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Hotspots For Summer Trout & Reds
Of the many great places all along our Texas Coast for catching speckled trout and redfish this summer, perhaps none are better than these. (August 2007)
Joe Golias and I launched the big Pathfinder at the Sabine Pass boat ramps and headed south to what would turn out be one of the finest days of fishing for trout and reds that either of us had ever experienced.
Our destination was the east Sabine jetty, where the outgoing tide would more than likely set up "ice-cream" fishing conditions in trout-green waters.
I eased the throttle back on the 200- horsepower Yamaha and the boat glided along with the current. It was plain to see that our decision to fish this jetty late on a hot August afternoon was right on the money: Rafts of mullet were stacked up along the channel side of the jetty, and we could clearly see trout busting them.
"This is going to be one of those days," said Golias, who, having traveled the world fishing, and spent a number of years running his Hatteras in pursuit of blue marlin, has for the past several years opted to fish for trout and reds out of his hometown of Beaumont. "If we don't load the cooler today, I'll quit fishing," he predicted.
I lowered the trolling motor and set us up for a drift along the rocks. Golias made the first cast with a silver and blue Rat-L-Trap -- and his rod promptly bowed over like a horseshoe: A trout had inhaled the fast-moving lure, which had been running about 2 feet deep.
I made a cast with a mullet-colored Super Spook Jr. topwater plug, cranked the reel handle, and had a huge trout blow it clean out of the water. The lure came back down, and I moved it about 2 feet before that same trout could wheel around and bash it again.
"That's a big trout," said Golias. "But I don't know if it's as big as this one" -- meaning the 6-pounder that he was busy pulling out of the net.
We fished for roughly three hours. Just about the time the sun was going to disappear over the west jetty rocks, Golias was trying to figure out how to fit a 27-inch redfish into a cooler running over with fish.
"I reckon it's time to go when you run out of room to ice down trout and reds," I said.
Golias, not one to miss out on the action, didn't hesitate. "How about a little catch-and-release?" he asked.
While I was stashing gear, he made one last cast with a white and chartreuse Wedgetail jig. The rod doubled over, and we could see the flash of scales as a big red ripped across the surface of the green tide.
* * *
August is among the finest months to be fishing for trout and reds just about anywhere along the Texas Coast. The bays, surf and jetties all offer prime action.
I especially like fishing on East Galveston Bay during August. Even though this particular bay gets lot of pressure, it offers a lot of wide-open and productive shell reefs, along with many options for doubling up on trout and reds on any given day.
Guide Jim West is one of the best when it comes to doubling up on East Bay reds and trout. He's logged more than 40 years of fishing experience on this bay. His most reliable fishing during August tends to be on the lower end of the bay. That's where he'll most likely be making short drifts over Bull Shoals, Mary's Reef, Bull Hill Reef, Slim Jim Reef, and an all-time favorite, Hanna's Reef.
"During the hot days of August it's usually best to fish the reefs in 8 to 10 feet of water," said West. "We're talking about fishing live oyster shell reefs. Those reefs attract lots of baitfish, and the reds and trout aren't usually far behind. During August I'll fish the reefs with soft plastics and live shrimp -- you never know what's going to be hot from one day to the next. The trick is to fish on bottom. And most of the time I'll be fishing along the edge of the reefs. What you want to do is set up and make drifts along the reefs. When you hook up, slip the anchor over. When you catch a trout or red, there will usually be more."
Wade-fishing in East and West Galveston bays is always a very good option, but it's usually most productive around daylight. Once the sun gets up and hits the water, both trout and reds will follow the baitfish to deeper water.
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