August is the last full month of “SweatFest 2017,” the festival no one likes to celebrate! While action for reds and specks on fly can be slow, it’s the best month of the year for pelagic species. 

Spanish mackerel will be running beaches and passes in big numbers. On an incoming tide, toss a Clouser Minnow or other slim-profile baitfish pattern into a school and strip fast. This is great fun on a 7-weight rod!

Also on the beaches — and inside most bays including Lake Pontchartrain — you’ll find jack crevalle. Look for schools of mullet busting the surface. Jacks love large baitfish patterns. You’ll need a 10-weight or 12-weight rod and a large disc drag reel to have any chance of bringing these bruisers to the boat.

Just a short boat ride offshore are cobia and mangrove snapper. You’ll need a 10-weight with a strong butt section to keep these scoundrels away from rigs and other structure. Fly lines and barnacles are a bad combination!

On the lighter side, sand (white) trout invade the marshes this month. Small in size, but strong in fight, a sandie in the 11 to 12 inch range on a 6-weight rod is as much fun as the law allows! Find a reef or tidal area. Cast a heavily-weighted Clouser or shrimp pattern, let it sink several seconds, then strip. Most hits come on the first few strips.

In freshwater, rivers should be low and that means white bass activity in live oxbows like Old River Morganza and Deer Park Lake. Often the tell-tale sign will be shad scattering across the surface. Toss weighted minnow patterns and make long, erratic strips.