View Full Version : My Favorite Time of Year

October 14th, 2013, 12:50 PM
Fall is my favorite season on the Upper Texas Coast. Chilly, early morning boat rides are a pleasant change from sweltering heat of a long Texas summer. Each passing front produces cool weather, low tides and most importantly ignites skinny water reds.

Fish, like any animal, are instinctive creatures. Cooling water temps are a sign that winter and lean times are near. As a result fish gorge in preparation.

Last month I had the pleasure of fishing with long-time acquaintance Capt. Steve Soule, aka the Shallowist. We tried to line up a trip together for a few years now . We finally got our schedules to align. The conditions were less than ideal for two sight fishing junkies, but it was the only day we could break free.

We made the best of the situation despite strong east winds and poor visibility. We both managed to catch a few redfish on fly including one oversized fish that fell victim to my poorly placed fly that landed square on its noggin. The resulting head-out-of-the-water eat was the highlight of our day on the water.

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_3715.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_3723.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_3724.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/3.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/2.jpg

After the trip with Steve I spent a few weeks fishing out east (report from that trip coming soon). While I was away the first good cold snap pushed through the Texas Coast. Fall was finally in the air. The timing was impeccable as I was on my way back home.

Post-front marsh fishing last week was nothing short of incredible. I had a client from California aboard my skiff. He was in town for a conference and only had one day to fish. The conditions could not have been more perfect for sight fishing....hardly a breeze in the air, bluebirds skies, strong outgoing tide and plenty of hungry reds. The final count of redfish he landed on fly that day was pushing double digits with total shots pushing four or five times that number.

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5588.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5566-2.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5559-2.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5547-2.jpg

The next day I fished with my friend Doug. Conditions were equally as nice, but the day started much slower than the previous day. We bounced around a few areas and managed to find some tailing fish shallow. The fishing improved as the day grew later and the water levels started to thin out. The fish were bigger and much easier to spot. Six and seven weight fly rods got a majority of the use and we landed a few fish each on gold spoon flies.

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5610.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5627.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5616.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5690.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5724.jpg

Later in the week I checked out some areas I hadn't fished in a long time with my buddy Jaime. The plan was to look for schools early and then pushed back into the marsh later in the day when the tides started to fall. We never made it deep in the marsh. We followed several big schools that were roaming open water shorelines.

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5964-2.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5904-2.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_6007-2.jpg

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_5985-2.jpg

As I quietly eased the skiff toward the first school I told Jaime to grab his fly rod. He peered back at me with a look on his face that said "you're kidding, right?". He's had a saltwater fly setup for some time now and still hadn't crossed redfish off the fly-caught species list. I told him this was his best chance at catching a redfish on fly.

After several missed attempts he hoaxed one fish out of the school to eat his self-tied clouser minnow boat side. He fought the fish by hand for a few minutes trying to get the gist on how and when to apply drag pressure. All of sudden his fly rod stood erect. The fish broke off. The bow in his rod vanished as did the ear to ear grin that appeared on his face from the moment he hooked up.

He was in shock, but he knew he had no one to blame except himself. He failed to check or change his leader after several trips catching trout and ladyfish. Lesson learned the hard way. There's was no time to sulk. Part of the school broke off and was still wandering nearby. I located the school and pushed the skiff in their direction while Jaime re-rigged.

The school wasn't showing as clearly as they had before and they stayed out of fly casting range. Jaime opted to grab his rod rigged with a spinner/paddle-tail combo. He launched the lure as far as he could. He casted just far enough and immediately hooked up. The school was still feeding aggressively so I told him to hand me my spinning rod rigger with a flats minnow. I chucked it as far as I could and I immediately hooked up too. We both were hooked up.

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/G0010015-3.jpg

After that we regrouped and decided to keep trying to get Jaime a redfish on fly. We found another school not long after. Same scenario as the first failed attempt. Big school pushing fast at us. Same result. Another boat side take. This time Jaime kept the fish on long enough for a photo-op. Mission accomplished. Jaime was on cloud nine.

Jaime's first redfish on fly...
http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/JPChavez23/West End Anglers/DSC_6134-2.jpg

We fished a little longer and found more schooling fish. This time Jaime urged me to jump on the bow and fish. As soon as I jumped off the platform we had a big school pushing right as us. I stripped line of my reel as fast as I could while Jaime held the boat in position.

I fired off a cast and hooked up. The school was still pushing in our direction so I grabbed my spinning rod and tossed my morning glory TTF flats minnow into the fray and had two fish on in a matter of seconds. After I landed both fish we decided to call it a day. It would be tough to top events of the day.

Gotta love fall.

October 14th, 2013, 01:46 PM
I gotta get a fly rod and some lessons!!! Wow, nice all the way around!!

October 14th, 2013, 03:55 PM
Very nice.

October 14th, 2013, 05:08 PM
Great photos and report Jeremy.

October 14th, 2013, 06:27 PM
Great report as always Captain!

October 14th, 2013, 07:26 PM
Great pics man. Beautiful fish

October 14th, 2013, 08:55 PM
Awesome report & photos!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk