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Bottom-Fishing Day & Night
Whether you’re fishing by daylight or starlight, August offers saltwater anglers a great range of bottom-fishing options. (August 2008) ... [+] Full Article
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Texas Sportsman
Super Saltwater Angling!
Those fishing off Texas' Gulf Coast have come to expect exactly that when they tackle any of these five great fighters. (June 2007)

Texas anglers are fortunate to have a number of prominent, highly sought fish species available to them along the Gulf Coast.

Whether they seek speckled trout or redfish in the bays, or red snapper and dolphin in the Gulf, there's always something biting. More often than not, whatever it is puts up a good fight and is tasty in the frying pan.

Here we'll show you how and where to find the super sporting fish in Texas saltwater

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Redfish are back in vogue as popular sportfish along the Texas Coast, with tournament trails like the Redfish Cup putting them back in the spotlight in a big way.

During the summer, reds along the Middle Coast will be feeding in sea grassbeds in Aransas and Redfish Bays. Some of these areas are off-limits to boats with propellers, but those in which anglers can fish without restrictions are best fished with live bait. A live croaker or mullet pitched in the sand holes between the grass pockets is a surefire way to score on reds.

"I don't fish with live bait much but throwing a croaker or mullet in those pockets is a great way to catch reds," said. Capt. Bobby Caskey of Shoal Grass Lodge.

Capt. Caskey's preferred fishing method is drifting with artificials like the new Berkley Gulp Shrimp.

"These lures work just as well as the real thing when you're drifting, and they stay on the hook great. The reds love the shrimp and the crab as well," Caskey said.

In the Laguna Madre area, anglers will be targeting reds up through fall along the edges of the Intracoastal Waterway and in the many little inlets between Corpus Christi and Port Mansfield. Topwaters like the Top Dog Jr. and Skitter Walk are great for sight-casting to reds in the region's super clear waters.

Anglers should keep in mind that reds have what can best be described as a "cone of vision." They can see about 180 degrees and the most strikes will be found by casting in front of the red and perhaps just off to the side. Precision casting is important because the fish rarely turn around to strike at something they only hear.

During the fall, land-bound anglers can catch big bull redfish all along the coast, with the best action occurring from Matagorda to High Island in the surf. Large surf rods rigged with spider weights and circle hooks baited with cut or whole mullet and crab are popular for catching these big bulls. Look for the best action on high tides and much of it to come at night when the abundant predators move in the shallows to feed.

For anglers with boats, the Sabine, North Galveston and Surfside jetties are loaded with these fish from late August through early November. And despite popular perception, there are quite a few of these fish year 'round at all jetty systems in Texas. Look for deep holes alongside the rocks to hold the most fish, with the boating cuts being a secondary and sometimes highly productive option.

Live croaker is the best bait for the jetties, but artificials will work well too. Trolling a 1/2-ounce gold Rat-L-Trap or chunking a big gold spoon tipped with squid or shrimp down into the deep holes works good for the jetty reds as well. Be warned however that when fishing the lighter tackle required for using lures, the reds can easily run straight into the rocks and you will not only lose the fish but your expensive lures. Stick with big tackle and live bait if you want to bring home fish, artificials if you want more sporting opportunity and just want to play.

Summer months bring speckled trout out to the open waters of the bay systems, where drifting becomes important.

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