What do you mean “Fishing is for the Birds” you say angrily! Read this blog and you will learn to appreciate the benefits of that statement. Many a fisherman has seen the birds congregate over the bay as the sun was beginning to let go for the day and night was gently creeping in behind it. Have you ever wondered what all the ruckus was about, with those darn birds, when all the world is at peace? Well any seasoned fisherman knows using birds to locate fish has been around since the caveman days, before GPS and Fishfinders. Why not use those friendly little residents? Texas has over 500 species of birds migrating through our coastal areas. There are Sandpipers, Black-necked Stilts, Ducks, Egrets, Herons and Seagulls just to name a few. It only makes sense to local anglers to learn their behavior and use them to their benefit. The Ole Timers like to say “work with nature, not against it” for a very good reason.
The shrimp migration into the deeper area bay waters begin around June. As the shrimp start making their way through the area, fish go into a feeding frenzy. If you have never seen one of these, it is a site to behold. In order to fish with the birds in Southeast Texas, you must first understand the behavior of shrimp. Its because all the ruckus and fuss centers around those tasty little tidbits. Post-larval shrimp come from about 300′ deep water out in the Gulf around February, into the shallow estuaries of the bays along the Texas coast. Once they enter the nursery here they assume a benthic existence. They concentrate in less than 3′ of water where there is attached vegetation or abundant detritus to hide and eat. They soon develop into juveniles and begin moving into the deeper bay from about June-August, as they continue to mature. Enter those crazy birds! Shrimp are about around 3″-4″ at this stage. The redfish as well as other species, such as birds, begin their gorging feasts. It seems everyone is out to get their chomper’s on these delicious little guys. The fish eat so much they often regurgitate some of it; the birds go nuts over the shrimp samplings freely floating everywhere, just for the taking.
All this fun lasts till late summer when the remaining shrimp have become sub-adults and begin their long journey out into the Gulf of Mexico, to have their own little baby larva. At this point the cycle repeats itself one again. You can set your seasonal watches by it anglers, its mother natures miraculous clockwork. The moral to this story is if you find the birds swarming and squawking over the water they are feeding on shrimp; there you will most certainly find the fish. Its better than a Fishfinder!
Here is a video that will give you a quick glance at one of these feeding frenzies……….Click Here.