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Take the Hunt to the Swells

Safety First

Just because it’s July and the days can be extremely hot doesn’t mean we won’t see any wind this month. On the contrary, we’ll probably see a lot of wind this month, and variable ones at that. So, when we’re talking about summertime surf fishing, we’re talking about days when Gulf-green water reaches the beach. We’re also talking about those days when the wind and swells let you reach the beach, as well. If the day presents wind and wave conditions that cause you to have reservations about your safety, just don’t go. It’s simply not worth the risk.

Setting Up

Once you’ve determined the beach surf conditions to be safe, you’ll need to decide where to drop anchor. Pick your spot based upon there being visible signs of fish in the immediate area. What signs? Things like water color changes – murky water meeting clear water – between you and the beach. Another is bait activity along the beach – jumping mullet, disturbed mullet pods, and shrimp being chased to the surface. Additionally, look for any bird activity along the shoreline and out amongst the swells. This includes herons perched along the beach, or diving or swimming pelicans and gulls. All of these can point you to fish activity in varying water conditions where there’s a transition in water color.

Summertime Surf Baits

If you prefer using live bait, then live shrimp and croaker won’t steer you wrong in the surf. Both of them are tried-and-true producers on summertime’s surf-running speckled trout. Anglers preferring artificial baits, however, will also find many opportunities in the July surf. When the sky is clear, and the water trout-green, artificial enthusiasts can have fun experimenting with top water baits. Start with larger surface walkers on days when the sky is just as clear as the water. On cloudy days, offer the same big baits but in bone with either some pink or some orange included.

If you don’t find fish on top, try reverting back to the older and popular 51MR and 52MR MirrOlures. The Texas Chicken, the Widow Maker, and the Tahiti Sunrise are all very popular colors from way back. That’s right, MirrOlures are just as fun and as effective today as they were thirty years ago.


Wire leaders will almost certainly guarantee that you won’t experience a break-off while fishing in the surf. However, wire leaders don’t offer a nice appearance, they’re hard to rig, and they prohibit proper bait movement and action. Experiment with the use of a short length of thirty-pound monofilament or 20-pound fluorocarbon, instead. Both of those will stand up to the test of time and will withstand many strikes. Just food for thought!

The sun and sand can be hot along the Texas coast in July, and so can the speckled trout fishing. Experienced anglers in the know will make it a point to be fishing along the beach much of this month. Have fun, and keep grindin’!