Back to the Beach
Late Summer and early Fall mark a time of year that sends us in new directions. The change of season sends many of us to the woods scouting in preparation for the up coming deer season. This time of year I get little break from my freshwater guiding. School starting and several other factors contribute to a slow beginning for September. So I take advantage of this time every year and take some trips to our Texas coast. Being that we are about an hour and forty five minutes from the coast makes it a hit or miss type fishing. At least for the wade fisherman. Calling one of the bay guides, marinas, or piers can save you some time. What you are looking for is clear-green water. A southeast wind blowing at 5-10 knots for about two consecutive days will usually leave conditions ideal for a wade fisherman is the surf. If tide movements are good this wind will also improve the bays. I recently spent several days wadefishing the surf off of Galveston. A whole handful of fishing friends of mine joined me on this week long endeavor. For nine days the beach front was unbelievable. The water stayed, what I call “Trout Green”, the whole time. The wind was a light southeast during the day and from about three am to dawn it turned and breezed out the north. This North breeze blowing out into the surf calmed an already calm surf so that were hardly any breakers at all. Just a little whitewash on the beach itself. Perfect conditions, it could not have been better and the fishing proved it. Every morning, all six to eight of us would enter the water and get on the first sand bar. Spread out about twenty yards apart and paralell to the beach we would hold until a school of trout came through. It doesn’t take long because they are very active at daybreak. Throwing topwater plugs like Pop R’s, Zara Spooks, Jumpin’ Minnows, floating Mirror Lures, and Chug Bugs we would start working the baits. If the fish are aggressively nailing the bait a fast retrieve will work so that you can cover plenty of water. However, if the fish aren’t jumping all over your topwater slow it down. We would work the topwaters until the surface bite slowed. Eventually, around seven thirty the fish would quit hitting the surface plugs. Every morning is different so we would stick with the topwaters as long as possible. Switching to Mirror Lures we would work down the beach still on the first sand bar. A twitch and fall retreive was the most productive action we could put on the bait for strikes. Red head with a yellow body was the color and proved to the best day in day out. About nine o’clock we would move out to the second sand bar and continue working down the beachfront. Most of the trout that we caught were in the two to three pound range. Limits were common and I lost count of how many trout I culled throughout the week. One of the days we got onto some big specks. Two of us got limits of four and five pounders which was probably the best stringer of trout I have caught. That day my limit was caught in the first twenty minutes on a bone Jumpin’Minnow within thirty feet of the beach. The fish were in less than three feet of water for the first half hour of daylight. The surf was slick calm, like I have never seen it before. I spent the rest of the morning throwing a mirror lure trying to cull but could catch any that could hold a candle to the giants on my stringer. Speckled trout fight incredibly hard and also have a tender mouth so your tackle has to be adequate. I use a slow action seven and a half foot Fenwick Gulf Coast SeaHawk rod. The rod was designed precisely for this kind of fishing. The length is just right for the long cast and the action of the rod absorbs the head thrusts of the trout and helps keep the hooks from tearing out. I fished a Shimano Calcutta all week and had no problems with it in the salt water. Spooled with fifteen pound test Saltline I felt comfortable, even though on one day a fish hit my Mirror Lure and headed for Mexico leaving me with a bare spool.(Probably a JackFish) Saltwater fishing is always a good change of pace for me and when the water right can be a blast. We were very fortunate to have been there when it was that good.