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SEPTEMBER 2014 FEATURED ARTICLE

by Capt. Brent Hopkins   Call: 361-534-4007

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USCG Licensed/TPWD Certified

 

Autumn, Season of Change...

September is a time of change along the Texas Coast, as it unofficially marks the end of the long hot summer. Some of the changes here in the Coastal Bend include less fishing pressure, cooler water temps, nicer weather, higher tides, and overall
better fishing conditions than July and August. Another welcomed event is the beginning of our dove hunting season. As for the fishing, it doesn't seem to matter which species you are intending to target, chances are you'll begin having better opportunities for catching them.

Redfish, during the month of September, will seem to be almost everywhere, especially on the flats and shorelines. This time of year will find the species schooling in large pods, heading for our jetties and passes for their spawn. Any kind of bait you have on the end of your line will do the trick. Normally, it's pretty easy to spot these groups of fish. The obvious and easiest way to find some of the schools is to look for lots of boats in a small area. The boats will be huddled together while the anglers are picking fish out from the sides of the school as they mill around, commonly referred to as a "Redfish Rodeo". The not-so-easy-signs of finding these schooled up redfish include looking for "nervous" water, or many wakes in a small area. "red"/gold looking colored water, and birds hovering or working a small area over a flat or shoreline is always a good sign. Wade fishing the shorelines will yield better catches most of the time because you can keep up with the school as they move down the shoreline. If you're not willing to wade, another way to stay with the school is to use a trolling motor, as you can move your boat with the fish without spooking them. Be sure and stay just inside of casting range to the bay or deeper side of the fish, and position yourself even with, or just ahead of, the leading fish in the school.


           


In the month of September we normally get some much needed rain, welcomed higher tides, cooler water, and we also begin to see less boat traffic. Obviously, all of this helps in the aid of catching our adversary. Plus, the trout welcome the change because they are coming out of their most stressed time of year - the invasive hot summer.

On windless calm days, there may be trout and other species of fish out in the surf. The best baits will be anything you're willing to throw at them. But then again, our days are limited to the outside beach, so the bulk of your time should be concentrated on wade fishing the shorelines of our bays that have an abundance of hard sand/grass, sand/shell bottoms, and lots of nervous, bunched up baitfish. With this kind of scenario early in the mornings, or late in the evenings, it's almost
a slam dunk. Boat fishing the reefs of our northern bays with live baits or plastics will also produce lots of fish as well.

September usually gives up quite a few flounder too, especially during the latter part of the month. Look for these "flatfish" in and outside of the many creeks and sloughs running into our back lakes. You need to fish up tight to the shorelines and fairly shallow, in about 1 to 2 feet of water. Concentrate your efforts on and around the points of land jutting out from the creek, and also into and inside the creek. Sandbars and small deviations in contour of bottom help out a lot also. Keep in mind, you must have some kind of current running through the cut or slough when fishing for flounder. NO CURRENT EQUALS NO FISH!!


           


A not-so-glamorous species of fish that is also eager to bite during September is the Black Drum. They make great table fare and are a blast for everyone to catch, especially kids. Note: the smaller the fish, the better the eating. Size ranges from "14 to around "20 normally. Just about any live oyster shell in any bay system has the possibility of holding black drum. Also the shallow back lakes and the shorelines adjoining the back lakes will be good areas to look for drum. Pop'n corks, fresh dead, or live shrimp is the ticket to catching one of these lunkers. If live shrimp is not working and you believe the fish are there, try peeling the shrimp's tail and squishing the head while threading the bait onto your hook. In doing this, you let the shrimp's juices disperse into the water, which draws the fish to the bait. This "sophisticated" method is almost a dead ringer because black drum use their nose more than their eyes when feeding.

Now, with September upon us, what are you waiting for?? Come on down to the Rockport area and get into some of the best fishing - and hunting- of the year. If you're a bird hunter, bring your shotgun along with you on your trip. I am looking forward to another great year in the dove fields. Dove season starts in the south zone on September 24th and ends October 10th. You can catch fish all morning, then hunt dove 'til dark.

 

Man, that makes for one heck of a day in the great outdoors!
It's a BLAST!! So, like I already said, "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???"
 

 

Thank you for reading!
Capt. Brent Hopkins   Call: 361-534-4007

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