Trout Fishing the Lower Laguna Madre

Nothing gets an angler more excited than a big old gator trout blowing up on a top water. If it doesnít then you shouldnít be out there in the first place. However, I have fished many people in my time that while teaching them to fish a top water, they would do just that. "BA-WOSH" and they had a fish on of a life time and didnít even know what they had. Seems silly but it often happens to people that least expect it. Why is that? God only knows.

Then you take out some clients that have been fishing for years and know how to fish top waters. They fish their butts off wading and drifting and never see one of those big gators. I mean whatís up with that? I had the same thing happen to me on numerous occasions when Iím fishing along with the novices but they catch all the fish and bigger too. Iím fishing so I can emulate what their supposed to be doing and BAM they catch the fish. Iím really glad when that happens believe me. Now, should I start doing it their way? Wouldnít that make you feel like you were really doing your job as a guide for them to show you how fish? Is this just blind luck on their part or is it divine intervention?

Fact is, fishing is one of those things that is always changing. There really isnít any right or wrong way to present a bait that a fish will not eat if their hungry. So, I could go on and on about the right way to work a top water for instance. Then you can go out there and give it a try and it doesnít work worth a flip. So then Iím going to be the bad guy." Well this is the way Skipper said it should be done".

I will read and listen to others talk about what works for them, and given what I know about the situation, I will usually try that technique if it applies to what and where Iím fishing. Sometimes it works and it might be a better way, or easier way to catch that particular species. So, when I write about what I know on catching gator trout for instance, itís really not that I know that much about it, but just that through trial and error this is what has worked for me.

Over the last twenty-eight years of guiding the lower Laguna Madre area, I have caught my share of big trout and I like to think I know a little bit about it. However, with the T.I.F.T. coming up here shortly, I donít have a clue as to where to find one of those big bad girls. I know where they are supposed to be and what it should take to catch one, but will they be there or will they be somewhere else? Will they take my offering or deny it? Will I work the offering correctly to instigate a strike? Well, God only knows and when it comes down to it, only He can make it happen.

With Hurricane Emily coming through near here a while back, the fishing patterns changed dramatically. Red fish were all over the place and it wasnít hard to catch a limit on most any given day. Trout were plentiful as well. Since the storm all the fish have moved and it has been hard to find them. They are not where they are supposed to be. Some trout are coming back to the edge of the ICW and the reds are starting to show up in the area east of Three Islands. Can you imagine seven hundred entrants all fishing about a square mile area trying to catch a red fish for the tourney? I think Iíll go somewhere else and hope God will see fit to bless me with that gator trout from heaven. One so big, that I wonít even have to lie about how big it was.

So with all that said the best advice I can give on fishing for those elusive "gator trout" is get out there and put a bait in the water and see what happens. If you find a bunch of them in any one area though, let me know. I would appreciate the help. Then I can try what I know and see if it works or not, Then I can write more on the subject.

Good fishing and keep them lines tight.

Skipper Ray is a freelance writer and fishing guide in South Padre Island, Texas
where he owns and operate Island Outfitters. Call: 956-943-2798 or Email

Fishing Articles by Skipper Ray

Blind Casting the Flats
Catching and Handling Numbers of Trout
Fishing Guides Perspective
Effective Blind Casting on the Fly
Line Management Techniques
Lures of Choice for the Fall Season
More Tec Tips - King Mackerel
New Trout Techniques
Ready at the Rod
Spring is in the Air
Tarpon Techniques
Tech Tips - "Donít Give Up"
Tech Tips - Itís a Drag
The Ladies Have More Fun
The Chosen One
The "Ibis" Built by Newwater Boatworks
The Old Gold Spoon
Time to Fish Free
It's Red Fishing Time in South Padre
Trout Fishing the Lower Laguna Madre
Trout on Topwater Flies
Wading the Lower Laguna Madre

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