June is shaping up to be a fantastic month for Texas anglers – about as close to the good old days as I have seen!
Literally dozens of reports arrive weekly. Big three inshore angling action is solid and improving steadily, from Galveston area all the way down to the Lower Laguna Madre. The Sabine trout bite seems a tad sub-par through mid-May but the redfish and flounder bite on the border estuary sounds to be the best of all the bay systems. Further stabilization of weather patterns throughout June should only add to the already excellent catching and could also be the catalyst Sabine trout anglers have been praying will come their way.
Jetties are producing a mix of solid trout and slot reds and, as always, there have been plenty of bull reds and large black drum to test tackle. Heavyweight specks are almost always available along the rocks in June while occasional sharks, kingfish, blacktips and host of other species keep things lively.
The surf zone of Padre Island National Seashore stretching from Corpus Christi to Port Mansfield’s East Cut is providing beach anglers plenty of opportunity when the sargassum isn’t too bad. Hefty bull sharks and great hammerheads have been headliners.
When nearshore seas allow safe conditions for the small-boat fleet; they are finding ling, king mackerel and other species around platforms and channel markers. Mahi-mahi shouldn’t be far behind.
Tripletail are becoming more plentiful, in and around nearshore sargassum mats and other flotsam, and they are also beginning to show in the bays in targetable numbers. West Matagorda Bay is usually the most productive of inshore venues if you would rather not try for them in the gulf.
The only fly in the ointment is the ridiculously brief recreational red snapper season. I haven’t fished snapper in a long time but the stream of information that reaches my desk indicates an amazing rebound and astounding abundance of this highly-prized species. Over wrecks and reefs along the outside edge of Texas state-managed water, veteran anglers have never seen anything like it, and it’s even better further offshore. There is almost no way to avoid catching them over prime structure. Getting a bait down to other species is next to impossible, they say.
Federal fisheries managers are allowing only three days beginning June 1, 2017 for recreational harvest while charter-for-hire operators have been granted forty-nine days. Commercial fishermen can basically fish year-round to fill their quotas. Something’s definitely rotten…
The CCA Texas summer-long STAR Tournament gets underway Memorial Day weekend. The STAR Kids Division features $50,000 college scholarships for anglers ages 6 through 10 weighing-in the heaviest flounder, sheepshead and gafftop. The STAR Teens Trout Division awards $25,000 scholarships to anglers ages 11 to 17 in Upper, Middle and Lower Coast regions. The ever-popular Texas Ford Dealers Tagged Redfish Division awards five incredible Ford truck-boat-motor-trailer prize packages to the first five qualifying anglers to land one of sixty specially-tagged redfish and five boat-motor-trailer packages to five more.Get the family rounded up and the boat and tackle ready. June is going to be one for the books!