IT OFTEN BECOMES a chore for September anglers to find an active speckled trout bite.
It can be downright frustrating. It’s the time in the year when things are changing between summer and fall, and the fish tend to become somewhat standoffish.
The trout spawn is typically over with by now, yet fall is not quite here. This can make catching limits of trout that much more challenging, because the fish are beginning to make transitions, which often spreads them out.
The trout you found in July and August over mid-bay oyster will now slowly begin moving from the open bay waters. They’re headed into the back lakes, bayous, sloughs, and cove areas in and among the marshy backcountry.
A slow transition between bottom contours of sand and shell, to that of grass and mud will start taking place as the summer heat is broken by some of fall’s initial cool fronts. You may cover a lot of water this month finding your trout limit, catching a few in one spot, and then another couple in another.
However, if you stop for a minute and key-in on what the trout are after, your chances of success this month increase exponentially.
The trout want food, and they want to be comfortable. So, look to places that offer both. Shallow water less than three feet deep generally changes temperature quite rapidly. It will become muddied very easily from high winds. Look for the trout to drop off into water that’s eight to ten feet in depth. There, the temperature doesn’t change drastically, and the silt and cloudiness produced in the shallows doesn’t exist.
When it comes to food, look to the white shrimp migration to be a major contributor to where you find the trout this month. The shrimp will ride the tides out of the marsh. Then it’s into the larger bay systems as they migrate offshore into the Gulf.
The shrimp aren’t as strong swimmers as the fish. They rely on tides and current as a means of transportation for their annual migration. They’ve been in the back marsh all summer long, but now they’ll be on the move.
Trout will set up ambushes along the outside mouths of area drains and sloughs that empty water out of the back marsh country on a falling tide. Remember, however, it must be a falling tide.
Later in September, and even into the first part of October, the white shrimp will be making their way through major passes on their way to the Gulf. Along our stretch of the Texas coast, this means places such as the Colorado River at Matagorda, the Port O’Connor big jetties, Pass Cavallo, and even Cedar Bayou down in Mesquite Bay.
September trout are going to move, so that’s what you will need to do also. Where you caught them yesterday probably won’t yield the same results today, so be prepared.
When the white shrimp start to move, you may notice quite a bit of seagull action in mid-bay waters and deep passes, so keep a sharp eye to the sky. Anglers have already experienced a bit of bird action these past couple months, but look for that to only improve as we make our way through September. The birds can put you on the fish if you play your cards right.
As previously mentioned, tidal movement and changes in water levels will be an important factor when you are looking for trout this month, especially for big trout. Water movement and currents tend to concentrate the bait, and large ambush predators such as trophy trout often prefer to stay in one place.
they’ll simply let tidal movement supply them with their next meal. These big gals usually tend to feed best during the last hour of an incoming tide or the first hour of an outgoing tide. This occurs especially during times of a more significant tidal change, as this requires much less effort on their part for eating.
Remember, an incoming tide is most often the preferred tide, simply because it almost always delivers cleaner water to neighboring shorelines and area back lakes. Just food for thought for the September trout fisherman along the Texas mid-coast.
Good luck everyone, and be careful out there.
Email Chris Martin at [email protected]
or visit bayflatslodge.com