I finished up my charters several days this past week longing for a hot shower versus some cool air conditioning, on account of some chilly wet clothes from a rainy boat ride. Thunderstorms and rain drops found my boat a few times, but the fish didn't seem to mind the damp weather. It has been one rainy summer for the record books and I think the fish and the fishing guides are just getting accustomed to it.
Because of the scattered thunderstorms cruising around the Valley and our bay, the winds have been light and variable. Still waters and calm winds have really helped keep the floating grass on the surface of the water to a minimum. When this happens top water lures are enjoyable to fish with. My favorite Super Spook can walk back and forth clicking its way towards the rod tip in search of a foamy explosion. I have been having most luck with top water baits when casting them into mere inches of water and pulling them into and over deeper drop offs. A shallow to deep retrieve with a lot of big mullet nearby create a perfect top water situation.
Trout and Redfish are still stacked up in the ICW just North and just South of the Arroyo. The "iced tea" colored freshwater is still North and South of the Arroyo and is here to stay as long as the rain is here. This brown water is best fished with live shrimp or scented lures like Gulp Shrimp. When casting a shrimp or Gulp lure I use a big heavy swivel instead of a split shot, about a 2 Â½ foot leader and a light hook. Just throw this rig up on the edge and let the lure or shrimp fall and flow with the current by leaving the line somewhat slack. If you use braided line you will feel the "tap" when it falls into the strike zone. The edges of the ICW are loaded with nice trout and schools of reds are lurking beneath the layer of fresh water in the depths of the ICW. It is not uncommon to find these redfish in 6 to 10 feet of cooler water piled up by the hundreds. As expected, when you find these fish you can bet every rod in the boat is doubled over and the redfish waltz begins. Trout are also unusually deep right now and are not hanging out on the usual "edge" where they are commonly found. Once again, big mullet are the key to finding a good fishing hole this time of year. If you find big schools of mullet, there is a good chance there is good schools of trout and reds in close proximity.
Flounder are still not showing themselves much in my boat, but I did hear reports of a few of them that were caught by fellow anglers. Snook continue to flourish in the Lower Laguna Madre and I am finding them in places where I don't expect to see them.
This was the first weekend of the new trout limit regulations so don't forget that it is now 5 trout in possession per angler anywhere south of the Land Cut. I am interested to see if we will start witnessing more numbers of trophy trout in the years to come by cutting the limit in half. There are plenty of trophy trout now, but it would be great to see even more.
The rain is coming down creating some wet fishing days, however the South Texas soil is soaking it all in. We have had nearly 30 inches of rain on our hunting ranch since the bucks shed their antlers. The brush country is going to yield some great antlers on our South Texas whitetails, and the quail crop is going to be remarkable this coming season. I can only imagine the bachelor groups of big bucks lounging around in the shimmering flowered brush just waiting for the first cold front to pass through. I will soon be working out on the ranch sharing my days with the fabled whitetails roaming the cactus and mesquite. I look forward to seeing the smiles on our hunter's faces as they experience one of the best hunting seasons in decades. Until then I will be in my Majek floating the waters of the Lower Laguna Madre searching for the biggest fish in the bay, and enjoying all South Padre Island has to offer.
The Good Ol' Days are Now
CAPT. TODD CASEY
SOUTH TEXAS CHARTERS
Copyright 2007 Richard Moore