[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ugust usually brings the real heat to the Big Bend; along with some great fishing. So far this year, there is nothing usual about the weather. We have seen cold fronts reach us in July, and water temps that have stayed moderately low compared to normal. I have written in the past, I believe the weather is a month behind schedule this year. Let’s see if it continues into August.
What about the fish? The rain and moderate water temps have kept the trout bite pretty great through July. It was about 14 days into July when I noticed the trout move out of 3 to 5 feet of water and slide into 5 to 8 feet. This will be the normal pattern for August. Find the water that is just a little off color and the trout will be close by. Cracking corks in 8 feet is less productive than 6 feet. If you are fishing out to 8 feet, bounce jigs. A Gulp shrimp will catch everything.
As for the mysterious redfish, keep searching. We have been catching a few, but have not run into a consistent pattern this summer. Get out early and go shallow. Look for wakes and water swells on slick mornings. You could find that giant roaming school of hungry reds. Throwing topwater into the school will work. Never throw to the front fish; he is the easiest one to spook. Instead, throw to the center; the competition among the center group will produce the best bite.
There is a fair number of tarpon staging in the bay this year. Nowhere near outstanding, but enough to pattern and set up for the catch. The mouth of the East River, Shell Point long bar, and Piney Island bars are all holding tarpon to 100 pounds. Floating live bait under a cork will work. Pinfish are easy to find.
We are still catching cobia on the public reefs out to marker 24. Any place you find bottom structure is a possible cobia hang out. I have seen a few schools following big sea turtles. If you are out in the 20 foot depth ranges, keep your eyes peeled for any
breaking water. If the structure does not produce, look for bait schools and breaking water to hold cobia. Keep a live pinfish, squirrel fish, lizard fish, or anything in the same class, and be ready to feed the big one.
August is go back to school month, so if you have not taken the kids out yet, now is the time. Give us a call/text/ email to book your next trip. The Guide Shop is open, and we have everything you need to go catch fish. Kayak rentals and plenty of knowledge to get you started. Need more information, visit: www.stmarksoutfitters.com.