Let birds point out the shrimp and trout; reds, flounder won’t be too far away
September is such a difficult time to be an outdoor enthusiast. Do I go fishing, teal hunting, alligator hunting or scout and prep for deer season? Or do I worsen my sleep deprivation and attempt to do all of the above? We are so blessed to have so many opportunities at our fingertips.
Fall is easily the best time to be on the water chasing trout, redfish and flounder; however, like many outdoorsmen I do find myself being pulled in several directions.
If we can continue to stay on the drier side of things, this may potentially be the best fall we have had in the last five or six years. Shrimp are moving out of the estuary, and the big three are hot on their tails, literally. It has been nice to see the number of shrimp being chased by fish already, a bite that should continue to improve.
The number of boats in Turner’s on Big Lake will be ever increasing, and for good reason. The trout will be in there, waiting to gorge on shrimp as they pass through, attempting to avoid becoming a tasty snack from above or below. On calmer days, shrimp can easily be spotted, skipping along the surface, fleeing the jaws of hungry trout. When it is a little on the rough side, some assistance from seagulls and terns is appreciated in locating trout and redfish feeding on shrimp.
If you would rather throw an anchor instead of drift or troll, the mouth of nearly any bayou will be productive on an outgoing tide, as they are easy ambush locations. The mouth of Black’s Bayou can be exceptional; do not be surprised to find birds working there as well and throughout East Pass headed into Sabine Lake. Middle Pass and just south of Rabbit Island are also hot spots to check for bird activity over feeding trout and redfish. West Cove on Big Lake is another area to keep your eyes peeled for plenty of bird activity.
Bring a pair of good binoculars; they will save you a good amount of running time and help your wallet out at the gas pump. If you can see trout popping shrimp on the surface, one good way to judge their size is by the size of the foam ring left on the surface. If there is not much of a foam ring, you are most likely chasing trout that are too small to keep. Many times, you will hear trout slurping down shrimp before you see them. The sound is unmistakable, a result of the vacuum the trout makes by extending its jaws.
As speckled trout and redfish begin to gorge, they become much easier to fool with soft plastics. I highly recommend lighter colors in clearer water and darker colors in muddy or off-colored water. I use mostly 4-inch soft plastics in an effort to match the size of the shrimp they are chasing. A glow/chartreuse tail sea shad is a real moneymaker on a 1/8- or ¼-ounce jighead. Fishing a Vudu Shrimp under a cork is also a deadly combination! If you are a topwater fanatic like myself, I recommend going with a bone-colored Spook Jr. The smaller profile and color mimics a shrimp relatively well, and hungry trout and redfish will compete with each other to swallow it whole. Whatever decision you make have fun and enjoy the great outdoors.
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