The 2007 TIFT tournament is over and done with and I am already looking forward to next year. My three year old son caught a catfish in the "kiddy" pool and won a nice trophy for his efforts. I caught a nice red and trout both days, but I never landed a flounder. My plan was to take a risk and fish for flounder most of the day due to their importance in this tournament, and it just didn't work out. I ran almost 60 miles to land cut thinking I would find a flounder the first day with no results, and the second day I just fished my favorite flounder spots closer to the dock with the same outcome. Overall the tournament was fun to fish and very relaxing to get out there and give it my best shot.
Redfish are everywhere right now in the deeper water near our favorite redfish spots. Gas well flats, Cullen bay and Three Islands are producing nice reds, but they are in the deeper green water versus the clear water. I only had about an hour to fish for redfish both days of TIFT and I caught a 27 inch red both days in no time. One of the reds I caught the first day of the tournament was 8.11 pounds, but was about a Â¼ inch too long so I didn't keep it.
Trout fishing was great as well. I didn't catch any monsters due to my lack of time in the tournament, but my charters earlier in the week produced a true 31 incher and a 28 inch trout. (Photos attached) Trout are really thriving right now and the big ones are taking over the skinny water around the spoils. They are sometimes difficult to catch when they are shallow and just cruising around slowly. Nice keeper sized trout are hanging around the ICW still and deeper water near the spoils. The handsome weather has created a lot of nice green deep water which is usually a little off color. Fishing this deep green water is fun because you can be a little more confident with conventional lures.
I fished for flounder for about 5 or 6 hours each day of the tournament and just never got the bite I needed. Last year, I caught 8 flounder my second day of TIFT. Something strange is going on with the flounder situation in our bay. There were probably over 100 boats in the TIFT and there were only 11 flounder weighed in both days. I guess I need to change my game plan when it comes to fishing for flounder. For some reason or other, they are just not as abundant or they have not moved into their regular spots yet.
There is a tournament every weekend throughout the month of August. I love the competition and the rush of anxiety of getting out on the bay. I look forward to the upcoming tournaments this month and I look forward to the first wade of the morning. The darkness fades away into soft light while my top water lure walks back and forth slowly, and from its wake leaving the only ripple on the water. Like the only ripple on the water, the only thought in my mind is catching a big fish to take to weigh in. Tournament fishing is a test of your fishing skills and a test on your good fortune, but most of all it is another unforgettable cherished day on the water.
CAPT. TODD CASEY
SOUTH TEXAS CHARTERS
Copyright 2007 Richard Moore