Well alrighty then. The late summer bite is on and it’s as good as I have seen in several years. Large schools of redfish and black drum are showing up in spots where they historically have been this time of year. We have had many family type trips lately and this does my heart so much good. It is extremely exciting and satisfying when you get to hear the gleeful shouts of the youngsters when we have double, triple and even quadruple hook ups. Of course the adults get just as much fun or more so watching their youngsters enjoying themselves. And I’ll admit that even though my ultimate personal goal is to catch a state record trout, I find tremendous satisfaction putting these kids on fish. Getting the next generation hooked on fishing is what it’s all about.

The low water levels in the bay in recent weeks have actually made our job of finding these schools of fish a little easier. Once the winds begin to pick up around noon on a normal day, we look for areas of wind blown current that comes off off the many grass flats in Baffin and the upper Laguna Madre. When the wind pushes water off the flats, it just follows that small baitfish, shrimp and crabs will be carried along with it. 

Redfish, drum and even trout and flounder can be found in these areas where the bait is concentrated. Don’t be afraid to fish in off colored or muddy water when looking for these schools. And the best thing if all is that it really doesn’t matter what you have tied on. These fish are feeding in a pack mentality and with all of the competition from there buddies, they will attack virtually anything. 

Summer family fishing is the best on Baffin Bay

Of course we use what we consider to be our go to lures, 4″ Saltwater Assassin Sea Shad in white, sugar and spice or chartreuse glow colors. We rig them on our 1/32 oz. Black’s Magic jigheads which allow us to control the speed of descent even on the slowest retrieves. Keeping the lure in the strike zone for the longest period of time will greatly increase hookups. 

If your a fly fisherman, this is prime time for you. Redfish and black drum are in the shallow water now. By shallow, I’m talking about six to ten inches of water. If you are fortunate enough to be in the water at first light on these super shallow flats, you will see tails and backs exposed as these fish slowly move along in search of their prey. For redfish, small crabs, shrimp, sand eels and baitfish are the main course. Black drum will eat the same thing but are a little more interested in what’s just below the mud/sand bottom. Benthic worms, and small shellfish that burrow just beneath the surface are the main sources of food for them. They use their sensitive barbels below their mouths to find these creatures and then by burrowing head down and tail up, they dig out their prey. Often times they will force water out of their mouths to jet out the sand and mud around their food creating small divots or pock marks on the bottom. You can find areas where they are actively feeding by looking for these marks. 

Fly fishermen are having success on shrimp and crab patterns and the venerable clouser is always a producer. Getting your fly in the small “dinner plate” zone of a feeding drum is the toughest challenge because drum usually feed in random directions and don’t really like to pursue their food. It’s a challenge that fly fishermen will thoroughly enjoy. 

We hope you all can get a chance to enjoy the great fishing opportunities in Baffin and The upper Laguna Madre the rest of this summer and fall. We could really use some rain and in fact as of this writing, a tropical storm (possible hurricane) is headed our way. Pray for rain and no damaging winds. But no matter what happens, Baffin Bay Rod and Gun will be here with the best accommodations, the best food and the best guides. So y’all be safe and I’ll see ya on the water.

Capt. Aubrey Black

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