Greetings from Port Mansfield. At the present time we are dealing with high tides and tons of rain. I have dealt with high water levels in years past and when I see it like this I venture just a little bit further inland, (yes, in my boat, of course). It is really cool to cruise slowly on plane in crystal-clear water in pastures where cow and nilgai tracks are holding small pinfish and mullet. I am not quite sure how many more acres of fishable water we might gain if it rises another foot or more, but I would bet many. I am not the biggest fan of extreme high water but as I have previously stated, I use it to my advantage best I can. One of the advantages of high water is that it will eventually drop, and when it does you better not miss out. You see, all those “scattered” fish in the salt flats will be leaving and you can bet I will be sitting at the mouth of a drain or cove capitalizing on the moment. Be sure to check the accompanying video to see how we take advantage.
In general, our water is OK, but with an unusual tint that I associate with freshwater runoff. We are also seeing a lot of what locals call Easter grass – filamentous algae. Slimy, bright green in color, in strands and sometimes in mats. It is impossible to get a soft plastic lure through the stuff. Topwaters become the practical choice in areas where it is thickest and these have been producing well for us.
Redfish have taken center stage since the freeze and I expect this will continue for the foreseeable future. Trout fishing is slow across the board. Some say two years, while others say three to five before it gets back to normal. I can go three to four trips without a single trout and the next might give us two or three. Most of my anglers understand the importance of CPR during these times, which is totally cool, and I am glad to see it. Others, want to keep a few reds for dinner, which is also OK in my book. I have cleaned thirteen fish all year – twelve reds and one gut-hooked trout.
We have been dealing with some big rains but these have not dampened our spirits or our efforts. Lightening is a whole other problem, though, and we layoff for safety’s sake. Numerous days have put my AFTCO Anhydrous rain jacket through some rigorous workouts. I have owned two and I can say they will keep you dry. We recently held a media event with some of the KWigglers Pro Team Women Anglers and the wind and rain showed up right on cue. They battled both like the pros they are and still caught good numbers of fish in adverse conditions. I am super proud to be associated with them.
On that note – Captain Ernest Cisneros, myself, and KWigglers Brand Ambassador, Erica Rae Hirsch, will be holding a women’s only fish camp this fall at Port Mansfield. This is a three-day program and not just a fishing trip. Yes, there will be fishing, but we will be covering so much more. Feel free to give me a call for more information on this exclusive educational opportunity. You can also find updates on Facebook – Texas Women Anglers.
Getting into July, we can expect elevated water temps and seasonally lower tides. I will shift my mostly knee-deep game to thigh-deep along ledges, points, and edges of grass lines. This pattern should hold through summer with plenty of redfish, and some flounder, as well. Area bait-shrimpers are reporting numerous small flounder in their nets, which could foretell good flounder action ahead this fall and winter. Our bay is in recovery mode, trout-wise, and along with the influx of fresh water we are seeing shrimp, croaker, pinfish, mullet, and other forage species while wading. This, coupled with the recent dredging of the East Cut could be a catalyst for boosting the recovery. Good stewardship will also help.
The 46th Annual Port Mansfield Fishing Tournament will be held July 15-18, 2021. The trout category has been removed from the bay division and it is being conducted in a blackjack format with incentives for live weigh-in. So, gather a team and bring the family for a fun-filled weekend. For more information contact www.portmansfieldchamber.com
Until next time, stay safe out there!