POC 10/19/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Doing a little running around today to get the Boss ready for her trip to Iowa.  Once that is done it will be off to Academy for some plastics.  Looking at tomorrow’s (Wednesday) fishing forecast I am not going to make a guess as to how the fishing will be based on this information.  Looks like the tide will run pretty well, though there appear to be no sharp varations in the flow.  There is lots to learn about the effects of the tides on the fishing, and tomorrow should be interesting.  Chris is wanting to drift fish the back lakes for reds.  Looking at the second set of Solunar Tables we might get a little flow first thing in the morning, after that we will just have to wait and see.

Weather

91/68  Sunshine/clouds  stray rain possible  Wind SSE 10-15  Chance rain  20%

Tide

High 2:06 am 1.5    Low 2:28 pm  0.5    High tidal coefficient but fishing time is 4 – 6 am and pm, indicates slow day.  A confusing looking day.

Other Solunar Times

  • Best Times     1:53A – 3:53A
  •                          2:23P – 4:23P
  • Good Time     8:08A – 10:08A  (Interesting how 2 different references have little similarity.)

Chris said the plan was to start off in the Lagoon and drift for reds.  From there it would be back lakes all day, and we stuck to the plan.  It was just dawn as we turned right off the cut from Army Cut into the Lagoon, and we ran all the way  down the Lagoon until it was open to the bay.  The wind was blowing in at 10+ over the bar and there was plenty of bait.

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                           Fall = Drum Time.  Man they fight hard for their size.

We were just finding bait, then going up wind and drifting across any of the lakes we fished.  We started off mixing it up with topwaters, Chris threw the Wake bait some, and we both tossed an assortment of plastics during day.  We caught several reds, a drum, and some small trout.  That would be the way it went all day.  We made several drifts there and caught fish each time, and then it was off to Pringle.

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Chris boating one.  And this was about the size of the trout today.

One observation on the tide, by starting in the Laguna and then going to Pringle, Conte, a couple of small lakes off Conte, Fish Pond, and several places in between, then working back towards POC we managed to stay in moving water basically all day.  It was one of those high tide days, almost over the dock fingers at Froggie’s, falling to what can only be called a “high” low.  So we were able to cruise a lot of the back lakes, and the fishing was consistent.

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                                 They hit topwater off and on until noon.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was not gang busters by any means, but we caught fish everywhere we tried.  We would just find the bait, got up wind, then drifted through them.  We put plenty of small trout in the boat, but I doubt we had over 4 or 5 keepers. but since we were not keeping or measuring it would be hard to guess how many would have made the grade.  If I had to guess we caught a good 2o, but other than a few blowups we missed, the trout were on the small side.  But we were catching and would all the way up until we quit at 4.  And counting small rats it was an easy 10 on the reds, so not to bad.

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                                               Chris with a couple of reds.

Pringle was probably the best of the back lakes.  (So Todd turn up the tunes, fill the cooler, grab some  stinking dead shrimp, and you will be in business.) We drifted in the south end of the lake, and whether it was plastics or topwater, if there was flipping bait, there were bites to be had.  The best results were by watching for flipping bait and then getting up wind and drifting through them.  It was probably as steady a topwater bite as long as I have seen it in a while, but we just never did get into the bigger trout.  My simple guess, it is to early (Read warm.) to draw the trout into the lakes heavy, but that is about to change.  And I was surprised at how late during the day they hit topwater.   It was easily after 2 or even later when the last one came on board on a topwater.  They hit the topwater on a steady retrieve, or on a stop and go, some of them right at the boat.  Lot of fun.

We were pretty sure we were ok with the tide as the grass was slowly coming with the tide most places we fished.  The last couple spots you really did need a weedless plastic as the grass was getting to be a hassle.  Chris was catching them with plastics on a weighted swim bait hook which allowed it to be fairly weedless.  I always enjoy fishing those areas with Chris.  His Dargel 17 runs super shallow, and with the “high” low, we fished lots of places  that will be a little tougher to get to as winter rolls in.  From the small lakes behind Conte, to exiting through Mule Slough to head back to POC, we were running and fishing shallow.

It was a fun way to fish, not my usual way, but I always like to fish those places with Chris.  He duck hunts with the airboat which has allowed him to maneuver through those lakes, and his experience allows him to get around in places that could be pretty tough.  We caught fish all day, saw some great territory, and it definitely got my blood flowing in anticipation on the fishing to come.

Today I will try to sneak out to the lake just a little this morning.  The front is on the way, and the wind may blow to 20 out of the north and there is a chance of rain.  Interesting to see how the fish react to this front.  It may slow it just a little in the short term, but with it will come the great fall/winter fishing, so no complaints from me on the weather.  Time to wrap this up, hook up the boat and head to the lake.  As Forest says, I love fall and that is all I am going to say about that.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Coleto Creek 10/17/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Jeffish and I continue to find ways to not get on the water together.  I thought we would be fishing the lake this morning,  (Sunday) but since it did not happen I just messed around and watched a little football.  Looking at tomorrow’s (Monday) fishing the lake is down just a little and the weather could be better (worse) but I will hope for clouds and wind.  There are a couple of solunar periods before 2pm, so I have a shot.   I am not even going to guess tonight what will be working, but I am going to give it the old college try first thing in the morning.

Weather

Intervals clouds and sun.  Wind S 10-15. (Considerably more than 15.)  Chance rain 20%.

Water Level

Current    96.03 msl  –   Last Trip `10/6     96.28 msl – down .25

Solunar Times

 Best times   11:45A – 1:45P (Definitely when the good ones bit.)       12:14P – 2:14P      Good Time    5:59A – 7:59A  (Smaller fish and lots of misses.)

Coleto Creek

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Every body was fishing today.

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Even these guys.

It was my usual Monday trip to Coleto.  It was calm when I got to the lake at daylight and the dropping water was really evident this trip.  The water is coming down.  That would have an effect on today’s fishing, but once I got the hang of it was a pretty good day.  There was almost a really big screw up this morning.  All my stuff was in the tackle room so I put the 2 freshwater bags in the boat, and for some reason did not put the rods in the boat.  Real swift!  I got about a mile from the house and went, “did you put those in the boat?”  Stopped, looked, and back to the house.  Cost a little time, but a whole lot better than getting to lake without rods and reels.

First was up lake to fish the same general area I have been catching them.  It is getting time for buzzbait was first.  Over the next hour or so I had 5 blow up all over it, and not bother to get hooked.  Only one did I even feel it when I set the hook.  One thing became real apparent, the really shallow banks where I was catching them had lost much of the water and cover on them.  So with that state of affairs, I went to the swim jig on a little deeper banks, still making sure there is cover on them,  For the next couple of hours I caught one here and there.  Unfortunately I did lose a big fish because I was to lazy to reach around the console and get the net.

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                     The Swim Jig bite has gotten better every day.

I tried a white on white swim jig without a bite.  So back to the bluegill with a Rage Craw and the fish started biting.  As I do not wear a watch it was around noon when the good bite started.  By now the wind was blowing pretty good, but it was fairly sheltered up lake so it was not a problem.  Just slow rolling it they were eating it pretty good and a couple hit it the minute it hit the water or on the first crank.  It was definitely a catch one, then catch another one or two in the same area.

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                           The good bite was noon and they were eating it.

With the water falling they moved their location a little, towards deeper water, especially around points, but those I caught were still in a foot of so of water.  Several came off wood, though I did not pitch the stick worm today.  I did throw buzzbait off and on but after the sun got up that was over.  After boating a dozen plus on the swim jig the wind was blowing pretty good so it was time for a move to try something that should be working about now.

I have had no, and I mean not a stinkin’ drop, of luck down lake in the clearer water.  I was hoping that after letting the wind blow for a couple of hours on a long down lake bank it just might be time for the fall spinnerbait bite.  Fishing several places, I alternated spinnerbait and white swim jig without a bite.  It was not happening.  After fishing several places I called it a day, it turned out to be 2:00.  Guess one of these days I am going to have to stay down lake and try to figure it out, there is a way to catch them.

With the water still dropping, and the days staying warm, the good bite is just not happening on the lake.  There are fish to be caught, but we need some fall around here.  It finally looks like there may be a small cold front in our future, with a high in the mid 70’s on Saturday, which will really help the lake. But no complaints from me.  Fishing Coleto can spoil you.  Anytime you can boat a dozen with 5 or 6 nice ones in a long morning is pretty good bass fishing.  I am really looking forward to winter fishing the lake this year.

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Next up is some back lakes out of POC on Wednesday with my buddy Chris.  He thinks there just might be a few redfish willing to eat a wake bait.  If you have never fished one you are missing out.  It generates some pretty awesome bites from redfish, and will boat the occasional trout.  So we will be putting in at Froggie’s as daylight cracks, from there who knows.  One of the things I like about fishing with other folks occasionally, lead the way!  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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This and That 10/15/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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I have been on the road with the lovely wife this week so there have been no reports, at least from me.  It is sad but true, she has a travel problem.  She never met a trip she did not like.  Monday night she just announced we are headed out of town tomorrow for a few days.  So it was load up the car and off we went.  But things are about to change around here, let the fishing begin.

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I was happy to hear from the Mad Trout Fisherman, who got to fish with crew along with his son Taylor, and as usual they worked them over.  But what is really important is this picture, it says it all about what fishing should be about!

My son taylor, who caught the big fish today. 24″ red and 21″ trout.

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Great job Taylor.  It won’t be long before you are beating the pants off dad!

As I have been saying for several weeks now, the bite is on at the bay.  Chad has been catching fish in Keller, I even managed to catch a few there the last couple of trips.  It must be a real joy to take your son and have him put the hurt on them.  Even though my dad was not a fisherman by any stretch, he found time to take me, and later gave me rides all over the county, chasing fish in ponds and rivers.  It solidified my love of fishing.  So take a kid fishing, you can never go wrong.  And Chad, thanks for your reports.

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A big thanks to Tim and the folks at Wade Right.  I love getting stuff in the mail and he sent me some decals for the boat and a cool new Wade Right hat.  Funny how anxiety can over take me at times.  Will I get it level on the windshield?  Can the back window on the truck roll up and down without scraping the decal off?  Do I want to keep the new hat nice and new, or is it headed for the bay?  Decisions, decisions, it is a tough life.  I do know one thing, the belt is about to get the serious fall workout.

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The folks across the street from Jeffish pulled in with the boat so we went over to say hi.  Actually just being nosey.  He reported a pretty good day drifting with plastics in the J Hook and Greens areas.  He said there was a ton of boats at Greens.  They caught lots of small trout and rat reds and they boxed a few.  Being from Kingsville he grew up fishing Baffin and the Laguna before moving up here.  His comments yesterday on the tide up here are so relevant to our tidal conversation.  Getting the hang of the tides here has been tough for him, there is a world of difference in how the tide works down there from up here.  In Baffin wind is really an issue, and can easily substitutes for tidal flow, or even reverse tidal direction.  Amazing what a difference a couple of passes make.

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Today is fix the leaky waders day.  Leaky waders defeats the purpose, and in the winter just does not cut it.  Both my winter and summer pair are leaking so I applied the little trick Aaron showed me to my summer waders.  I filled up the left leg on the lightweight waders, where I got wet the other day, then squeezed the leg tight and immediately found the leak on a lower seam, about an inch long.  They are now hanging out in the fresh air drying, then it will be seam sealer.

The winter pair are a good quality hunting wader from Cabela’s.  Of all places for a leak it is actually in the lug sole, through the bottom of the boot.  That is the last place I would suspect.  I have fixed it before, it lasts a couple of trips, then starts leaking again.  So after watching that lunatic on TV build his boat out of Flex Seal, or seal anything on the face of the earth, I decided to give it a try.  It takes 48 hours to cure and then I will add one more coat.  We will find out whether he is as full of stuff as he seems to be.  The next couple of trips I will be sure to wear both and see if they are actually repaired.  It seems to me that once they start leaking it is only a matter of time.  Probably time to quit being such a cheap skate, get over it, and buy some Simms.

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I follow the Falcon Lake Tackle and Rod website.  Everything you need to know about Falcon Lake is on this site.  He blogs regularly and I love his style.  He does not pull his punches on any subject and is a strong advocate for Falcon lake.  I am sure that Texas Parks and Wildlife just loves it when he calls.  All I can say is go boy, they need to be watched at all times.  He just got back from the trip of a lifetime to Brazil for Peacock bass and if you want to read a cool story check it out.  That is one fish on my bucketlist.  That reminds me, time to make a new list.

http://www.tackleandrods.com/lake/Brazil.htm

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Though I give my lovely wife trouble about her “travel problem”, I am in the midst of planning several escapes.  First will be several days the first week of November at POC with the Austin boys, a trip that will be repeated a month later in December.  The December trip last year bordered on epic.  One morning was a redfish extravaganza, and if memory serves me right a couple of guys caught their personal best trout.  Those trips are a prelude to Fishmass, the annual Christmas fish fry.  So at least those dates are settled.

Now my problem, with a free week, is where next.  Initially it was North Padre and the Upper Laguna, but the weather is border line with a front on the way midweek which will switch the winds out of the north.  Then I thought why not make the trip to Falcon, the fishing is good and the weather is different.  The problem, the trolling motor is off the Mako and it will not be repaired before I wanted to go.  While I have fished Falcon in the Skiff, that is no boat for a big body of water if the wind blows.  It is a huge lake and once the wind blows it gets beyond ugly.  Who knows, I might do one of those 5 different places in 5 day things.

And back to the old question I keep beating around – should I sell the second boat?  If I did I would be out of action for fishing out of the boat with a trolling motor for what looks like almost a month.  Though I can still use the Mako on wade trips, bass fishing would be out.  So the Skiff will keep it’s place under the carport.  Sorry honey.

The only absolute decision made on the fishing is tomorrow morning.  My buddy Jeffish is going to fish with me on Coleto, and as we have not managed to get on the water together for a while I hope I can put him on some fish.  From then on it will be simply watching the weather.  I am flexible enough that the Laguna decision can be made on a moments notice.  No matter what it will be a stretch of fishing till you puke.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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A POC Report 10/12/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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I won’t be on the water until Friday, but I got this good report from Aaron and wanted to share it with you while it is fresh.

A Good POC Report

Here is a good report from, Austin Aaron who is a dedicated kayak guy.

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Keller Bay 10/10/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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First I want to really thank Steve for sending me to the Tide 4 Fishing website, which I had not looked at before.  It is one stop shopping for all the information I need other than the POC weather.   And when I prepared this for tomorrow’s fishing yesterday it was pretty clear where I would be heading in the morning.  So I am off to the Gulf, not sure where yet but I am going in the morning.  Now I have to think about where I want to be at daylight.

Weather

84/72  Mainly sunny.  Wind NE 10 -15  0% chance rain.  (Not that much wind.)

Tides

High  5:22 am  1.4   Low 7:21 pm  0.8  (At least 2+hours later than POC.)

Flow Projection + Solunar Times

The tidal coefficient is 43 – lower variation in tide height – small current.  There is a 2 hour high activity period from 8 – 10am when it appears the current will really start to flow on the falling tide.  (Later, and being so far from POC the water moved, slowly.)

Keller Bay

Due to the NE wind I decided to hit the pasture shoreline in Keller again.  That is protected perfect for that wind, and it worked out great today.  It was cracking daylight as I dropped the skiff in the water and headed down the shoreline to the high bank.  I found a wad of bait so I anchored and jumped in.

The tide was definitely up and the water near shore had just a little chill to it.  Of course it was topwarter first.  Right off the bat I missed a couple so I started switching back and forth, if they missed the topwater I tossed the 3″ paddle tail in white/red glitter.  Nice to have 2 rods on the Wade Right.   A couple of rats jumped on then I caught this one.

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This was the biggest of the 5 reds I caught today.

It took me a little while to kind of figure it out.  There were small schools of bait fish making v’s, and the trout and reds were with them.  It actually turned into a game of target practice with either plastics or topwater.  Most of the fish were off the bank in 2+ feet of water.

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The first one has been to the fridge a time or two.  Number 2 is what hit topwater.

There was nothing fast and furious this morning, and I think it was directly related to the low velocity.  They were just not going nuts, but they were catchable at daylight, and got better as the water began to move.  I caught a couple in a foot of water but most of the bites came standing waist deep plus and throwing way out.  Thanks Chad.  And with the high projected to be 5:22 and the good bite related to the flow to be 8 -10, I would estimate that it was at least 2 hours behind the projected times at POC.  You learn something every day

Initially the wind was blowing around 15mph, more out of the north and it was 60 degrees.  As the morning heated up it became more easterly at less than 10, which was blowing right over my head.  The ripple started about 4 feet off the bank and that seemed to be the best place to fish.

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                   Nothing to big but no problem sacking a limit.

Before I quit about 1:30 I caught on paddle tail and straight tail plastics in 3 different colors.  The Nasty Baits Voodoo Shad in brown/chartreuse straight tail was the best plastic.  And 2 topwaters caught fish, the Knocker B and the Heddon One Knocker, both worked in a walk the dog pattern.  They actually hit both topwaters until almost noon, and the little better average came after 10.  It was mostly small up until then.  Unfortunately I had a real big trout for Keller jump off, bummer, and then had another good fish follow one I was fighting.  And I noticed the water was moving, you could not really feel it, by looking at the mud I was stirring up wading.  It was easily after 10 when the water moved, later than the POC projection by a good 2 hours.

Not a bad morning, and the best thing was really understanding and paying attention to how far behind Keller is from POC.  And watching my mud tipped me off when the water really started to move out.  So nice to understand a little more and add one more thing to the arsenal.  Plus, it was an easy 20 today, and the only downside was I did not stick a big red.  And unlike the last few trips, I did move the boat about 10:00, simply idling down the bank and watching for bait.  Once I found some about 100 yards from where I started the bite was consistent.  Don’t get me wrong, it was not a killing by any means, but the fish are biting and I am all about it.  Today bait was absolutely the ticket.

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It was good to hear from Jim again.

Doug, I haven’t written you in a few months but that doesn’t mean I haven’t read every post you have made. I always look forward to seeing FCT in my email inbox. I have to commend you on your discussion regarding tides. It is the BEST discussion I have ever read. I love technical fishing and mathematical stuff so I have thoroughly enjoyed the reading. Keep up the good work!!

Jim in Cypress

Thanks for hanging in there with me, I appreciate it.  There may never be an absolute way to project where and how the water is moving, but the discussion has sure helped my understanding and I am glad you liked it.  Hopefully this discussion was a little improvement on some of my content.  Comment anytime.

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And Steve added another comment on the tide stuff, and it further refines what we have been talking about.

Good Morning Doug
After reading all of your research information and others, it really comes down to finding water movement. The same guide, who explained the tide as a bubble of water, also explained how to fish in the winter when we have very low tides and hours of no water movement at all. Some of the things he mentioned were fishing places with a narrow drain that really funnels water and windy shore lines . All of that makes good sense; wind does make for some current. The most interesting advice he gave was to fish the spoil inlands along the barge canal. When looking for water movement, barges create tons of water movement in and out between these spoil cuts. I would have never looked at it that way, but it does make perfect sense. This whole topic has made me more aware of how fish move. Now I realized why when I went from place to place it was hit and miss.
Steve

Commenting on the narrow drain in winter, last December when the Austin boys were here we had a day like that, super low tide, emptied a back lake, and the fish were in a channel that you could cast across blindfolded.  There were reds, trout, flounder, and black drum in the center of that small channel eating, and we put a bunch in the box as it got dark.  And I have actually had a spoil pile moment in the Upper Laguna.  They were tight on the piles, and we were sitting in the barge canal tossing topwater in 90 degree weather with 20″ plus trout smoking it in the middle of the day.  We had to move once for a big double barge, he went by us and promptly grounded.  After much banging and clanging he finally managed to get off and get moving.  And last, I am so with you on the hit or miss thing after a move.  Often a great move was nothing more than sheer luck, and there were just as many times when moving was a complete failure.  The key is moving water, and being there when it does no matter what day or time it is.  Would seem easy wouldn’t it.  This discussion will continue, and in the next week or two I am going to put the tide stuff together in one article.  I appreciate your participation, comment anytime.  And if the rest of you have anything to add to the tide conversation, speak up, we can all learn something.

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A good Monday.  The skiff did not suffer from 6 weeks of inactivity, though it still initially starts like a bear, then just hit the key after that.  Have to get that looked at.  And I am still waiting on my trolling motor for the flats boat, have to check on that tomorrow and see what is up.  Other than that if any of the rest of you have anything to say send it along.  Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Tides II 10/8/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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I figured the tide post would generate a few comments, and they started right away.  Like I said, my post was an attempt to try to find a simple way to try to get to the right place at the right time.  But there is obviously way more to it than that. In fact, this subject will be discussed for a while and I will combine everything with the first post.  This comment from Colby is from a guy who has obviously done his homework on and off the water and I am happy to share it with you.

Doug,
Without a doubt the best book to learn about tides is Beyond The Moon by James Greig McCully. Chapter 12 – The Tides and Saltwater Fishing is especially helpful for coastal anglers. Texas coastal fishermen need to remember a couple of things. First the tide only changes about one foot along the Texas coast. Other locations around the world have a much greater tidal change than does the Texas coast. Also the wind plays a big roll along the Texas coast. With a wind of 15 mph or more the areas away from the Gulf openings may not feel a tide change at all! Ever notice how Rockport might have 4 tides while POC only has one? How can that be? Tides are a very interesting part of learning how to fish the coast. And now to really make it confusing the velocity of the tides is actually slowing down right now! Let me know how to send you a graph I did showing tides over the last 20 years and how the velocity is actually slowing down. Big subject. Fun stuff.

Colby

It is fun stuff for sure, and your comments are great.  The graph sounds cool and informative so an email is on the way so we can take a look at it.  I will be interested in any comments you may have on the velocity slowing down.  Have to think about that.  In my reading it was real apparent right away that the farther you are from the opening/pass the less you may feel the tide.  And I am with you on the 15mph plus wind, those are the days the wind keeps the water up, or empties the bay.  So in other words, big wind beats a weak tide in water a long way from the openings.  Last, I fished Florida quite a few years before I started fishing here.  At first I asked a couple of people what happened to the tide.  I was out there a few days my first trip before I realized over a foot was it.  I was like that’s the tide?  In Florida it might be a 4′ tide that hauls butt, here there are times a good ripple is the size of it.  Thanks for your informative comments, I am going to add them to the tide post.

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Colby followed up right away with a really interesting and informative chart.  Look at it closely and then read his comments.  It will get you to thinking and also shows how uninformed many of us are.

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(Sorry the words are not readable.  I attempted to fix it but for some reason it is not clear on the site.  So for clarification the numbers on the left go from 0 at the bottom to 30 at the top, days of the month of June.  The small words on the right are on the line where the days fishing was  excellent, very good, or good during that month and year in June.  The bottom line is the years.  When the jagged line falls below the small words on the right there were none of those “Good Fishing” days, only fair or poor.  Sorry for the inconvienance.) 
Doug,
Here is the graph.
The information presented is:
The (jagged) line represents the number of “Good Fishing” days for each June for the years 1997 through 2016.  “Good Fishing” days defined as Good, Very Good or Excellent days as shown in the Gulf Coast Fisherman magazine.  The poor or fair days are not included.
Each day of the month is represented as being one of these five categories for potential fishing success.  I’ve used these calendars for over 25 years and always found them to be accurate.  I became concerned when I noticed fewer “Good Fishing” days in the month of June.  As the graph shows in earlier years there were numerous “Good Fishing” days each month.  Now there are some June(s) when there are none!
I contacted Gulf Coast Fisherman Publisher Gary Ralston about this graph and he told me he had been noticing the trend for several years.  He did confirm there is an 18 year cycle that takes place that has some effect on this but he also confirmed that in fact the velocity ( what gives us the good, very good and excellent days) was slowing down.  He also told me that Florida was even worse than Texas.
I use to always plan on trips in June on the triple XXX days because that’s when the tide moved at enough velocity to cause some great feeding activity.  But now with the slower velocity things have changed.

So far I haven’t been able to find out the reason for this change but I haven’t given up either.
I think it is also very important when discussing tides to realize when a tide starts moving that it does not move at a steady rate.   The tide builds and has a greater velocity at certain times during the tide.  The tide chart activity actually looks more like a set of stair steps instead of a smooth bell curve.  This important detail is discussed in the McCully book I mentioned.
NO DOUBT students of tides will catch more fish.  Fish are simply more active when the tide is moving whether it’s an incoming or outgoing tide and less active during slack tide.
The best tide to fish?  Whenever you can.  Tides simply mean during the day you can fish there will be more active times and less active times during that 24 hour period.  Use the tide charts to help you decide where you want to be during those more active times.
Colby
All I can say is wow.  I can’t wait to hear someone hypothesize on just why that is occurring.  It looks like you have paid pretty close attention to tides for quite a while, with the on water experience to go with it.  And I will definitely be looking for the McCully book.  And it is not just about catching more fish with me, but it is actually a pretty interesting subject.  Your last comment on use of the information, being at the place you need to be during the active times, says it all.  All of us will always fish if we can, tides or not.  But with just a little effort and planning we can greatly improve our chances of catching fish.  I really appreciate you taking the time to participate.  I always hoped this blog would result in a real sharing of information and you have helped it immensely.  Thanks

**********************

Considering Colby’s comments before, water velocity is a prime factor.  Here is a really interesting point by Steve along with a great site.

Thanks a bunch Doug! You did a really good job at of explaining a complicated problem. WHEN WILL THE WATER MOVE AGAIN AT MY LOCATION? There is a website that I use that shows tidal coefficient and puts a number value on each tide. In other words how much water will move on that tide compared to other tides? This website graph shows the progression of the tidal coefficient in the month of October 2016 for POC. Large coefficients indicate important high and low tides; major currents and movements usually take place on the sea bed. But bear in mind that this tidal amplitude may be greatly affected by the weather. (WIND) An east wind will over power the low tides around POC and tend to stack water.
http://www.tides4fishing.com/us/texas/port-o-connor
I watched an animated video once that showed the tide as a bubble of water moving across the bay. The most interesting part of the video showed how the fisherman can follow the bubble of water and either fish an ebb tide or a flood depending on what part of the bay he chose to fish. If you were really sharp you could find a falling tide, somewhere on our bay system every day depending on where you chose to fish.
Thanks again, you are always helpful.

This is a much better explanation than mine the other day when I tried to get that concept across.  Thinking of the tide as bubble is the perfect way to look at it.  And when you think about it, if the time difference from the furthest point from the opening remains basically the same, give or take a little, it should be possible to make an educated guess on following that bubble.  For me, if I could fish a falling tide the rest of my life I would be thrilled.  So thanks for the great information, and the site.  And as far as being helpful, I just hope to moderate and encourage the discussion.  Thanks, I appreciate your participation.

*********************

And then after reading my rant on the tides my buddy Todd said it best about the way many of us approach the tide.  There is always someone out there who can interject a voice of reason.

Great read Doug! Someone once told me, go to a local store and pick up a local tide chart. Then when you get to the water, crumple it up and throw it in. Whichever way it floats, that’s the way the tide’s moving

So true. If I would have know that it would have saved me all this effort trying to understand these pesky tides.  Other than that just wondering if we are going to see you boys down here in December.  If you get a date let me know so I can be sure to be around.  Good to hear you are upright and taking nourishment.  And having had the pleasure of eating your cooking I am sure the nourishment is delicious.

**********************

And it was great to hear from one of my “oldest” readers. His comments probably more accurately reflect many of our real life experience with tide and weather.

Doug, after reading your dissertation on tides, I now will call  you” professor Salt”.

As usual, we all get answers from you on whatever the question is asked and this helps all, including novice and experienced anglers. You did some “homework” on Steve’s inquiry on tidal flows. All of this shows your love of fishing and sharing it with others.

Me, living in Bastrop, always hit the bays with a wing and a prayer. Many trips have been wind blown when the forecast was winds up to 10 mph. Other times tides forecast high ended up with me arriving up to a mud flat. Sometimes my return trip home is without fish, but like you fishing our coastal waters is a passion. Just getting out on a quiet pristine back bay makes life bearable. Fall fishing makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up when a pod of Reds crosses my path. The wind is calm and many are deer hunting. I wish deer season lasted all year long!!

As for tides. growing up in Port A, I hung around many guides and learned that 90% of the fish are in 10 % of the water . I learned that according to Totsy Belcher, who was a top guide there said” there will be Reds in most tidal flats with turtle grass bottoms when the tide was 1.5 ft or higher and if he tide was moving in or out, the fish would be moving about. It would be just locating them”. Many of these old guides have passed on and often there secrets went to the grave with them. “Betty of the jetty” in Port A. was a regular old crusty women who cursed all who fished near her. She always caught trout and Reds in any kind of weather. Her secret–she never fished with an artificial bait, but she told me –“Mac, you got to fish often and use bingo lures while you are young, because one day when you are old you will have to fish like me with nasty old shrimp. Well Betty “rest your soul” cause I am old and I can still toss a topwater.

We all meet special people, and Doug, even though most of your readers have never met you , we all are literally in the boat with you, when you fish. Do keep doing what you do. I used to look foreword to the daily newspaper but computers have replaced em’, but your late night or early morning tales take the paper’s place.

Thanks, Mac

PS- I, myself, never pay attention to tides-I thought Tide was a soap!!!!!!!!!!!

It is good to hear from you, when I have not heard from you for a while I notice.  So much to comment on.  First the loss of the “old ones.”  I can only imagine how the real old salts filed it all away in their mind without the use of a tide chart from years of experience.  Truly reading the water.  To bad so much knowledge has not been recorded for posterity.  We may have all the stuff but they were the real foundation of our sport, it really is a loss for all of us when their stories are lost.  And I am so with you on the deer hunting.  Now don’t get me wrong I love me some venison, but that opening week is my favorite to be on the water.

As far as answering questions I try to do it the best I can.  When you have a witness on the stand and are cross examining them you learn real quick about answering questions.  Making stuff up is as bad as lying, maybe worse as you look like an idiot.  So I try to answer the best I can with what little I know.  There are times I feel like I am on the “stand’ when I write something.  Not sure I like being on the other side of the equation. Last, you know me, fall and redfish go together like the 60’s and tube tops.  My favorite time of the year.  And your kind words humble me.  It keeps me writing when I really want to watch football and drink a cold one, though I have been know to do both on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  So here is to you tossing that topwater many more falls.  It keeps us alive.

*********************

And Ed had a question related to the post.  Lets see if we can answer it.

That’s some interesting stuff. Makes sense to be where the water is moving.
I use the site called tides4fishing and use the high and lows as my point of reference.
I just never figured that the times were so spread out. I like to fish the areas of mule slough, boggy bayou , coast guard, bayocous and bar-room . So an example for myself is if low tide is at 10am (that’s for the jetties?) then I should be setup at coast guard by 6? Or 2pm. Did that make any sense?

Ed

Good question.  Lets think about it this way.  First remember that you can use the POC times, which is the little jetties, or the surfer site for Pass Cavallo, both which are relevant to where you fish.  I don’t think there is a time for the big jetties.  If you use the example from the 4th the high at Pass Cavallo was around 8:25, so if you think about it your are literally almost there when you set up on the old coast guard station!  So if the low is at 10:00 at the pass, you really should only have to look at a tide graph looking for the big change in water flow to be there at the right tide, depending on which tide you want to fish.  It is why when I looked at a map to get it in my head where the tide monitoring stations are related to the rest of the bay, did it finally start to make a little more sense.   So based on where you like to fish, looking at both the Pass Cavallo times and the POC times you should be able to figure it out close at most of the places you fish.  If you are like me it might take a while, but keeping track of what the water is doing where you are fishing,  related to the tide times, will really begin to sink it in.  Let’s hope!  Thanks.

********************

Trying to figure this all out is giving me a headache, but it is a good one.  There are so many factors concerning the tide that have to be taken into account any time you hit the bay.  To tell you how dense I can be we fished a day last fall with one big tide.  Our first stop was around Pringle and the tide was running out perfect, then it started to slack.  Our third stop was way down the island past the first chain.  We set up on a drain and the water was again running out just perfect.  In my ignorance I am thinking what is up with the second tide?  From what I now know it was one of 2 things.  First, the falling tide was that far behind POC and we made the perfect move taking advantage of the long run.  Or the other option, there were a couple of periods of good running water, and when it slacked at Pringle it was just a pause and had not gotten to low tide yet.  Both of these posssibilities would have been answered with just a review of tidal flow and times before we went that day.  The old saying is so applicable to the tides  –  “Poor planning equals poor performance.”  Or in my case every once in while you just get lucky.

*******************

And further thinking about tides, it is no wonder I have always liked Big Bayou.  There is a 12 – 15″ deep hole that has been scoured out by water draining from the flats adjacent to Big Bayou.  Big Bayou should probably be called Big Bayou Pass.  It funnels water from the vast flats that surround it, and it has hollowed out one of the deeper channels in our local bays.  That deep water offers protection and comfort for the fish, plus the heavy flow that rings the dinner bell.   If you think about it, it empties directly into open water and out Pass Cavallo it goes.

*********************

There is so much to digest and when readers participate we all benefit.  I will sit down and try to rewrite the original article using this information and comments.  And all of this really has me thinking about planning moves based on getting where I want, which in my case is falling tide.  Getting there a couple of times most days would be a thing of beauty. Be it flounder on a steep grassy shoreline, trout in the middle of a drain, or reds scouring the edges as water falls out of the grass, falling tides are my favorite.  I am going to try to pay a lot more attention to the tide and flow projections, and then do a little more planning on projected moves.  Who knows, it just might pay off.

*******************

Hope you have all learned something with these to tide posts, I know I have.  If any of you have anything to add, either technical or your on the water experiences, please chime in.  We are far from done with this subject.  Tomorrow I will be on the water somewhere.  I am about to check the weather, tides, flows, Ouija board, and my granddaughter Baby Wren to decide where and how.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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A Gulf Report + Other Stuff 10/8/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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There was one thing I knew for sure about today, if I did not do something responsible this morning that would be it, I would never get out of this recliner.  So I emptied the skiff and power washed it inside and out along with everything in it.  Amazing what you might find in the bilge.  Glad I did it, now I will probably fish out of it some this week.  But the reason I wanted to do something early is college football.  As I write this the Red River Showdown is on.  As a Hog fan it is hard to root for either one of them though I am leaning to Texas.  I like what Charlie Strong has done with character issues.  Then next it is A&M v. Tennessee, followed by Arkansas v. Alabama.  Our season either starts or ends today.  All roads lead through the Crimson Tide.  So with that lineup it will be a football day.  GO HOGS!!!

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I want to start with this comment I got from Jim this morning, who is down from the big city.

I like it ! We have a little cool front in Seadrift this morning

Thanks for that.  I was beginning to think that those words were never going to be spoken.  Love whipping across the water on a nippy morning, knowing the fish are going to bite!  If you catch any let us know.  Have a good weekend.

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I hadn’t heard from Chad The Mad Trout Fisherman in a while, but looks like he is back at it.  He knows how to share a report.

Kellar bay topwater action today. After not getting to fish last week. I was eager to get my saltwater fix. We lauched about 6:50 am and headed down the shoreline looking for bait. A four man crew and one of our guest hadn’t ever used lures. So we rigged him up with softplastic and gave a few pointers as we eased in the water. The bait looked to be tight to the grass with the tide being way up. After a few dinks and a rat on the topwater i had the beautiful explosion. When a 24″ red comes all the way out of the water to inhale the super spook jr. Man thats what its all about,after getting the bite down on how they wanted it . It was game on! Walk the dog, walk the dog , stop! Boom! After a good thunder storm rolled in it dumped on us. I switched to the hogies minnow in whisky/ chart. Plastic tail. We got off the grass and waded out to shirtpocket deep. And caught trout after trout. Not much size to them. But were able to cull through them and ended up with some that would box.  21″ was the big trout for the day. All in all a good day. The final count on the day was 19 trout 5 reds and 2 flounder. The guy who hasn’t ever caught a fish on lures, caught a texas slam today. So kudos to him. My buddy Todd had the hot stick today. Finding them as he has become quite the fisherman. We did see some flocks of ducks buzzing the marsh this am. Mostly teal a few mottled ducks. Thanks chad

Great report and sounds like a fun day with your crew.  My problem when it is like that I don’t put the topwater down when I should, but I am all about the explosion.  And your results were what I found last trip to Keller, plenty of small trout, but at least your crew figured it out and found some good keepers.  And nothing like a slam on your first real go at it, so congrats to your buddy.  It still makes me happy to box a slam.  I also saw a few ducks the other day off the island.  Nothing works a duck hunter up like the first bunch of teal moving down.  Fall is my favorite time of year, seeing ducks working, nice racks feeding in a field, fish exploding on topwater,  what could be better than that.  Thanks for the report, keep them coming.

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And I got this comment from Bobby after our trip to Coleto on Thursday.

Tell ya what if you want to catch fish go with Doug!!! He has got it going on. I had so much fun today It was just awesome. He can put you on fish . Every time we fish together we always catch fish. So Thank you very much Doug for a great day of fishing. Gonna get the trolling motor battery replaced . And soon we are going to Fayette Thanks for a great day!!!!!
you are the man…..
Bobby

I am not sure I deserve all that, but thanks.  We did have a great time.  I must admit I am spoiled and often forget that results are relative.  So the rest of you need to remember there is nothing better than sharing the boat with a buddy.  Plus, when they put them in the boat you will just be happy to be there sharing a little knowledge.  You are welcome to fish with me anytime Bobby.  Especially when it is out of your boat!

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I have learned several things about gluing my plastics to the jig heads the day before I go.  I try to glue about a dozen, 4 in 3 different colors, half paddle tails and half straight.  Then I let the fish decide.  And if they want a certain one I have plenty of spare bags in the tackle box.  First, I really like how if they do not bite the tail off you can catch a whole lot more fish on each bait.  Not only do they not stretch them out, you are not constantly sliding the plastic up on the jig head.  It is real irritating when there is nothing really wrong with one other than it won’t stay on the head.   I have caught so many trout on one plastic that it ends up shredded, and the fish don’t care.  No way it would have survived without being glued on the head.

Second, you do have to be responsible with your jig heads.  As much as they cost these days you want to take care of them, I easily go through 10 or so in a day.  So when I put a new bait on after the plastic is trashed I put the jig head back in the box, take it home, clean off the old glue, and glue on a new plastic.  It just takes a little effort to keep track of the jig heads.  And last, there is the time savings in messing around with glue on the boat or in the wade box.  The end result of gluing them in advance is it saves time and hassle when wading, and my plastic use has gone way down.  And  as side benefit of doing that is I look at the rest of the stuff over so I am plenty organized the next day.

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I met Colby at Academy a few years ago, and then fishing a few night tourneys on Coleto.  He and his dad are serious sticks in fresh and saltwater.  I have become friends with him on Facebook and found out he is now guiding in the POC area.  His pictures say it all.  So I will steal a few from him every so often, and who knows, maybe he will drop us a report or two.  If you are looking for a guide in this area, he is the man for the job.

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I am posting this today because the Tide post generated some great comments and information.  So much so that another post on the tide is already a long one, so I wanted to keep it separate from this other stuff.  And I wanted to get Chad’s report up as quick as possible.  There are definitely fish to be caught in Keller, they sure figured it out.  The fishing and the weather has me in full fishing mode.  What a great time of year.  Heck I am not sure I can wait until Monday.  So keep stopping in, comment anytime the spirit moves you, and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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Tides 10/7/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Figuring out the tides.

(The information contained below has been compiled from multiple websites and postings.  It might make sense, it took me a while to digest it, but I hope it makes some sense to you.  This is the hardest question I have ever attempted to answer, hope it helps.)

What prompted this post was the following comment and question I got from Steve.

Good Morning Doug
OK Let’s talk tides. The more I think I know really becomes the less I know. So if its high tide at POC near the jetties at 7:00 am what time is high tide at Big Bayou, the Amy Hole or let’s say Keller Bay. Is there any way to guess about the lag times? I have noticed that the tide charts for Seadrift are a much as 10 hours behind POC and only a fraction of the water movement that POC has for the same tide. Somebody once told me that Indianola was 4 hours behind POC! I’ve noticed that fishing Big Bayou seems to be about 2 hours or more behind and the water moves on a falling tide in the opposite direction than I think it should. Falling tide flows into the narrow end. If I were to fish around First Chain Inland how would you attempt to know when high tide would happen, if high tide was 7:00am at POC. The wind and the effects on tides are for another day!
Thanks for any Help
Steve
Waco

Your question can be distilled down to one – How do I figure out when and where to be on the bay?  Once I thought about your question I realized I do not have a freakin’ clue how it all works together.  So after a ton of reading here is the best answer I can give you.  It is not rocket science, though it seems to be, but there is also a certain amount of voodoo involved so lets see if this makes sense.

When looking at your average tide chart there are highs and lows.  Basically tides are controlled by the moon, time of year, and a few other factors that are irrelevant for our use.  What is important, highs and lows have absolutely nothing to do with water movement.  They simply tell us highs and lows at a specific place.  In other words the times depicted are simply applicable to that monitoring station wherever it is.

So timing your bank selection based on hoped for water movement presents a real question that can be broken down into two parts.  Distance from the opening, big jetties in the POC area, and actual water movement times.  So lets look at the basics.  Tide times on our bay system are based on how far a location is from the jetties in our case, in other words where water enters the system.  The further you are from these openings the later the incoming and the earlier the outgoing.  Last to move in and first to start moving out.  So remember times have to be adjusted the closer you get to the opening, in our case the big jetties.

So lets look at a couple of examples.  Seadrift is a perfect example, it is a long way from the jetties so the tide is way later on the way in, and the water flow is not near as strong as it would be say at the Old Coast Guard Station.   To check I went to a site (see below) that is used by surfers for the 4th of October.  The high tide was projected at Pass Cavallo on the 4th at 8:27 pm.  Then I went to the Texas Tide Table website and checked POC and guess what?  High tide did not get there until 1:21 am on the 5th!  5 hours later.  That surprised the crap out of me.  So if you think about what your buddy told you it actually seems about right that the high in Indianola would be around 4 hours later than POC.

Try visualizing the bay system as the vessels that carry our blood in the human body.  You have the little skinny vessels (drains) way out  ending on your fingertips and toes that carry stuff in and out.  (the very end of the back bays and marsh as far away from the jetties as possible.)  As the vessels (drains, cuts, channels) merge they get bigger as they carry more water faster and faster.  As the small vessel (small drains and cuts) drain into the bigger vessels (channels like Big Bayou, Mitchell’s Cut, and a few others you might know) more water leaves the bay quicker.  They then join the big vessels leading to and from the heart, (the main flow leading in and out of the jetties) and then out the pass.  If you think about it that is why the tide may just be moving out slowly in the back lakes or marsh and later hauling booty near the jetties.

Sorry that is such a weird example but it leads to the answer to your questions as to when to be where.  The good thing there is a fairly simple answer.  (I hope)  It requires time on the water, and maybe a little record keeping, but there is a basic answer.  The basic answer is this – Once you learn the difference in the times from point to point, that ratio basically never changes.  As I fish I will now be watching several places now to be sure that is correct, but much of the stuff I read say this is the case.  We are not talking about crazy events or outside influences, we are simply talking about basic times.  If there is a 5 hour difference between Pass Cavallo and POC, and 4 hour difference between POC and Indianola, or a 10 hour difference to Seadrift, we can start to think about where and when the highs and lows, and water movement times, will be at a specific area.

If you have a map of the bay you can kind of start visualizing timing the water, it helps.  Start at POC and look all the way to Seadrift, if that is a 10 hour difference you can back track to POC and start making a somewhat educated guess as to where the water will be moving at specific place during that tidal period.  You can at least make a projection that can start as a baseline for learning where the water is moving and when related to the monitoring site.  Make sense?  So something so complicated can be reduced to simple deduction, and once we have ascertained the basic difference from any point in the bay to the monitoring station you use, we can start to really project just where we might want to be.  So once we start really paying attention, something I did not do in the past but will do now, we should be able to make a close projection as to whether we go here or there.

So while you digest that lets talk about the real important information not disclosed in some tide tables.  When you look at the Texas Tide Tables it is simply a numeric representation, high and low.  That tells us nothing about water movement, which is where the money is.  For me the best way to read that is on the graphs some sites use to represent water movement during the tidal period.  If you look at that representation it is usually a line that moves between the high and low tides.  The higher the variation in the line the bigger the tide.  So as you look at that line you are looking for a time with a variation in the line or sharper break up or down.  That is a good indication of the best time during the tide when and the water is moving the most.  That is opposed to a nice even line going up and down, with no sharp breaks, which is my nemesis, a flat tide.  A sharp drop or rise on the line between high and low is the best indicator of when the water is moving and the fish might be biting.  Here is where it seems to get a little more complicated.

Lets consider this example using the POC time.  If it looks like the water is going to haul ass at 9:30 about a third of the way through a tide, shown by a sharp up or down turn in the graph line.  That is when the water is moving and we need to be at our spot.  So a little simple math is in order to again make nothing more than a projection as to when you need to be where the best water movement is during the tide you are fishing.  So you still look at how far you are from POC when fishing, if you are using POC monitoring site times, to try to be somewhere on the best water movement.  So high tide and low tide are only the starting point.   Moving water is the ticket and we want to be there when it does.  So while the water may move at POC at 10am, it may not move until 8pm in Seadrift, or 2pm at Indianola.  So in my simple explanation of a really complicated subject is if you are halfway to Seadrift from POC you may want to be in that area at 3pm.  Experience at several places over time related to times will begin to add up, giving you the beginning of a baseline of when and where you want to be.

It is easy to tell when the tide is moving by simple signs like the way the grass is moving, or maybe the direction of mud from your wading. That is just a  simple way to guess whether the water is going in or out.  So in the perfect world we know we should either head towards the POC, the place we are using for tide times, or away from it.

And from my reading wind really does not play a real factor in high and low tides unless it is blowing a gale, the times are what they are.  The wind plays a more important role in locating fish during periods of slack tide.  If there is no water movement then the wind blowing on a bank can make all the difference.  So while the wind is rarely a real factor in tide times in our case, in the Baffin area which has no opening close, it can definitely be a major factor into your fishing day.  So if it is flat where you are look to the wind to provide the current, or make you guess and move.  Back to the basic rule on the bay, fish are more active with current no matter how it is generated.

To simplify this whole mess.  Be wherever the water is moving – end of story.  It will take some time to determine the where and when based on the tide monitoring station you use.  But once you figure out the basics time difference you can learn to be somewhere almost any day with a realistic expectation that the water will be moving there based on what time it is.

Wow!  As I re-read and edit this it seems so simple, or maybe I am just plain reading the information wrong.  But like all factors in fishing there are exceptions, differences, and gremlins.  But hopefully this helps you start to think about tides in an organized manner, which can put more fish on the stringer.  I know that this is highly simplified, but for most of us we are not interested in needing a fancy calculator to go fishing.  The most important thing is, if you can go fishing, go.  Most of us never have enough time on the water and we are stuck with whatever the tides and weather are.  But there is a way to increase the odds to our favor.   So only time will tell if this is the way to go, I know I am going to keep testing it out.

Thanks for your question.  Just reading all the stuff I did gave me a whole lot more knowledge on how I might maximize my fishing day.  Occasionally I make a big move and it works out perfect, other times not so much.  It is clear to me my moves were often willy-nilly with no real thought and I deserved the results.  No wonder, I was probably going the wrong way!

Now for the rest of you.  Does this make sense or is it full of crap?  Have anything to add to this?  Your feedback can lead me to other resources and opinions that will help expand this post.  After a while I will move this to the How-To page and update it with any new information that comes up.  I am no expert, nor do I claim this is the be all end all answer to using the tide to your benefit.  I would love to hear what any of you have to say, I want this to be the right answer that anyone can use.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

Resources:  There is a wealth of information on these sites.

http://www.saltwatertides.com/dynamic.dir/texassites.html

This site has lots of water flow info and other cool stuff.

http://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Port-Oconner/tides/latest

The one used by surfers it has ocean tide times for Pass Cavallo and other outside places.

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/stationhome.html?id=8773701

http://www.tides4fishing.com/us/texas

The tide site I used most of the time.

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Coleto Creek 10/6/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Tomorrow’s fishing will be with Bobby on Coleto.  I guess my primary concern is how much the lake has dropped.  If you follow this I have been pitching to shallow cover up lake for a couple of months and doing so-so.  So with that in mind, from now on when lake fishing there will be a lake level.  I have no idea of the specifics of where we are related to “normal” on Coleto but I know it has come down some.  From now on when fishing the lake there will be a current level and the level last time I was there.  That will give it some context.  The weather does not look real promising, but if we can avoid the lightening it should be ok.

Weather

88/69  Scattered thunderstorm increasing during day.  80% chance of rain  Wind ESE 10 – 15.

Current Lake Level     96.28 msl (0.01)

Solunar Times

  • Best Times   3:01A – 5:01A
  •                        3:24P – 5:24P
  • Good Time   9:13A – 11:13A  (Yep)

I turned on the weather map when I got up at 5:15 and there was the beginning of small storms coming in off the Gulf.  It looked like we would be ok for a while, and we were until we were on the way home.  As far as the water level at the lake, it is still slowly coming down.  The water temp was still 86 – 90 degrees, and as it has been, with the water clear down lake and cloudy up.

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Bobby broke his run of bad luck on Coleto today.

Bobby has been having a little trouble getting on the fish so I was hoping we could catch a few and let him get the hang of it.  So we headed up lake and started tossing stick worms around shallow cover.  On the first bank we caught 6 or 7, and it stayed that way until we quit when the trolling motor battery crapped out.

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                      It did not take him long to get with the program.

As I have been doing for a couple of months, we were pitching the plastic to shallow cover/wood and they were eating.  One big difference today was he was throwing his weightless on 12lb line, a 1/4 weight and 20lb for me.  Both of us were throwing 5″ stick worms, his a Lake Fork Tackle, mine the Big Bite.  He had me down pretty good and I was wondering if it was the bait or the front end of the boat. More on that in a minute.  But no matter what it had to be tossed tight to cover and most bites came immediately.  In fact, right as we started he was almost over a tree in 6 foot of water, flipped his bait and caught one almost under the trolling motor.

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 Trust me, that second fish is going to have a pain in the ass for a while.

We kept with the stick bait until we fished most of our second bank, which was really shallow since the lake has come down.  So after boating probably 12 – 14 we got to a place where I caught a couple on swim jig the other day, and we had a new bite.  He is a big swim jig fan like I am so we both were all about it.  He was throwing a white/white Rage Craw and I was throwing the bluegill/ watermelon Rage Craw, and he got me down about 4 or 5 to zip.  When we moved to the next bank he wanted to sit a minute, so I hoped up front and started catching them.  It was real clear the front end was the place to be today.  With the water receding there are only so many perfect places to pitch.  And the ones that were up ate the fist swim jig they saw, no matter the color.

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              Bobby caught a nice 5 fish limit.  Some real solid fish.

The last place we fished was where we started.  I caught a couple on swim jig and lost a big fish.  We were reeling at a moderate speed today and then I had one eat when I jerked it.  Then a couple of casts later I was letting it fall beside the boat, one thumped it, I got a good hood set, but he pulled off right beside the boat.  We did not see him, but the size of the scale on the barb of my swim jig was a big one.  So that was my shot today.  So since they were hitting the jig in front Bobby picked up the stick bait and boated one more before we called it a morning as the trolling motor battery called it a day.  Sorry Bobby, break out another hundred.  It actually worked out because on the way home it rained like crazy for a little bit so we were done anyway.

We learned several things today.  First they are definitely interested in the swim jig.  Both white or natural, it just seemed to be who was in the front of the boat.  But with the water so shallow where we caught them it only makes sense.  The good thing was they were eating it,  a sign of things to come.  Another thing that really has me anticipating the fall fishing, there were bass chasing minnows or fry of some sort.  Coleto is a great winter topwater minnow lake, and things are looking good for some of that this year.   One thing that surprised me was there was a white bass dying on the surface way up lake.  You can tell because they turn black, which you usually see in the spring after the spawn.  Not sure what is up with that, but may do a quick troll in that area next time out, it is where we caught them this spring.  Last, when the fish are in the beginning of a major transition, which the Coleto fish are after a really long hot summer, it is always nice to have 2 people fishing.  Today fishing the stick worm weightless was better and the front of the boat was better for the swim jig, and it looked like color was irrelevant.  Hard to learn that much  by yourself.

So for a half day it was good.  We boated around 20, and it helped his confidence.  We all get in the occasional rut, his had just lasted a while.  But all it takes is boating a few fish to give a guy confidence, and if we had been keeping fish his 5 fish limit was tourney worthy.  Plus we had a good time BS’ing about fishing.  He first got on the swim jig with me 2 years ago and we whacked them pretty good.  Now that he learned a little about pitching he has something a little new in his arsenal.  It was my pleasure to spend the morning fishing with him and share a little knowledge.  Next thing is getting him up to Fayette.  He is a hard core bass guy and one trip there and he will be hooked.

A great week so far, no real big fish lake or bay, but the numbers have been great.  The catching has been consistent, and is an indicator of things to come.  What is next?  Not a clue but it might involve fishing with my buddy Jeffish and his sone Korbin, the 2020 Bassmaster Champ.  Other than that I will be back in the water soon.  Trout and reds eating a topwater is a thing of beauty, and there are several places I want to get to I haven’t.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines 

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Port O’connor 10/5/16.

FISH CATCHING TRAVEL

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Looking at the numbers for tomorrow it has potential.   Hopefully when I get there at daylight the water will be running hard.  I have not seen a low tide in the last few trips so tomorrow I will fish until dead low.  And as a side note, Monday the fish bit pretty hard on topwater in the wind, so if my first place or two does not pan out I may give the wind a try again.  The basic plan is to fish the island tomorrow.  With Monday’s results  I am really anticipating a good day on Wednesday.

Weather

91/71  Partly cloudy becoming cloudy in afternoon.  20% chance of rain.  Wind SE 10 – 15 (No wind to speak of.)

Tides

High   1:21 AM     1.3
Low   2:50 PM     0.7

Solunar Times

  • Best Times      1:20A – 3:20A
  •                           1:43P – 3:43P
  • Good Time      7:32A – 9:32A  (Oh yeah.)

Bite After Bite!

It was flat calm when I dropped the boat in water at Froggie’s before daylight.  There were a few trucks in the parking lot and no one off loading.  As I headed down the barge canal the water was not moving, it was slick as glass.  Today it was straight to the area on Pringle shoreline I like to fish.  And I will admit to opening it up a little and flying across the dead slick bay.  It was beautiful out there and I was having one of those “You are a lucky SOB and it is great to be alive”.

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It was like glass.

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Bite number 1 – 6 steps from the boat.

I want to get the picture thing out of the way.  These are just a small part of what I caught today.  Some days it is just your day, today everything was absolutely perfect.  2 or 3 jumped on the topwater right away as I worked my way to the drain.  And low and behold the water started moving out, and there were rafts of mullet getting worked over.  Sometimes it is as good to be lucky, and my timing was perfect.  I tossed the topwater a few times over the deeper part of the drain without success.

Switching to plastics, I would toss it across, let it hit bottom and then hop it, letting it drift with the tide down the center of the channel, and it would be a bite, and a bite, and more bites.  There is no way to guess how many I caught without moving a single step.

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                  Keepers, small ones, and a bunch in between.

As the tide began to really flow the water really started clearing.  I saw lots of small reds, plus a couple of hooters, along with sheepsheads swim by me.  The Cocoons let me see a couple of trout roll over as they ate something.  It was clear.  I stood in that one spot and whacked them.  After a while for something different I threw the twitch bait and caught 4 or 5 on it, still in the same spot.  The only thing that did not cooperate was a flounder.  We probably need the next moon and just a little cooler water to get that going. Finally I left them biting right along, it was time for a little topwater.  As I keep saying, the Wade Right belt lets me carry all the crap I need, and again not having to go back to the boat made a big difference.

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                                        Probably a dozen this size.

I keep giving the Chug Bug a chance, and though I caught a couple small ones it was back to the Bagley Knocker B.  Not sure why they went nuts for the Chug Bug a couple of weeks ago, but they are not having it now.  From probably 10 until they quit at 1 it was a steady, not spectacular, bite.  Both trout and reds were scattered on the flat and were willing to have a go at the topwater.  And you have to give redfish credit, when they really want it they want it.  One of these exploded on it in one of those bites that keeps me throwing it.

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I just can’t put that topwater down.  If they keep hitting it I keep throwing it.

Everywhere you looked you could see water moving, bait jumping, everything was active.  They kept after the topwater, and while I know I could have put more on the end of the line with plastics, I just love having them blowing up on it.

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           The shore line was loaded with some really small reds.

The reason I showed you the little guy was that bank had lots of them on it.  I caught 5 or 6 and missed that many rats.  I could see them with the Cocoons, and when I would see one roll over I would toss the plastic and get a bite.  It was quite the school of what must have been first year rats.

So I moved out to about thigh deep water and would fan cast the area, then move 10 steps and do it again.  The water was dropping and clearing to flat gin clear.  On this particular bank I catch them in the potholes when the water drops, but today they were not related to anything particular.  Some were shallow and some were out in about 3′ of water.  They did want the topwater fairly quickly in a walk the dog retrieve.  Finally about 1 the water quit moving, the bait disappeared, the fish quit, and so did I.

All in all it was a great day of fishing.  If I had just stayed in the drain throwing plastics until the water quit moving it would have been really ugly.  It was one of those days when there is no counting, they just kept coming.  And though I did not stick the big one today, it more than made up for it in the sheer number of bites.  I have not had that many bites in a morning since last spring some time.   And the redfish are getting ready to go nuts.  Some cool nights and it will be on.  And it was good to see the number of small rats, it takes small ones to make big ones.

Again, like Monday, they bit the towater until at least noon.  Today it was a slight ripple and gin clear water, Monday it was blowing, rough, and had some color to it.  My only comment on that, they are biting.  End of story.   If you can get a falling tide in the morning there are plenty of fish to be caught.  So I will be back out there soon, and I do mean soon.  The only thing that did not happen was since they kept biting I never did get back in the boat, or move and try another spot.  But you know the old saying, “Don’t leave fish to find fish.”  So next trip I will try a different place, and I can think of several places that might be loaded.

**********************

When I posted that you all should send me some deer, I know you guys are out there, Austin Aaron came through.  I actually figured I might hear from him as I knew he was a committed hunter.

Hey Doug,

I’ve been following the blog but haven’t had much to report lately.  Looks like you had a great day on Monday.  I spent some time on Mustang Island with the family last month and fished the Wilson’s Cut area for the first time.  With no knowledge of the area I didn’t expect much action but actually had a great morning with three nice reds (including one at 32”) and plenty of small trout.  A bull red can really pull the kayak a long way!  It was fun to fish some new territory.

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I can smell the backstraps sizzling in the pan!

I’ve been anxious for bow season to roll around and opening morning didn’t disappoint as I connected with a nice buck I’ve been watching just west of Austin on a small low fence property that’s adjacent to some neighborhoods.  Glad he piled up after 40 yards because the grass is high and full of chiggers!  Gross 138 for those that like scores.

I hope to get down to POC later this week if work permits and will let you know how it goes.

Aaron

Nice buck!  And taking him with a bow only makes it all that much sweeter.  And it is always fun to fish new places, doing that over the years has been an adventure.  I will always look back on my first trip to the Everglades/Ten Thousand Islands.  I towed all the way there, knew no one and nothing, and it was an adventure.  Fishing new places always makes us  better fisherman, and helps keep us out of a rut.  Good to hear from you and will be looking forward to a report if you get down this way.  The fishing is really improving so good luck.  And the rest of you – whether you catch it, shoot it, spear it, we want to see your pictures.

*******************

Killer Deer

And speaking of deer, I read an interesting Washington Post article the other day.  I did not know they kill more Americans than any other animal.  Deer are involved in 1 million accidents that kill 200 people, the average repair claim is $4000.  In Texas we have a 1 in 288 chance of hitting a deer.  So time to thin the herd, when you were hunting you didn’t realize you are actually saving lives.  So whack em’ and sack em’.  Nothing like a little backstrap.  Yummmm.

*******************

I got one of the most interesting question concerning tides from Steve in Waco.  I was going to answer him from my experience in general terms and then I got to reading online, both articles and fisherman comments, and realized there is lots to digest.  Before I was done yesterday I had over 9 pages of notes, with a little more reading to do.  It kind of reminded me of researching the law, I want to give the best answer I can.  Reading what I have so far, I really am learning something.  And I also found a couple of sites that can help make an intelligent choice on where and when to fish.  So Steve, I am not ignoring you, in fact it is just the opposite.  In the next few days I will distill all the information I researched on tides into something we can all learn from.  So thanks for your question, the answer is on the way.  The topic will require it’s own post.

********************

So what a day.  Both days this week on the bay have been good.  It sure makes it worth it to get up early and be in the water at daylight.  And it has been nice to not have to move.  Fish a good bank with cover, grass, a drain, some bait and the  fish are there.  It makes me excited just thinking about the next couple of months.  Big fish time is coming and it will be back to trying to break 30″.  Tomorrow it is off to Coleto with my buddy Bobby.  As good as it has been going maybe a big one is in my future.  Nice to have someone take me occasionally.  Fall fishing is on and I intend to keep after it.  So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.

Good Luck and Tight Lines

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