Reports & Forecasts: July 2021

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - – 409.935.7242
James reports steady catching in parts of West Galveston Bay lately. “We've got plenty of trout over here for people who are willing to wade. When we get lots of freshwater in the upper parts of the bay system, West Bay usually becomes more consistent. The firm bottom and all the points and pockets, and even the grass beds, allow the water to hold its clarity better than it does on the other side of the channel when the wind is blowing south or southeast almost all the time. We've been catching pretty good on the best days on small topwaters for a pretty good portion of the mornings, until the sun gets pretty high. Once the clouds break and the sun is shining steady, soft plastics like the Assassin Sea Shads work better. This is typical for the hot summer months. We do have good numbers of fish in the deeper water in Lower Galveston Bay too, hanging around structures. People who know how to set up on the structures and present lures and baits to the fish the right ways, depending on the current, can catch plenty out there, if winds are reasonably light.”

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service – 409.996.3054
Jim had been experiencing fast and easy catching on the days he was able to fish leading up to giving this report. “All the freshwater coming down the rivers has the fish squeezed into relatively small spaces where the water is a little saltier, so the catching is good when we are able to get at 'em. We need light winds over here to be able to catch 'em out in the middle though. Any wind at all just makes a muddy mess out of that freshwater layer. If winds are light, we've been able to drift around and catch limits by the middle of the morning. Wading has been better on the windier days, and the fish are somewhat bigger on average, but we need pretty high tides to make that work on a consistent basis. On the last full moon, we fished late at night a couple times and caught some really nice trout on top in the dark. It was really fun. Reminded me of the old days. With more rain today and yesterday in the watersheds of the rivers, I expect more freshwater is coming. That will likely keep thing pretty much the same for a while.”

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service 979.849.7019 – 979.864.9323
Randall fishes an area which provides plenty of good opportunities during the summer months. “We're watching for the clean green water to move into the surf zone. We usually have some great days catching trout in the surf and on the flats just inside the pass when the green water first comes in. An incoming tide during the morning hours usually helps the bite, as long as it isn't too strong. Too much current muddies up the flats behind the pass pretty bad. With the green water and incoming tides, shrimp and other critters move into the bays, and the trout take advantage. When we see lots of brown shrimp, the birds usually start working, and we throw Norton Sand Eels in colors like cayenne gold for best results. When the ribbonfish are showing, we do better throwing brighter colors, like glow and chartreuse. This month is a great time to make some quick jumps offshore too. Catching king mackerel and snapper on lures in the clear waters of the Gulf is a real hoot. We look forward to trips like that this time of year. Should be able to make a few in the near future.”

Matagorda | Bay Guide Service
Charlie Paradoski – 713.725.2401
When July and its hot days arrive, Charlie usually finds himself playing a game with the wind when he's fishing. “When winds are light and the surf gets good and green, we wind up on the beach side of the island, throwing topwaters and MirrOlures in the surf. When the wind blows harder, we come back onto the bay side and worked the sandy, grassy coves on the south shorelines, especially in places like Cotton's and Green's. Lately, winds have been stronger than usual, so we haven't had much of a chance to fish the surf, but that should change in the coming weeks. We are seeing good numbers of trout coming through the jetties in West Matagorda and moving down the shoreline, so the catching's been pretty good down that way lately. Once the wind settles down, drifting around in the deeper parts of East Matagorda, especially in the west end, should become more productive. Fishermen with more skill can catch plenty on soft plastics rigged on relatively heavy heads and bumped off the bottom most days. Those with less skill and motivation to work for bites will do better with live shrimp.”

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam – 979.240.8204
“We had about eighteen inches of rain recently, the rivers reached flood stages twice, and the fish have been moved around quite a bit. At times, the salty water is pretty far from town. Most of the fish we normally catch in and close to town have moved out into West Matagorda Bay, where we're finding them around deeper shell pads and reefs. The reefs about six to nine miles out in the bay are loaded with both trout and redfish. We're catching them best on live shrimp, either free-lined or dangled about four feet under popping corks. We're seeing good numbers of trout for the first time since the freeze, and we're releasing as many as possible. A bonus from all the freshwater comes from the fact it has pushed plenty of eating-sized black drum onto shallow reefs around town. Catching them on fresh dead shrimp a couple feet under popping corks over shell has been pretty steady. I look for action to pick up once the salty water moves closer to town, and we see more shrimp, mullet and shad. Tripletails should start coming into the bays, and the surf should be good on north winds.”

Port O’Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service – 361.983.4434
Lynn is hoping to take advantage of fishing the surf as much as possible in July. “Normally, we get the first really good run of catching trout in the surf soon after the 4th of July. We've been catching some solid trout in the bays already, in places close to the pass, mostly. When we are able to get into the surf, we like to start off shallow throwing topwaters close to the beach, and move out a little deeper as the sun gets higher, switching over to sinking lures eventually, on most days. When we're fishing flats and shorelines in the bays, in places close to the pass, the drill is much the same. We catch a lot of trout this time of year on topwaters early in the mornings, and do better on soft plastics later in the day. Staying around good concentrations of bait, mostly big rafts of mullet, is a key, as is fishing where the water's moving. During summer, incoming tides during the morning hours tend to produce the easiest catching. We'll start fishing some of the rocky spoils close to the channel as the weather gets really hot. Moving water is a must for catching on those humps.”

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Fishing for redfish continues steady for Blake lately, and the trout fishing shows improvement too, especially in places close to the Gulf. “I like to fish the surf as much as possible in the summer. It's about as fun as fishing gets for most people. When winds are light, we usually find plenty of trout in the shallow guts close to the beach early in the mornings this time of year. Catching them on shiny topwaters is normally pretty easy when that pattern plays out. We are also finding some schools of trout moving into the bays through the jetties and showing up on flats close to the channels, in places like Super Flats and the outside beach of Traylor Island. The fishing down the entire length of St. Joe Island should be decent all summer. Best bet when wading any of those areas for trout is to key on potholes which break up the grass on the bottom. We're still finding plenty of reds in the shallow areas too. That should remain the case throughout the summer. Higher tides keep plenty of fish in the backwater areas, and we have had lots of high tides lately. Overall, it's been really good.”

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata – [email protected] – 361.563.1160
The month of July usually sizzles, both the weather and the catching. The catching has been great lately, since the weather warmed up to summer-like temperatures, and we had lots of rain. In the Upper Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay, which tend toward hypersalinity, rain is almost always a good thing, bringing salinity levels into the normal range and creating clear water. Early in the mornings, the trout and reds have been in about eighteen inches of water, along grassy shorelines with potholes scattered around. They generally stay up there until the middle of the morning. Catching them on natural colored SheDogs has been pretty easy, as long as we don't find too much floating grass in the area. Bass Assassin Die Dappers in colors like chicken on a chain, plum/chartreuse and salt and pepper/chartreuse rigged on sixteenth-ounce Spring-lock jigheads work better if it's too grassy for trebles, and when the topwater bite slows down. Live shrimp under popping corks have worked well lately too, thrown into water about two feet deep, along grass lines, in potholes and along drop-offs. Once the day heats up the water some, the action gets better out deeper.”

Corpus Christi / Joe Mendez——361.877.1230
In July, Joe likes to spend most of his time targeting trout in deeper holes like Emmord's and Beacroft's, and around major rock formations in Baffin close to depths of about nine feet. But he still chases redfish in shallower water, especially early in the mornings. “We still have plenty of reds to target in the shallows early in the mornings. On calm days we usually find them while we're cruising slowly along, on flats with a mix of sand and grass on the bottom, and the schools move and push big wakes. Then, we're able to troll around and intercept them, so we can cast right into the schools. Normally, we throw paddle-tails and spoons when working this drill. Fishing for redfish has been great lately, and we're catching a few really nice trout mixed in with 'em on some days. Overall, fishing for trout is still slower than normal. In this heat, people wanting to catch trout, especially after 9 or 10 in the morning, into the middle of the day, will do best by staying in the boat and throwing at deep grass edges and rocks. Many times, the fish relate closely to features like those.”

P. I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
361-877-3583 |
In July, hot weather, calm winds and clear water can be expected in the Texas surf. These things make trout fishing along the beachfront productive, especially early in the mornings and late in the afternoons. Tossing topwaters among these vigorous surf trout can be a real blast. Focusing on spots where deeper water comes close to shore or the bars have cuts passing through them works best. Spoons and swim-baits work well to catch the trout too, as do live mullet. Using mullet will result in more by-catch, of course. Other species present this time of year are king mackerel and tarpon. Both can be caught on relatively light gear, and both put up quite a fight. We should also see our first evidence of dusky anchovy activity this month. If so, we'll likely see jackfish move in with them. Spanish mackerel love eating the anchovies too, and they are both tasty and sporty on light tackle. At night, expect big tigers and hammerheads to move in. Both eat the large southern and rough-tail stingrays that spawn in the shallows this time of year. If targeting large sharks, deploy large baits. An adult tiger might eat an entire 100-pound ray!

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza – 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge – 956.944.4000
Things have been looking better recently here in Port Mansfield. The trout fishing has improved somewhat, since dipping to a low point after the freeze. Occasionally, word comes in of someone catching trout on shallow flats, but we're finding most of them in water too deep for wading, or barely accessible to waders. Areas well away from the west shoreline, and off the drop on the east side have been producing best. As always, the catching is best in places where plenty of mullet are jumping and/or pelicans are diving. The deep water lying close to the humps on the west side is also a good place to target trout these days. Fishing for reds continues outstanding. They've been found mostly in water about eighteen to thirty inches deep on the east side, in places like the Northeast Pocket and around Jones Cut. On the west side, the shoreline in Glady's Hole all the way south to the mouth of Long Island Slough has produced some good catches of reds recently. The Saucer area has been somewhat productive, especially in places where small pods of mullet are seen moving on the surface or jumping.

Lower Laguna Madre—South Padre—Port Isabel
Aaron Cisneros | – 956-639-1941
Fishing has been fair overall lately in the Lower Laguna Madre. Summer patterns are well underway, and we've found our best trout bite during early morning or late evening hours. Water about four or five feet deep is holding more trout than the shallower water. We're throwing KWiggler Ball-tails in plum/chartreuse, rigging them on quarter-ounce jigheads, so we can work them low and slow near the bottom. The redfish bite has remained steady lately. We're catching plenty while working the shallows on windward shorelines. Four-inch KWiggler paddle-tails have worked well on most days. We've been retrieving them fast over shallow grass beds to get most of our strikes. This pattern of swimming paddle-tails fast over grass is a reliable way to catch reds all summer. I expect the trout to remain deep now that it's hot and likely to get hotter, so the best places to target them will be along drop-offs separating the shallows from deeper basins, and along the edges of the channels. Trout always feed best when the water's moving, either driven by the tide cycles or strong winds, or both. Areas around the East Cut usually have the most reliable moving water.