Gull activity improving on lake
Judging solely by the scarcity of gunshots echoing across the marsh and the relatively light number of duck boat trailers at area ramps Saturday morning, teal season obviously got off to a slow start. I was also surprised, however, by the amount of boat traffic on both the river and in the lake, but the same weather that was unfavorable for hunting ducks was perfect for a little fishing before the football games kicked off.
Both the wind and the tide were non-existent at daylight. You could basically fish anywhere you wanted to, but the catching part was far more difficult. We started our day in the ICW and could only catch undersized trout and a solid flounder or two at several different stops.
We ran to the lake around mid-morning and while we found much of the lake still clearer than anticipated, we could catch only small trout and lady fish riding herd on the shad. Intending to fish no later than noon, we ran back to the ICW for one more pass. The tide had started moving a little by that time and it was “game on” for the next hour and a half.
We caught some very nice flounder, the largest just over four pounds, and five or six trout up to six pounds bouncing a Hoginar off the bottom in 16 to 20 feet of water. We did catch several smaller trout as well, but we missed more fish than we boated and the majority of the ones we got to see were 17 to 20-inch fish.
Before we could finish a hundred-yard drift, smaller trout were blowing holes in schools of shad working tighter to the shoreline. We weren’t keeping fish anyway so we switched gears just to take advantage of the easier bite.I stuck with a glow-chartreuse Flats Minnow and a Stinky Pink Sea Shad rigged on a 1/8th ounce head and caught or missed a trout on almost every cast.
The more enjoyable tactic, however, was watching them absolutely destroy a black Pro Strike Hunchback. I personally don’t like fishing the lure, but I enjoy watching clients and friends fish it. I derive no pleasure from casting a topwater lure and simply reeling it back in on a slow non-stop retrieve, but that is when this lure is at its best.
Black has not been a great color for us lately, but it was the easiest accessed at the time and the fish ate it like it was candy. I have since learned that black has been one of the best sellers. The two better colors for us have been bone/chartreuse and a chrome/pink.
If you have never had much luck walking the dog with a Spook or She Dog, this is the topwater lure for you. If you can cast it out and reel it back in slowly you are in business. Doug Patterson and I were talking about the Hunchback a month ago and he said that he was catching keeper trout on it when nothing else would fool a trout over 14-inches.
Eric Ronning adds that he has just wrecked the redfish swimming it in the shallow marshes. “You would not believe how far the reds will travel to hit it,” he stated, “and they literally swim right behind it for several feet before demolishing it!” Perhaps the biggest issue has been finding the lure as the only place I can find them is at Daley’s and they run out of them as quickly as they get them in.
Lamar Belcher and Lenzi Childress decided a day on the water was in order prior to their upcoming wedding and we got an early start Monday morning. I haven’t fished the south end much lately, but the promise of a stiff afternoon wind made that run a better option.
Much to my surprise we fished under birds all day long from the Causeway to Garrison’s. We caught a bunch of small trout, but we finished with a very nice box of 16 to 19-inch trout and 3 slot reds as well. I have no idea why we didn’t do any better on slot reds than we did as there was no doubt that they were all around us.
As a matter of fact we never caught our first one until one o’clock only to quickly pick up two more before the wind blew us out. Lenzi caught her personal best red and it took its toll on her. She stayed with us cast for cast up until that point, but the extended battle was more than she bargained for.
Oddly enough, both Lamar and Lenzi caught far more fish with a roach colored TTF Flats Minnow than I did with a 5-inch Assassin or Tidal Surge Mullet. I stuck with the longer plastics only because the ribbon fish were everywhere and the white shrimp the fish were chasing were huge. I eventually switched over to the shorter roach colored plastic as well and we finished with a rush.
The Triangle Tail Chasers will host their monthly tournament this weekend and it should be a good one. The side pot for this event is the redfish closest to the 21-inch mark without going over it. For more information call Michael at 409- 670-2471 or go to their web site at www.triangletailchasers.com.
They have only one more tournament left to fish in October before hosting their championship at a date to be determined.