be a few hours of moderate temperature, and fish will be feeding with more enthusiasm. Humid breezes off the Gulf or bay waters will be very comfortable before the summer sun turns up the thermostat.
Active schools of bait fish and shrimp will have gamefish wanting to get their feeding done before the heat sets in. Inshore targets will include sand trout and speckled trout, redfish, croakers and smaller panfish in bays and coastal streams that “empty” into them.
Tidal movement is especially important when the days get hot. Although reefs and sand flats might pay off early and late. Deeper water—or shallows close to deeper water—will be the best bet to find fish as the day grows longer.
Live bait will be at a premium, both for its effect and because it will be harder to both get live shrimp—and keep them alive. A good bait well with air pumped through the water and protection for the heat of the sun is valuable this time of year.
A cast net can help provide live bait that is “tuned” to the water temperature and salinity in the area you are fishing. Fresh dead bait is always a viable second choice, but there will be times when a good artificial offering may be better—especially soft plastic versions.
Many inshore fish will come from and go to the surf at this time of year. So, this is a good starting and ending spot for the fishing day. Around the various passes will be a good area for extra effort, as long as currents aren’t hazardous.
Night fishing can be the best use of time now, whether in bay or surf. Boat piers, rock groins, jetties, or docks can give better access to fish than fishing from shore. The nighttime surf can have hefty fish prowling in the warm months, also.
Offshore in warm weather, the quarry will likely be kept safe and comfortable by water depth, but the fisherman needs to take care of himself. Open boats rate below those with some form of shade, and trolling will help cool you down as air temps go up.
Just about any species, from king mackerel and sharks to tarpon will visit the Texas surf. However, more common catches will be Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, redfish, and trout.
Whether you wet a line in search of fresh seafood or a trophy catch—or both—the summer waters of the Gulf can be great in August. However, the angler must be careful to avoid an overdose of heat and/or sun while enjoying the best the Gulf has to offer.
Location: Bay fishing close to the shelter of deep water—especially early and late in the day, or at night, can be good. The surf and offshore also run under the same time frames.
Species: Just about all-common bay species will be available when temps are to their liking. “Offshore” species will visit the surf early and late in the day and at night.
Bait: Summer is a prime time for live bait, when it can be obtained and kept live. Fresh dead bait works under most conditions, and artificial lures geared to the expected quarry will produce.
Best Time: Early or late, or at night, unless during a cooling period brought on by rain or other forms of cloud cover.
Email Mike Holmes at [email protected]