Bay County Outdoors Inshore Fishing Report
Event Start Date: 2018/09/01
Flats fishing has been very good in many parts of the bay especially where the water is starting to clear up. Although it still has that tannic color to it the water clarity itself has improved tremendously making some sight fishing possible. If you plan on sight fishing you definitely want to try do it on an incoming tide when you have clean gulf water pushing into the bay. Once the water starts to drop and the dirty water from up the bay near the intercostals start flushing out water clarity will get suffer.
The speckled trout bite has been really good around points that get a good amount of tidal flow and where the bottom has some undulation. The bigger fish like to hang out in the slightly deeper spots in between sandbars or grass beds and ambush shrimp, mullet, and other baitfish like pilchards or glass minnows as they get swept around the point with the current. If you pull up very quietly on the boat, or on foot, often times you can see several large trout laid up together or in very close proximity to each other. I like to target them with shrimp patterns or weedless rigged swimbaits. Natural presentations are key to consistently getting the bigger fish to eat. When I get just within range I put down my Minn Kota Talons and make presentations up current allowing the lure to drift naturally through the area the fish are at. If you do it right and use the right lure they should eat because thats why they are there in the first place.
The redfish bite continues to be really good for me. I have been targeting them a few different ways with a combination of live and artificial baits. When targeting schools in deeper sand I have been stopping the boat and live chumming with pilchards or menhaden to bring the school to me. Once you get the school to you and feeding it doesn't really matter what you use to catch them but you will catch more on the live bait than you will anything else. Not to say you wont catch bunch on lures because you can but the live bait is a sure thing. When targeting fish in the shallows along shorelines or on skinny grass flats I prefer to use the trolling to cover water and look for spots where fish should be at. Some examples would be areas of flooded marsh grass, points on the outside of a small ditch or creek, sandbars, potholes, areas or broken bottom, and any other transition points. I generally use top waters or soft plastics on a light lead when fishing these types of areas.
If you are just looking for action there is a pile of bait out in the middle of the bay and any one of those bait balls could have a ton of hungry fish on it. It pays to stop and throw a few different lures into the school a few time and see what happens. I would start with small shiny spoons or plugs worked very fast for the more aggressive fish and probably also toss a bigger jig through to see if any bigger fish like bull reds or tarpon were hanging out underneath them.
Good Luck and as always if you have additional questions about what's biting, how to catch them, or you would like to book a trip I encourage you to give me a call or shoot me an email.
Capt. Nathan Chennaux