Birds, Trailers, Or Big Trout?

November and early December have a lot of options for speckled trout and redfish. Baitfish and shrimp should be getting pushed out of your bay system right now as passing cold fronts push tide levels lower. The fall’s bulging bull tides are now being pulled out of the marsh and with it all the shrimp and juvenile baitfish get drawn out of mangroves, marsh, and shallow grass flats.

This condition will pull a lot of the redfish out of the back marsh ponds and onto the main bay shorelines. It pulls so much bait into the bay that the schools of trout begin pushing the pods of shrimp to the surface and the gulls and terns will feed on the shrimp and shad being pushed to the surface. They are not hard to find; Sometimes the hard part is finding game fish, or even legal size trout, under the birds. For this reason I tend to ignore ‘working birds’ out in the main bay. It is very fun though and if you haven’t had done it, or know some kids that don’t get to fish much I highly recommend taking them and fishing the birds.

For larger size fish, it’s a much better option to work the shoreline grass and oysters for trout and redfish and that’s what Capt. Ernest Cisneros will be doing in the Lower Laguna near Port Isabel, South Texas. Capt Cisneros will be hunting redfish tailing throwing spook juniors, Mirrolure she-pups, and Kelly Wiggler ball tail shad in knee to thigh deep grass flats with mud bottoms. The mud bottoms hold the shrimp longer; the shrimp burrow into the soft mud and the reds will find more in those areas. Along with the shrimp, crabs burrow into the mud, as well as marine worms, and other benthic organisms. It’s a very healthy, and important part of the coastal ecosystem (grass / oyster and mud bottom complexes). In the winter the nutrient rich mud also tends to grow more algae as well as remain slightly warmer. This in turn will bring in baitfish such as mullet, and the trout and reds will follow.

The lures that Ernest will be using will be mullet imitation plugs and with the prevalence of juvenile baitfish early in the fall, he’ll be throwing the smaller versions mentioned above. Later into December when many of the juvenile baitfish have left the bay, he’ll begin throwing larger lures such as OneKnockers, SuperSpooks, and She Dawgs. Colors of lures will vary depending on the water conditions and how bright the day is. There is a general color theory rule that we all throw around which is Bright Day – Bright Bait; Dark Day – Dark Bait; Clear Water – Natural Color; Dirty Water – Un-Natural Color. Bones tends to work in a lot of water colors and conditions and it’s a good place to start.

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My Story. Born right on the water in Southern Louisiana, I was fishing with a Snoopy pole while still in diapers. Fished Freshwater until the end of college catching large mouth bass in the 8, 9, and 10lb range. Decided to give the saltwater bays a try and my first attempts I got my 'butt' handed to me even though I was a good bass fisherman with numerous fish over 8lbs. That was 20 years ago. So to say that we understand your saltwater fishing frustration is to say the least. We've been there, and we've figured out what works and what doesn't. I started diving into the knowledge and using my skills from Ecology and testing those hypothesis to find what works and why as it pertained to where the fish actually were, and then also to find them the day of. I was lucky enough to find some great fishing guides along my journey... those that think fishing guides don't have your best interest in mind haven't fished with the guides I know and how quickly they forgot the guides and articles that they learned from. Guides are a valuable collective of people in our fishing community and I feel like finding a couple good ones after use the best learning resources will greatly shorten your learning curve. I know we all want to do it on our own, but there is also something to say for utilizing, and partnering with guys that are on the water everyday, to Maximize your putting that education into practice. With our DVDs you can do it on your own, but you can also learn to do it faster combining the resources of the community. Over the 20 years that I fished saltwater I have fished all Texas Bays and into Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina. Not only that but my understanding of how each estuary and bay system works, and how I can simply teach it to you is also something I've been very fortunate, and blessed to be able to deliver to you. I now mostly help you guys and develop new tools for you. I am forever indebted to my customers for the life and chance I've been given. It's something I don't overlook. I don't fish as much as everyone would like to believe, running and making sure you guys come first takes a lot of time and resources. But I still go when I can and when I do I like to go to different areas and fish new water every chance I get.