If you’re wondering what it’s like to fish in Texas during June along the Gulf coast, then you can stop wondering. It’s not a lot different than fishing during the month of May, except for the fact that June may get a bit warmer. Because of this, I’ll generally make a few alterations when I’m fishing in June. The first will be that I’ll make it a point to be situated in my first wading spot of the day just as early as I possibly can so as to enable me to take advantage of the early morning low-light conditions. A lot of good red fish and large trout will be taken during the early daylight hours this summer all along Matagorda Island’s bay side shoreline, so I’ll plan to be there early, as well as often. Another adjustment I’ll make in June is that I will begin paying much closer attention to the baitfish activity. I’ll place my focus upon areas where I notice the presence of nervous baitfish, while at the same time never discounting the occasional single mullet jumping several times in efforts of eluding a large red, or a big sow trout. And because most of my early morning wading will start-out in very skinny water, another point to make with regards to baitfish is that I’ll tend to move as they move throughout the morning hours as the day heats-up. When the bait begins to migrate away from the shoreline shallows in search of cooler surroundings, I’ll also transition my wading session toward deeper water – I’ll follow the baitfish. I know it may sound somewhat silly, but it has proven to be a most effective tactic over the years that has worked for me more times than not. Give it a try sometime!
Another thing I like to begin doing in June is watching the birds. But not just any bird. I primarily like paying close attention to the bigger gulls and terns, and don’t forget the big brown pelicans either. All of these feathered creatures fish for a living, so don’t hesitate to investigate the immediate vicinity next time you see some of them sitting on the water. Trust me, they’re sitting there for a reason, and it’s not because they’re tired and just resting. Chances are real great that they’re scoping-out their next meal, so observe closely next time you see them. They could very well lead you to the promise land. And these surface-feeding birds remind me of yet another June adjustment I like to make and that’s the type of baits that I prefer to begin tossing this month. Some of the greatest pleasure I’ve found while fishing has come to me when I’ve been fishing with top water baits. There’s just something about the thrill of seeing a fish explode upon my surface walker that I’ve never been able to get over, and probably never will. It may sound far-fetched, but to me it’s an outdoor excitement unmatched by much else the wilderness world has to offer, but that’s just me. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity provided me when fishing with top waters to be able to try to visibly entice the bite by using different baits, styles, finesse, and skills. For example, when I’m working one of my favorite surface baits across the water in a rhythmic “walk-the-dog” cadence and the lure is sharply attacked but not taken, I like trying to draw a second strike by letting the bait sit completely still where it was first struck while I count to five-(5) and then by slightly twitching the bait once or twice ever so slightly and then letting it sit idle once more for another five seconds, or so. This is often all the coaxing a big summertime red or large trout needs in order to fulfill their temptation. Things simply don’t get much better than that!
One more adaptation I regularly make in June is the location in which I search for trout and reds. Until now my focus will have been placed upon the grass-covered shorelines on an almost daily basis. However, June represents one of the very first of a long line of hot months to come which often dictates a change in and of itself alone. This is the month I strongly encourage those who may have their sites set on chasing summertime reds to closely look at some of the many major back lakes – Pringle, Contee, South Pass, Long Lake, etc. And if you do venture into these back country areas, keep in mind that you’ll probably have to make an effort to fish along the southern banks due to the floating grass issue you’ll be faced with otherwise. If the back lakes aren’t for you, you’ll still be able to locate summer reds cruising along the shorelines – South shorelines along the bay front all the way from Big Pocket to the First Chain of Islands. I also like working a number of the mid-bay reefs of Espiritu Santo Bay. Reefs like Josephine’s Reef, or even the smaller reefs to the West, are all commonly recognized as being high-productive areas while drifting during the mid day hours. Some other productive reefs that I like are located in San Antonio Bay – Chicken Foot, Dagger, Big Bird, and Panther. When I fish any of these reefs at this time in the year, I mostly concentrate my efforts on the points of the reefs that are in 3-5ft. of water. And for added success, as always, I don’t have to tell you that I’m constantly paying close attention to the baitfish activity along and atop these reef areas.
June is often the beginning of blazing-hot sun in Texas. It’s a heat that is capable of zapping all the energy from your body very rapidly. It’s imperative that you remember to hydrate yourself with water often throughout the day, to apply, and re-apply, sunscreen to all exposed skin areas, and to always wear long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants. Also important to keep in mind is the fact that summertime means much more traffic on the water, so always think safety first.
Remember to practice CPR, “Catch, Photo, and Release”, whenever possible on trophy Trout and Reds…Guide Chris Martin, Port O’Connor/Seadrift region…www.BayFlatsLodge.com…1-888-677-4868