Courtesy of Captain Todd Casey
Have you ever had a good day and just foolishly sang alone to a song on the radio in your vehicle knowing people are watching, and you don't even care? That's what kind of summer it is on South Padre Island. It's just a good mood. The water couldn't be any better, the TIFT tournament and LKT are getting nearer and people come to this Island from all over to be happy. It is a great place to live. A great place to visit. I just moved into a new house that I built recently. The builder I had took quite longer than expected, and after coming back from the ranch during hunting season...I was homeless. My friends welcomed me with open arms night after night and meal after meal. I spent many nights at cheap hotels and a few in the Wal Mart parking lot, but I never got a "no" from a friend in Padre when I asked for a place to stay. Once my house was finished, I had a birthday party for my son beginning his fourth year. People took a break from their lives and joined Nolan and I to celebrate. They brought presents, cake, good stories and laughter. It sometimes takes hitting rock bottom in a situation to make a person realize who their friends are. I was there and I can tell you right now, I didn't fully realize I had such support. I am forever in debt with love for my family and fishing friends.
I live in South Texas surrounded by some of the most unbelievable hunting and fishing you can find. The Island and south Texas has been getting a lot of rain lately and the storm clouds are dark and high in the horizon. The sunrises have been dreamlike with this canvas of clouds rolling in everyday this week. I sometimes head north in the boat and just look at the thunderheads building and changing as the light compliments all of the curves and corners of the heavenly mist. I think about the deer on the ranch and know they are glad to get a break from the brush country heat. I see the glass like water on the bay unchanged as my boat cuts a path and moves forward. There is a storm moving in. I hear the excitement of my clients on the boat, I see their smiles and I know that I have made a good decision. I am good at what I do. I know how to fish. I am glad I get all of the little extras when I do this job. Sunrises, sunsets, top water trout, schools of reds, three hour naps, smiles, silence, good stories of adventure, flip flop tan lines, Wahoo burgers and beer, the smell of outboard exhaust, early mornings, late nights...and friendships...that are stronger than any redfish in the bay.
The ICW is really loaded with nice trout right now. Every summer this happens and it will be consistent for the next couple of months. Anywhere from Marker 67 up north to the Arroyo is a good place to work the edge of the channel. I try and look at the buoy markers as I heading north in the boat. You can see how fast the current is moving on these buoys and this will tell you where the trout should be. You want to find a current that is slow, just trickling down the channel. It doesn't matter if it is going in or out, but you do need a slow current. I have been using a lot of clear and gold D.O.A. Shrimp, 3 inch white Gulps and live shrimp to fish the edge. You want to rig the Gulps with a light jig head so they flow with the current. On a really low outgoing tide you can fish the side channels like the wreck channel and Cullen channel as examples. A lot of times you can get into little schools of redfish at the mouths of these channels dumping into the ICW. These channel intersections are also great places to pick up some nice flounder. Last season, flounder were difficult to come by, but the flounder are back this year. It is nice to see them everywhere once again. I haven't been fishing for redfish much do to the dark skies. I like to be able to see reds from the boat before I start fishing an area so when it is dark I don't even really look for them. There are a few schools roaming around on the East side of the bay, and when there is a few hundred fish together it doesn't matter if it is sunny or not. That many fish in the water is usually easy to locate if you have an idea of where they have been. I am still catching a few reds on the West side of the spoil banks around Marker 67 and south of that. I will be fishing a couple of snook trips tomorrow and Tuesday, so I will be excited to share that with you. Snook are pretty thick on the mangrove bank lines of South Bay during these high tides.
I have been fishing almost everyday since the end of March. The busy season for fishing guides is getting close to halfway over. The windy months of April and May have finally come to a halt and calmness greets us on the bay in the mornings. Redfish are more difficult to catch without the wind, but there are more schools now which are easier to find in calm waters. Trout are thick in the ICW and it is just more pleasant on the water this time of year. You can actually hear people talking on the boat without the wind screaming past your thoughts. It is nice to have some calm weather. It is pleasant to just go out there and float slowly sometimes. The water is peaceful. There will be some new calm days ahead of us.
Copyright 2007 Richard Moore