July 3, 2013
Low water conditions concentrate fish and fisherman! In the summertime, if you can find
For shallow water anglers, low and going lower is a good water level to fish! Always key on the grassy shorelines and as the water levels drop, fish the “what used to be deep but no
w shallow” potholes that usually surround the grassy shorelines and edges of deeper water areas.
Low wind mornings are more the norm now, which is a relief from the windy weather experienced along the Coastal Bend through the end of June. It still seems like most fishing patterns have been running about a month behind schedule and even the water temperatures are still in the low 80′s. Good bait can be found almost anywhere now, from shrimp to small crustaceans, to pin perch and finger mullet. All of these food groups are hiding in the cool grass or along the edges in the morning and that’s where most predators will be found.
Top water lures are very effective and the standard arsenal still works like a charm. Small and regular-sized Skitterwalks in pink, pearl, chrome or bone, as well as Super Spook Jr.’s in bone and clown create gigantic blowups. If the floating grass begins to be a problem, switch to a Saltwater Assassin 4″ Sea Shad in natural colors (white, chicken on a chain, Texas roach, to name a few), on really light and small jig heads. Let the lure fall to the middle of the column and make a steady retrieve back. The flapping of the tail creates just the right amount of vibration to let predators know it’s there. The absolute fall-back position for shallow water anglers is the Gulp 4″ curly-tail grub (any color, but chartreuse and white is a favorite) fished on that same super light jig head, tied on a 12″ to 18″ leader under a Cajun Thunder popping cork. This is a very effective setup for fishing in shallow water when it gets windy, the water is cloudy, there’s a lot of floating grass or when any other type of fishing is ineffective for whatever reason.
Fly fishermen shine from now until the fall as the water temperatures and the bait dictate that the skinny water is the place for predators to be. Any shrimp or crab pattern or small popper will work; just put it in the “dinner plate zone”, somewhere within 6″ from the fish’s face! The best presentation is a crossing pattern within this 6″ space, but most times the fish inhabiting the shallow water are there to eat. Don’t rip the fly line off the water, try not to make a bunch of noise while wading or paddling and try not to hit the fish with the fly line! Other than that, fly fishing is one of the most effective ways to fish right now!
Baffin Bay is looking great as the shallow water behind the Tide Gauge and the South Shoreline up close are both holding good fish and has clear water. From Los Corrallos to Black Bluff, grass is growing and the waters are clearing which means that might be the next great place to stalk. The back shorelines of the Padre Island National Seashore from the Meadows to Yarborough are clear and have lots of grass. Black drum abound and redfish are scattered in with them.
When water levels rise slightly, add the west flats of the Land Cut for wading, poling or kayaking. Nice redfish and black drum love this area and very few anglers fish there. The Nine Mile Hole is a remarkable place but can be big and daunting. This year, it’s been a winner and most probably will continue to be so. The giant schools of giant redfish are working the area on a daily basis, but finding them can be interesting!
Capt. Black and I have rated this year so far as a 9 out of ten for fishing and fish quality. If more places would clear up a little, we would have to rate it a 10! Our “trophy board” is spectacular showing the longest listing of big trout in the past six years or more. Baffin is most assuredly on the upswing, so listen to the naysayers at your peril.
See you on the water!
Capt. Sally Black (formerly Moffett)
Baffin Bay Rod and Gun