The Texas coast took a battering this summer, thanks to Hurricane Harvey, but the folks who live along our state’s shoreline are tougher than a storm, and recovery, reconstruction, and resilience have gotten the place back to what most of us would recognize.
Fishing was one of the first things to get back to normal, since fish are going to go from disturbance to instinct and start feeding again, and in the months since the storm hit, catching fish has been the touchstone of normalcy while the rest of the community’s economies have tried to catch up.
Fall is a great time for a coastal getaway — not only is the fishing good, but the crowds are smaller, thanks to hunting season and a lot of people’s thinking that the beach can only be enjoyed in the summer. Plus, this year, your trip to the coast will help out the economy of an area that’s still in need of relief.
Former Central Texas media personality Tyler Thorsen says if you’re eyeing a coastal fishing trip, you should find enough action to keep you interested at the least, saying redfish are going strong right now at the Padre Island National Seashore – with anglers reporting cut skipjack being a top-producing bait, adding that pompano will be good in the surf soon — and jack crevalle will be body surfing the waves on PINS the next month, too.
“Baffin has been great for reds and trout recently,” Thorsen said, saying a friend of his caught 9 oversized redfish on Corpus Christi’s Bob Hall Pier on Friday.
If you’re up for an offshore trip, blackfin tuna are on the chow, and snook are being caught on the Port Aransas jetties. The Packery jetty has been yielding amazing catches of mangrove snapper, and Laguna Madre has been excellent for flounder and reds on mullet.
High school tourney set for Nov. 19
Is your football team done for the season? If you’ve got a kid who still has the competitive juices flowing, the Central Texas High School Tournament Trail could be the thing you’re looking for.
The third qualifying fishing tournament of the CTHSTT is slated for Nov. 19 at Lake Belton’s Temple Lake Park, and it’s actually open to students from grades 6-12. Teams from around the region are competing to qualify for the championship tourney in January that will coincide with the Tuff-Man championship, and the top finishers will get to ride into the Bell County Expo Center in their boats and be interviewed and awarded on the big stage by ESPN Bassmaster Elite Series pro anglers.
The series is dependent on adult participation, as each team will be accompanied by a boat captain — an adult who operates the boat while the main engine is running and provides support to competitors. Boat captains will share their fishing knowledge with students, instructing and advising about locating fish, lure selection, techniques, retrieving and handling their catch, and other angling-related knowledge and skills.
Marine Outlet of Temple, along with the Tuff-Man Tournament Trail will host the Tuff-Man High School Invitational, where teams will compete for $7,500 in scholarship money. Prizes will be awarded for 1-6 place plus the big bass pot at each tournament, and gift cards will be awarded to 3 boat captains at each stop on the tour.
Entry fee is $40 per team per tournament, and the launch is at safe light, followed by weigh-in at 2 p.m.
For more information, visit cthstt.com.
Lake Buena Vista a great, convenient option
Want to go fishing but not spend a lot of time getting to a good spot? Neighborhood lakes might be your answer.
These waters, usually associated with a parkland, are stocked by Texas Parks & Wildlife with catfish during the warm months and rainbow trout during the winter, and offer quality and reliable action.
Waco’s Lake Buena Vista (2001 Madera Drive) is one of these jewels, and the small size and regular stocking schedule make it a high-value fishery for kids and adults alike. If you’re going to introduce somebody to fishing and want to keep boredom from ruining your plans, set your sights on Buena Vista.
Waco Fly Fishing Club meets Tuesday
If you’re a fly-fishing enthusiast, the Waco Fly Fishing Club’s November meeting at the Waco Wetlands on Tuesday at 6 p.m. will scratch you where you itch.
The program typically features fly-tying and a guest speaker, and this week’s event will include a fly raffle.