Coming into late spring our Middle Coast fishing has been very good with excellent redfish action and fair to decent numbers of speckled trout. As you are likely already aware, new trout regulations went into effect March 16, 2022. The daily bag has been reduced to three trout with slot length of 17 to 23 inches. This applies to all bays from East Matagorda and continuing south through the Lower Laguna Madre. You might be wondering whether this is in response to the February 2021 freeze and the answer is yes. This rule will expire August 31, 2023 when the prior regulations will be reinstated. I am personally hopeful this will help boost our trout populations back to healthier numbers.
I have decided to delay purchasing a new boat this year, due mostly to supply shortages of certain key components, the rise in inflation, and the general direction of the economy. After years of use, I decided instead to give my trusty Shallow Sport a much needed facelift. Beck and David’s Fiberglass Repair here in Seadrift was my first choice to handle the project as I have seen numerous examples of their excellent work over the years. Admittedly, I had high expectations, but what they delivered was even beyond these.
Beck and David have been in the boat refurbishing business since 2008. This husband and wife duo are not afraid of work and treated my boat as if it was their own. Never, have I ever, had anybody more knowledgeable, hardworking, willing and downright happy to make my boat look like new again. They not only changed the hull to a custom color of my choice, they also rewired and replaced the fuse panel, and switch panel. They also installed new hatch seals, scuppers, hydraulic and fuel hoses, and built a new cavitation plate.
While I’m offering glowing comments, I also want to mention Craig Vossler and Adam Price at T-Tops & More in Port O’Connor. These wonderfully talented men redesigned some of my aluminum work and built a new burn bar that includes a removable sport top for those “oh-so hot” days of summer. Vince Kacir at 36 Motorsports in Port Lavaca did a superb job of powder-coating all my new aluminum to an attractive shiny black.
Please know that I receive no special discount or compensation of any kind for mentioning these fine local businesses. I simply believe that excellent craftsmanship and exceptional work ethic deserve recognition for exceeding my high expectations. See the accompanying before and after photos.
On to fishing, San Antonio Bay is showing good signs of improvement. I credit the reopening of Cedar Bayou last fall and bay water salinity returning to normal levels since last summer’s floods for greatly improved fishing opportunity. Although running toward the smaller side, the numbers of trout I have been catching recently has been nothing short of excellent. I have also been seeing good numbers of glass minnows, shrimp, and shad on the reefs. It’s really exciting seeing so much life returning after the beating this bay took last year. I hope our oysters thrive as well.
Warming weather and water temperatures have greatly improved the quality of fishing along sandy shorelines of all the local bay systems, all of which have become my go-to haunts recently. Seagrasses are beginning to flourish and once again attracting huge rafts of baitfish as the grass provides both food and cover from hungry gamefish. With the seasonally higher water levels I have been concentrating my efforts in the shallows against shorelines first thing in the morning, and then moving out about hip- to- waist-deep by midday.