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8/26/02 Late Summer Night Fishing

The setting sun shimmers against the ripples gently rolling across the surface of the water.  Another Texas summer evening is coming to a close.  Deeper beneath the surface the orange ball recedes.  The winds have calmed and every ear on or near the water begins to hear a hum -- more like a buzz.  A quick sacrifice is made to the insect repellent and the night has begun.  Later summer night fishing in Texas is by far the best fishing the state has to offer in my opinion.  It doesn't matter if you are after bass, crappie, catfish, speckled trout or flounder.  All of these species are fun fishing in the night.

Growing up, I spent the majority of my summers on the Texas coast.  We fished for trout under the lights in the bay and gigged for flounder in the passes.  This was a ritual we followed almost nightly.  Fishing under the lights was always one of those things that kept the excitement flowing.  The sounds of trout popping the surface, little shad bounding from the water in a perfect circle attempting to flee from the ravaging predators.  These trout were hungry and aggressive.  Sometimes we fished tout tails under a popping cork, other times we would swim the double lined baits through the swarms of baitfish.  Of course, if there was any suspicion that a monster trophy trout was in the mess, the faithful mirro-lure was a sure bet to bring a big speck to the shore.  Those were the simple times.  The toughest decision we had to make before the sun set was what we wanted to fish for -- trout or flounder.  Walking the pass is an entirely different adventure.  Anyone who has done it has probably experienced all of the wonders of the sea.  We would see squid, shrimp, crabs, mullet, minnows, hermit crabs, sting rays, piggy perch, and of course plenty of  FLOUNDER.  No matter how often we went, the abundance of wildlife beneath the surface has always amazed me.  It is amazing what comes up in the shallows at night.  As we crept along with lantern in hand, slowly stalking through the shallow water, all the creatures seemed to move around as if we were not even there.  Coming across that first flounder always sealed the deal and made it easy to stay all night long.

In the summer, most of the fish in Texas tend to be more active at night -- at least for longer periods of time.  If you have never been flounder gigging, try it.  If you have not had the opportunity to catch trout under the lights, do it.  These are some of my favorite fishing times.  It is just a shame that hunting season has to come in and interrupt the best fishing of the year.  Now my toughest decision is to hunt or fish.  Sometimes I get lucky and can do a little of both in a weekend.  Next week I will write about later summer catfishing and bass fishing at night.  I love doing these things also -- heck, I love them all.

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