Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol 40 - No. 4 FALL 2016 - Page 6

BAFFIN BAY by Lefty Ray Chapa

Next to Nothing ...

There is a club that a lot of people would like to join . There is no membership fee needed to apply and no meetings to attend . There are no secret handshakes to learn and no extensive fishing experience is required . To join , all you have to do is catch a 30 inch , or longer , speckled trout . The best place on the planet to achieve this is a very remote place on the Texas coast called Baffin Bay .

If “ X ” were to mark the spot , it would have to be a pretty big X as Baffin Bay , to put it bluntly , is big , very big . 100 square miles big . This is one of the largest bays anywhere without a nearby open path to the ocean . Fresh sea water from the Gulf of Mexico has to travel almost 50 miles from the Aransas Pass at Port Aransas , TX to get there from the north , and almost 60 miles from the south from the East Cut , which is across from Port Mansfield , TX .
Wade fishing for trophy trout in Baffin Bay is definitely in the top five of any saltwater fisherman ’ s bucket list . Getting there is the booger . Those that launch from Corpus Christi , which is north of there , face an hour plus long boat ride to get here . That is even staying on the Laguna Madre ’ s skinny water flats and running south parallel to the deeper Intercoastal Waterway . The trip back might be longer as the wind speed traditionally picks up in the afternoon as the day goes on which will hamper boat speed .
The other option is to travel south on Hwy 77 from Kingsville to Rivera , TX and take a left to the Loyola Beach area . There are two boat ramps in the vicinity . Even from these ramps , the boat ride is long as open bay water has to be crossed to get to any of the shallower shorelines where the big fish tend to be located
The best option is to use a guide service . Baffin Bay Rod and Gun ( BBR & G ) is one of the top trophy trout guide services in the area . Over the course of four months of the prime season , their customers have landed over 300 trout ranging from 25 ” to over 32 ”, and this has happened consistently over the last four years . There are several advantages to using an outfit like this . Foremost , they know the area and are in constant contact with their fellow captains as to where the big fish are on a daily basis .
The second reason is the “ rocks .” They are not really rocks but reefs made by serpulid tube worm colonies and range in age from 3000 to 300 years . Along with vast areas of sea-grass , these reefs form fish attracting structure . They are also very damaging to a boat ’ s lower unit if a collision occurs at fast speeds . Infrequent anglers are cautioned to pole around , or use a trolling motor in shallow water . Thanks to modern technology , the bigger reefs can be marked on GPS units , but they still have to be found to be marked and six square miles of reefs is a lot of marks . As an old time Baffin fisherman once remarked , “ It is smarter and more inexpensive to hire a guide than to replace a lower unit .”
The third reason is referred to as the “ worst case scenario .” Should your motor not want to restart or a lower unit has struck a rock and your boat is inoperable , waiting for help might take days . The remoteness of the location means very few boats will
( Continued on page 13 .)
Alicia Castillo reels in a speckled trout while wading waist deep water along the Baffin Bay shoreline . Capt . Marcus Canales shows off a huge Baffin Bay speckled trout .
6 G U L F C O A S T F I S H E R M A N W W W . G U L F F I S H I N G . C O M
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