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Having Fun Outdoors

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Buzz Minnow & Buzz Mullet 

Top Water Lures

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Shrimp Lures

Agitator Popping Cork

Rat Tail Worm Jigs

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Swimming Shad Lures

Swimming Mud Minnow Lures

 

July 8, 2012

by Toby Hogan

The “Dog Days of Summer” occur between July 3rd and August 11th. At this time, Sirius, the “dog star” rises and sets with the sun. In ancient times, they believed that its’ heat added to the heat of the sun creating a stretch of hot weather. They called this period of time “dog days” after the Dog Star.

Offshore and water temperatures in the surf vary only a few degrees during the summer months, but the shallow in-shore water is more easily affected by water temperatures. During the cooler months warming of the water keeps fish on the flats, but during the summer warm water has the opposite effect. Trout will change locations for comfort, when the water temperature warms up during the day. At this time fish will seek out deeper water, such as channel edges, cuts, jetties and the Intracoastal waterway. They will stay there during the hottest part of the day. Then, at night during the cooler hours, especially during a full moon, fish will return to the shallows to feed and can be found there till shortly after sun-up when the sun reheats the water. Bigger trout seem to be affected more by the warm water than smaller trout.

Plan your trip accordingly. Fish shallow early morning or late afternoon. You can have good success at this time drifting the flats using top water lures. Sometimes using a smaller top water lure works best, or use a popping cork with a shrimp lure 1/4 ounce, pink or charteuse or a rattail worm jig 1/8 ounce, white or chartreuse. Using a popping cork will allow your lure to stay in the strike zone longer. The popping cork will attract fish for some distance. Set your cork to fish the lure 12 – 18 inches. This method works well when they’re not hitting top water lures. Avoid using scented baits during the summer. You’ll catch too many crabs, hard heads and gaf-tops. That’s not to say you won’t catch them with unscented lures, but not as often. As the day heats up, fish move to deeper water. At this time you can find fish in channels, around jetties or the Intracoastal waterway. Look for slicks, drift the drop-offs casting into the deeper water. Trout will hang out along ledges in the cooler water waiting for bait fish to move along the channel edge. The best lures to use in these area are swimming shad lures, 1/4 ounce and 3/8 ounce jig, or swimming mud minnow lure 1/4 ounce jig. Cast out and work your lure along the edges. Good colors are root beer and reds. 

Be careful on the water in the summer. Thunder storms can pop up at any time. They can cause dangerous lightning, so keep an eye out for these storms and head for safety. DON’T FOOL AROUND. LIGHTNING STRIKES ARE DEADLY.

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Having Fun Outdoors – Surf Fishing

by Toby Hogan

There are a lot of beaches on the Texas Coast to fish on. The best time to fish in the surf is in the summer.  Light southeast winds and waves are calm causing green water to be pushed toward the beach.  Fish early in the morning when you know the water conditions are right for wade fishing in the surf and be there where you plan to fish before daylight. Fish feed at night and the early morning is sometimes the best action, just as the sun comes up.

Start fishing near the beach in the early part of the day. As the sun starts to rise, fish move out a little further.  Good places to fish along the beach are jetties, rock groins, creek mouths, points, bars and guts.  Bars are lighter areas where waves break.  Guts are lower depressions.  For those who may not know much about surf fishing, one section of the beach may look like any other, but experienced surf fishermen know the best spots.  Drive up and down the beach and you’ll find anglers catching fish, but don’t crowd in. There is plenty of beach to fish. Watch how the other anglers are fishing and then you will learn how to catch fish in the surf.

Top water lures can be very effective when fished early in the morning.  Later in the day, fish move to a little deep water.  At this time, you can use a 4 inch soft plastic swimming shad lure 1/4 to 3/8 ounce jig.  Many anglers enjoy surf fishing standing on the shore line, casting into the surf.  The idea is to cast your bait into the water as far as necessary and remain on shore to catch fish.  Surf rods are from 9-18 feet long.  Only use reels suited for saltwater.

Other terminal tackle, such as leaders, weights and bait are selected depending on water conditions and the type of fish you intend on catching.  Surf fishing from the shoreline is easier than wade fishing in the surf.  Bring along folding chiars and rod holders to stick in the sand to hold your rod and reel.

Safety should not be overlooked when wade fishing in the surf.  Never fish alone and if you plan on fishing in deeper water, wear some type of life jacket.  Always wear long pants.  A lightweight pant with nylon blend of a darker color works best.  Wearing pants helps keep jelly fish from stinging your legs. Also, wear a lightweight fishing shirt and a hat with a tie down string.  Your sunglasses should have a lanyard string.  Wear wading shoes with stingray guards to protect your lower legs and shuffle your feet as you move around.

Use a long fish stringer and allow it to float some distance from you.  Tie a slip knot in your stringer in case sharks attack your catch and you can let them have it and move to safety.  Surf fishing is fun and a good way to spend the day just soaking up the sun.

Good places to surf fish are Galveston beaches, Surfside and Quintanna Beach near Freeport, Sargent Beach and matagorda Beach.