Southeast Texas, and other parts of the Gulf Coast, got the first dose of fall a few weeks ago. The oppressive heat and gooey humidity that's been blanketing the region for the past few months got replaced by dry air, light northwest winds and overnight lows in the 60s. And just like that, the redfish in the marsh went bonkers.
I often get asked about the best time of year to target shallow-water reds along the Texas coast. My go-to answer is always "football season," and that goes for the most of the states along the Gulf of Mexico. Sometimes that window's off by a few weeks, but it was right on the money this year. As football fans across the country plopped down on their couches in anticipation of their home team's...
Figuring out how and where to find fish during a normal tide is puzzling enough. So what do you do when you show up to your favorite inshore fishing spot and the water level's a foot or more higher than normal?
In the final part of this series on tides, Captain Charlie Thomason busts some common myths about how inshore fish react to extreme high-tide events and shares his secrets for consistently locating fish when water levels are on the rise.
Here's what Capt. Charlie says to do.
This is part 2 of a 3-part series with Captain Charlie Thomason about coastal tides and how they influence gamefish. In part 1, Thomason shared his tips for locating fish on the outgoing tide. In part 2, he talks about why coves tend to outproduce points on incoming tides and dishes the details on how he develops patterns.
In the photo above, the coves marked by 'X' are areas that will hold concentrations of fish on the incoming tide.
Mind the Curves
To review for a moment, Thomason previously said he tells his clients to fish points and other current-breaking structures on the outgoing tide and to fish the coves on the incoming. "Cove" is a pretty vague term. Here's...
The tide cycle as it applies to inshore fishing seems like a simple concept to grasp. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. Water levels rise and fall. Baitfish and other forage species are swept in and out of bays, bayous and marshes and into the mouths of opportunistic gamefish.
Sounds like pretty basic stuff, right? It is, until Mother Nature throws you a curveball and floods the marsh with an extra foot of water or leaves your favorite reef bone-dry.
The tide cycle and the sweeping currents and water-level fluctuations it creates are fickle elements that are influenced by wind, barometric pressure, moon phase and other factors. Understanding how inshore gamefish such as speckled trout, redfish, flounder and snook react to these ever-changing variables can be the...
Editor's note: The story that follows is not a work of fiction. This is a first-person account of true events. Names have been changed to protect the idiots. Oops...the innocent.
"A bad day fishing is better than a good day working."
Whoever came up with that saying obviously never experienced the nightmare of a fishing trip I endured about 3 years ago.
It all started when a buddy, we'll call him "Cliff," and I signed up for a Texas Redfish Series event in Port Aransas, Texas. I'd just gotten a new boat – a shallow-water poling skiff – a couple weeks before and we decided we were going to break it in properly by putting it to the test in a big-time tournament.
After a long and painfully unproductive day of pre-...
Somewhere along the way inshore anglers lost their skirts.
That's not a reference to cross-dressing fishermen. I'm talking about jigs. The jighead-plastic combination is probably the most widely used rig in all of inshore fishing. From North Carolina to Texas, and everywhere in between, soft-plastics rigged on leadheads are the go-to presentation for inshore fishermen.
But one thing you won't find in many saltwater tackleboxes is a traditional bass jig – as in the kind with the full skirt and weedguard, like the one pictured above. (Note: jig is shown with Jackall Ammonite Shad swimbait.)
Granted, at first glance a traditional skirted bass jig doesn't exactly look like anything most inshore gamefish eat in their...
Spinnerbaits and bladed swimjigs (aka ChatterBaits) have slowly gained popularity with saltwater anglers in recent years – especially tournament redfish anglers. But even though these baits have become tackle staples with some of the country's top inshore-tournament pros, many coastal anglers have yet to give these baits a chance in the salt.
Spinnerbaits and bladed swimjigs are amazingly versatile offerings that can be used to target virtually any species of fish in any depth range. Redfish, trout,...
Topwater Frogs For The Inshore Scene
Spinnerbaits, ChatterBaits, crankbaits, rattlebaits, jigs, topwater frogs, bullet weights and flippin' hooks. That sounds like a fine selection for targeting largemouth bass, but all this freshwater stuff doesn't work for inshore species like redfish, speckled trout, snook and flounder... or does it?
It seems anglers tend to be more closed-minded on the subject of freshwater vs. saltwater tackle than fish do. When it comes down to it, gamefish are gamefish. They may not look the same, fight the same or even live in the same parts of the country, but they're all opportunistic predators, which means they can be fooled by just about any artificial presentation.
In this 3-part series we'll look at several baits you'll find in the...
In part 1 of this story, Captain Scott Null talked about the role the head, arms and waist play in an efficient paddle stroke. Part 2 discusses the ideal paddling posture and the often-overlooked role the lower body has in generating power and balance in a properly executed forward stroke.
Legs And Posture
A common misconception about paddling is that it's an activity performed strictly by the muscles of the upper-body. While the majority of the motion takes place above the waist, proper positioning of the legs and a solid posture are cornerstones of a picture-perfect stroke.
"I hear a lot of guys complaining of back pain from being...
Part 1 of a 2-part story about the proper technique for paddling a kayak.
The kayak-fishing craze is steadily gaining momentum throughout the country. With each passing week hundreds of new recruits enlist into the ever-growing ranks of the "plastic navy."
A big reason that the sport of kayak-fishing is growing at such a rapid rate is the fact that it's simple and affordable. Just a few hundred bucks can get you on the water with everything you need, and a grand can have you paddling in style with top-of-the-line equipment.
There's no expensive insurance policy, no gas to buy, no fancy outboard motor or electrical equipment that needs constant maintenance - no worries.
But buyer beware. The relative simplicity of kayak-fishing can be deceiving. Many...
about the author
Texan Jason Bryant has written about fresh and saltwater fishing for more than a decade. When he's not chasing redfish in his poling skiff, you'll find him dodging pirates and looking for mean Mexico largemouths at Lake Falcon.