Capt. Sally Ann Black fights a giant speckled seatrout on Baffin Bay in South Texas.
Tucked within the backside nook of the Lone Star State, Baffin Bay is house to trophy-size seatrout and redfish, drawing anglers from across the nation. (To not be confused with Canada’s Baffin Bay, 1000’s of miles to the north.) Capt. Sally Ann Black has been guiding on these waters for greater than a decade, after an extended profession engaged on the waters round Rockport, to the north.
Feminine saltwater fly-fishing guides are comparatively uncommon wherever, however in South Texas, Sally Ann has been an actual pioneer. She owns and operates Orvis-endorsed Baffin Bay Rod & Gun, positioned behind the bay. She was variety sufficient to undergo our “5 Questions” and inform us all about her private historical past and her fishery.
1. How lengthy have you ever been guiding? How did you get began in fly fishing?
I’ve been a full-time skilled fishing and searching
information on the Texas Coast for 21 years. I maintain a United States Coast Guard
Close to-Coastal Masters Captain’s license, which I obtained in 1998 in Rockport,
Texas the place I began my guiding profession.
Rising up on the Nice Lakes with an outdoorsman of a
father who was in denial that I used to be a woman, I fished and hunted on a regular basis.
Dad had a Cris Craft Cabin Cruiser on Lake Erie, the place the household spent
weekends fishing. He additionally had a camper on the again of a pickup and a ship on a
trailer and spent all of his spare time with our household and me on the water,
fishing. I even had a rod holder on my bike. Bass, bluegills, crappies, walleyes,
perch, and catfish had been our principal targets, however within the winter, Dad took a pair
of weeks off work to make our annual sojourn to Florida, fishing down one coast
and up the opposite. We fished all over the place we went and fished virtually each fashion,
from cane poles to fly rods.
So with a background like that, it wasn’t shocking that I
purchased my first new fishing boat in Rockport, Texas, in 1985 and set about
studying the bay methods there. There wasn’t a girl to be discovered on the boat
ramps at the moment, so, since I used to be 25 years outdated, I’ve been on the receiving
finish of a variety of commentary–issues like, “does your husband know you have got his
boat” or, “for a blonde, you possibly can positive again up a ship trailer”!
Baffin is thought for its big, resident redfish, which keep inshore greater than they do in different elements of Texas.
2. What’s your principal fishery like? Describe the sorts of fishing you do.
In 2009, I
was fortunate sufficient to maneuver from Rockport to Baffin Bay, a novel bay about an
hour and half south of Rockport. This bay is about 180 levels away from the place
I got here from and is named a “hyper-saline, landlocked lagoon.”
a life-changing expertise! No solely did I marry the person of my goals, Capt.
Aubrey Black, who simply occurred to be often called the “guru of trophy trout” on
Baffin Bay, but it surely took me one full 12 months to convey sufficient of my Rockport purchasers
to Baffin Bay to expertise a number of the most untouched fly fishing that exists
on the Texas Coast.
Baffin Bay, being a “land-locked lagoon” has no tide. It’s
too removed from both Gulf influx from the north or the south to make a
distinction. Water will eek in and eek out, however at a snail’s tempo–which may
take days, not hours. It’s a hyper-saline system that has no recent water
sources apart from rainfall run-off, which ebbs and flows and why the world is
often called the “Wild Horse Desert.”
Baffin Bay is thought for rising the most important Speckled Trout
on the Texas Coast, and there’s little or no boat and fishing stress. As a result of
of the remoteness of the bay, anglers actually should need to fish Baffin. The
bay additionally runs east and west, into the land mass, not like the remainder of the bays on
the Texas Coast. The complete north aspect of Baffin Bay is the legendary King
Ranch and the whole south aspect of the Bay is the Kenedy Ranch. No water
towers, energy traces, homes, condos–nothing. This won’t change in my life
time or perhaps many others, so the huge remoteness of the bay is protected against
Trophy seatrout are plentiful in winter.
three. What’s the one factor that your purchasers must work on?
Right here on Baffin Bay, crucial factor about being a
profitable sight caster is seeing the fish (and extra importantly, seeing the
fish earlier than they see you). Understanding the shapes, colours, actions and excessive
chance areas of the predator fish underneath the water will not be as straightforward for
somebody who doesn’t do it fairly often. That form of focus is simple for a information
as a result of we take a look at fish day-after-day. Imparting that form of data to purchasers
is crucial factor to begin getting pictures at fish.
Shoppers ought to begin by having the appropriate pair of sun shades
and a hat with a darkish underbrim. Sun shades in high-contrast colours comparable to
brown, amber, or vermillion are important.
Brief, correct casts are extra essential right here than huge lengthy
pictures. See the fish quick, get the fly to the fish, catch the fish! Fancy casts
are good however getting the job finished is best and seeing the fish as quickly as
attainable is the easiest way to catch a bunch on the fly!
Lengthy casts will not be often required on Baffin Bay. Normally, pace of supply and accuracy are extra essential.
four. What’s your favourite winter species to focus on?
Winter fishing on Baffin Bay is trophy trout time. A trophy on
this bay is over 30 inches. Eight to ten-pound fish are commonly caught throughout
the winter and into early spring. The largest, heaviest fish might be caught
nearer to the spawn, which occurs when the water temperature rises to 75
levels and stays there. The trout have been feeding all winter to outlive and
then additionally feeding up for the spawn. An eight-pound trout caught in December
may balloon as much as a ten- and even an eleven-pounder in March. Nevertheless, Baffin
is the form of place that may provide a brand new Texas State Document–presently almost
14 kilos–on any given day.
One other nice winter species to focus on are the various huge
redfish that dwell within the system. Redfish in different Texas bay methods transfer out to
the Gulf and keep there after they develop to be over 20 inches. In Baffin Bay,
as a result of the bay is so distant from any gulf shops, the redfish don’t go away
to spawn; they get the job finished proper there. So, due to this, there are
herds of those gigantic redfish within the 50-inch class which can be round 50 to 60
years outdated. They feed deep and shallow, however when they’re shallow, half of their
our bodies are out of the water. If they’re up shallow, they’re often consuming,
so tossing absolutely anything in from of them will end in a strike! Maintain
Capt. Sally has been chasing recreation fish on the Texas coast for the reason that 1980s.
5. What are your high winter flies?
Imagine it or not, my high winter flies are additionally my high
summer season flies, with a couple of slight adjustments! White Clousers–tied with arctic-fox
fur, purple gills, and bead-chain eyes on a measurement four hook–carry out miracles right here on
Baffin Bay. The opposite productive fly here’s a white crab, additionally with bead-chain
eyes and on a measurement four hook. The tail on this crab is tied with arctic-fox fur as
properly. Arctic fox fur actually undulates within the water, giving the fly plenty of
Within the winter, I’ll toss both of those identical flies tied with mini-barbell eyes and much extra materials, creating a much bigger presence within the water. Since fish prefer to eat greater within the winter and there isn’t a lot small meals within the system, throwing greater flies will catch extra fish. Now, fishing for trophy trout requires one thing even greater. Trout can eat baitfish which can be 2/three of their physique size. So after they do eat, they need extra bang for his or her buck. Once more, a giant white streamer or one thing that appears like a five- to six-inch mullet. Dave Hayward on the Swan Level Touchdown Retailer in Rockport ties a few of these huge whopper trout flies. They’re white SeaDucers, and I simply name them “child hamsters,” however they catch huge trout!
To be taught extra about Capt. Sally and Baffin Bay Rod & Gun, click on right here.