October 13 , 2012
As everyone knows, this time of the year can often present coastal anglers with weather conditions that may not be suitable for the allotted time they have been allowed to be out on the water fishing.
“Don’t Just Say No”
Guide Lines, by Capt. Chris Martin
October 17, 2012
As everyone knows, this time of the year can often present coastal anglers with weather conditions that may not be suitable for the allotted time they have been allowed to be out on the water fishing. I can’t tell you the number of times folks have approached me with the early morning question, “Are we still going to try to fish today even though a cold front has been forecasted for this afternoon?” Safety considerations are a priority before answering such a question, but my answer is generally the same each time, “As long as it’s safe for everybody, we’re going to give it a shot.” You noticed that I used the word priority in the same sentence with the word safety, didn’t you? Never let yourself get too careless about the ever-changing wintertime weather conditions. Frontal passages this time of the year can sometimes catch folks off-guard and can sometimes leave people in a precarious situation if they’re not able to react fast enough to get to some sort of shelter or to get off the water ahead of the actual passage of the front.
There’s always going to be wind associated with the approach of a frontal system. Prior to the front, the south wind will be pumping inland off of the Gulf. As this happens, anglers often question their ability to be able to catch fish in such condition. Again, as long as it is safe to do so, I always encourage people to fish whenever they have the opportunity. At times, this may mean they will have to put up with a really severe south wind on that one free weekend that they have scheduled as their only time available to fish for the next few months. When this happens, I say they should always make the most of their opportunity. I’ve experienced some very memorable days while fishing just prior to a front. The boat ride across the bay to the protection of the south shoreline is often the hardest part of the day. Once you’re against a protected shore and out of the blowing wind, the rest of the day can be simply miraculous.
I recently spent a couple hours fishing in just such conditions and had wonderful results. Granted, the strength of the frontal passage I’m talking about here was mild in comparison to what can often be in store for us in November and December, but the outcome of your efforts will often prove to be the same. My experience started just before noon on the day that the front was expected. We had an overcast sky with a south wind of around 30mph, and the pre-frontal temperature was still in the high 80’s to low 90’s. I parked the boat up tight against a protected bank. I chose to fish this particular area because I had noticed two small slicks that looked like they had just popped-up moments before, plus I saw a number of mullet jumping as I was driving the shoreline. The water clarity was only fair where I had thrown the anchor, but once I was in the water I could make out the fact that this place was covered with rafts of floating mullet. Walking conditions were about average for this time of the year, meaning the bottom wasn’t firm sand, but at the same time was not so muddy that you began to sink whenever you stopped walking. There were spots of intermittent oyster shell mixed within the mud and even an occasional small oyster reef spread about here and there.
I began my wading session throwing a top water, and the other two folks with me were tossing plastics and slow-sinkers. There was a lot of activity in the water and it seemed liked I scared-up a red fish every few minutes, or so. It was nuts. Like I said, we started around noon, and the bite was on like that which you seldom get to see. The wind actually shifted from being out of the south and then out of the north at around 2 o’clock, and the closer we got to that point, the wilder the fishing got. We all were receiving steady red fish action right up until the time the north wind began blowing into our faces. Once that happened, the bite began tapering off quite rapidly – the fish were there one minute, and gone the next. I’m certainly glad we hadn’t decided to forego fishing today just because of the heavy wind situation. We’d have never known had we not gone!
In conclusion, don’t forget that Duck Season is just around the corner, with opening day being November 3rd this year. We are seeing some excellent flights arriving with the recent cool fronts, so let us know if you’re interested in a hunt or a blast and cast experience. 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