Despite Blistering Heat, Still A Lot of Good Fishing This Month
The month of August can signal the end of a traditional summer, even though the actual end will be several weeks into September. Anglers will be trying to fit in as much fishing as possible before activities swing towards school starting back and football season returning. Let’s look at what should be available during August.
Extremely salty waters will be moving up into Mobile Bay during the month of August, pushing saltwater species higher than normal. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel will leave many inshore anglers with cut lines and broken hearts. These toothy critters will be hanging around structure in the lower bay. Target gas rigs, wooden range beacons and even floating can buoys.
Chrome colored plugs, like Rat-L-Traps or silver spoons will tempt both bluefish and Spanish mackerel. If blues are your preference, you should try plugs or grubs in hot pink. Be sure to use wire leaders to combat the razor sharp teeth of Spanish mackerel and blues.
Another species moving up into Mobile Bay will be tripletail. The tripletails, aka blackish, will be found around shade. This could be in the form of channel markers, range beacons, crab trap floats or any miscellaneous floating debris that can put off shade. Be on the lookout for large logs or grass lines floating down the bay. Several tripletails will often use the same spot as a temporary home.
Toss a live shrimp by the shade and wait for the ‘trips’ to come out. Use a trolling motor to ease up on the fish to avoid spooking them. If they do bolt from the scene, simply wait a bit for them to come back.
Speckled trout and white trout will be starting the late summer migration northward in Mobile Bay this month. Structures like Middle Bay Light, wooden range markers and Gaillard Island will all be good places to find both species of fish.
Anglers may fish for red snapper in state or federal waters every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day, which comes on Sept. 4 this year. Also during late summer, offshore anglers will be doing quite a lot of trolling. Both king mackerel and Spanish mackerel will still be viable targets for those wishing to take home some fish. Trolling for both these species with Sea Witches, baited with cigar minnows will produce. Concentrate around rigs and anchored shrimp boats early mornings.
Capt. Chris Dalton of the charter boat Afta-U-2 says he will also adjust his fishing targets in August.
“We will start targeting cobia close, as well as Spanish and kings. We also will troll weed lines in search of dolphin and wahoo,” Dalton said. “I start running deep drop trips later in the month where we target beeliners, yellowedge grouper, black grouper and scamp in 300 feet of water. When we move out deeper (500 to 1,200 feet deep) we start focusing on tilefish and barrelfish. For bait I use cut bonito, pogies or fresh squid on 3- or 5-hook rigs.”
“Tournament season starts to wind down in August, but one of my favorite tournaments to participate in is the Mobile Big Game Ladies event. The focus is on the lady anglers and it is a joy to watch these women ‘duke it out’ for prizes and glory,” Captain Dalton added.
The freshwater anglers answer to the intense heat can be conquered several ways. Catfish lovers can turn to the night for cooler temperatures and agreeable catfish. By using noodles or jugs baited with a variety of baits, catfish lovers can operate during the night on the Lower Mobile-Tensaw Delta to connect with catfish.
Nowadays, the use of foam noodles is the most popular way to catch cats at night. Using the noodles that kids swim with in the pool, cut down to 2-foot lengths, you have a very easy to see float that you can label with your name. Putting out these floats, baited with cut baits, such as eel, skipjack, menhaden or even cut mullet, can payoff with nice catches of the tasty catfish. Some of the best places to try include McReynolds Lake, Mifflin Lake and the creeks in the adjacent areas.
Bream will be available in Lower Delta creeks. You will have to fish deeper to find the bream. Using a slip-cork rig can aid in this pursuit. Fishing on the bottom of the creeks with live worms can produce bream during the hot temperatures this month. Concentrate on deep bends in the creeks. Any visible structure in the creeks could hold bream, so don’t pass up any structure you encounter.
Bass will also turn to a nocturnal bite when temperatures soar. Tossing a topwater plug along grass beds will sometimes produce strikes in August. Some of the most successful topwater lures are a Devil’s Horse, Pop-R and Zara Spook. Moving these lures along the bank or grass edges will produce some very violent strikes. Since it will be dark, it is best to use no-stretch braided line to stay in complete contact with your lure.
Blistering heat can make it difficult to fish this month, but if “there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you decide to make a night trip…be careful and bring home some fish!
See you on the water!
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