Cooler Temperatures –Fall Pattern for Speckled Trout and Redfish
Bow hunting and Dove seasons are upon us anglers. This weekend opened long rifles as well. Keep in mine, not to forget some of Galveston Bays finest fishing is also in full swing.
With the passing of each cold front, it has given us relief from the heat of the summer months as well as giving us greater opportunities for fishing Trinity Bay.
The cooler temperatures have already had an effect on Galveston Bay, especially Trinity Bay. In the later days of summer when the water temperature hovers around 90 degrees and there is no relief in sight; fishing for speckled trout or redfish is at best difficult. The fish are usually scattered and are very difficult to locate; sometimes the best time is to fish at night under some sort of lights.
So with the recent weather forecast calling for the first few cold fronts in ’2020, local fishermen look forward to these weather changes with great anticipation of the fall season. The fish start moving, some flounder will make their annual migration, and the golden croaker run is next followed closely by the speckled trout and redfish. These fronts tell the fish to start storing up food for the upcoming cold months ahead. This is also the time of year when the birds start working over the migration of shrimp out of the bay system. Some would say that perhaps this is their most favorite time of year. This time of year, the cooler temperatures make it very comfortable fishing and there seems to be less pressure on the bay because of the hunting seasons. Fishing pressure affects Trinity Bay as much as the weather sometimes. Best bet now is to key on watching for diving birds (seagulls and terns) hovering over nervous shrimp skipping across the water.
This can be some of the best fishing and most rewarding for your ice chests. Remember, limits for spec’s have been reduced from 10 to 5 per day, starting September 1, 2019.
Best bet to use for success while working the birds is a bass assassin or shad body, with a quarter ounce lead head. Sometimes, you may want to use a heavier head to get the bait past the smaller trout near the surface. Larger trout to three pounds are almost always feeding near the bottom of the area in question. Excellent bait is a gold spoon. Because it weighs more and the spoon is larger, the distance to the frenzy birds can be reduced with a longer cast and drops quickly to those larger trout. This writer often wonders when the fish are in a feeding frenzy like that if it really matters what you throw, “but if it is not broke, don’t fix it!” As I said earlier, the fishing pressure has as much affect on Trinity Bay as the temperature. During the week, you can see the difference. Birds will be working the whole bay, but as soon as the weekend comes, the activity shuts down quite a bit. When you spot a flock of birds, especially in the back of Trinity Bay, a trolling motor can be a big advantage. If you go plowing in there fast with your big engines, the fish will scatter and very little will be caught. Use common sense, and stay approximately one hundred feet upwind of the diving birds and drift in with the aid of your trolling motor. I know sometimes this can be frustrating because you know the fish are there and you want to get there quickly, but I promise, if you motor right in on top of the birds, the fish will scatter. Remember that if there are boats already working the birds, they do have first right, so be courteous of those fishing and start looking for other birds and they should return the favor. Look for smaller number of birds (less than five) working as sometimes larger trout can be found under those birds as opposed to thirty to forty birds working a larger school of trout where the fish are smaller.
I hope to see y’all on Trinity Bay and remember to be courteous to the other anglers when fishing the birds.
Good luck and good fishing.
Capt. Paul Marcaccio- Professional Guide with 40 years of experience, U.S.C.G. & T.P&W license