The most recent cold front is a reminder that we’re nearing the end of the redfish explosion in the marshes on the Texas Coast. Over the last few weeks most of the shrimp has migrated to the Gulf leaving fin-fish as the only remaining forage available for a ravenous redfish. Extreme low tides due to the nagging northwest gales will force much of the lingering baitfish population out of the shallow back lakes. With each passing front more fish, prey and predator alike, are seeking a cozy shelter in deep water as the water temps drop into the 50’s. The weather is also a cue that gator (trout) season is just around the corner.
I’ve spent ample time on the water over the last couple of weeks and have experienced varying results depending on the conditions. There have been days when I’ve struggled to land a single fish, but when the stars aligned the fishing has been unreal. Countless limits of redfish on a single outing are not uncommon.
What exactly are the ideal conditions? Low water. When fishing the marsh the lower the water the better. Water levels almost cannot get too low. If there’s water in the marsh then the fish are there somewhere. Finding them becomes much easier when the water levels are at their lowest for a number of reasons.
First, low water concentrates baitfish. It pulls all of the bait that uses the skinniest of water, i.e. in the grass, over reefs, or in shallow ponds, as cover into pools of water where they’re more susceptible to becoming a meal. Second, redfish know that low water equates to easier meals, so they remain in the marsh as long as possible for the ensuing buffet. Third, low water also means easier hunting for you. Spotting redfish is less difficult in a foot of water versus two feet of water especially when fish are feeding.
Speckled trout are also starting to show up at their typical winter mud/shell haunts. I imagine the latest cold blast will drive more fish to those areas and winter patterns will start to develop.
Nearly all of my fish were caught sight fishing using a few different lures: TTF Flats Minnow (mumpy glo & bone catcher), TTF Hackberry Huslter (morning glory), TTF Shiney Hiney (pearl jighead with shrimp tail) and a bead chain shrimp (electric chicken).