Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - silverkingadventures.com – 409.935.7242
James says the fishing has been excellent during the first part of spring in the Galveston area. “Over the last few weeks, wading has been the best way to catch 'em. We have plenty of both reds and trout in the shallows in all the bays. The best locations have a mix of sand and shell on the bottom. Small topwaters like She Pups have been working great, as have soft plastics rigged on light jigheads. The wading should continue to be good as we move into May, especially in areas close to the pass, and around Pelican and Sand islands, where incoming bait usually stirs up a run of good trout catching. Keying on slicks and nervous looking bait in those places is the key. As the weather gets warmer toward the end of the month, fishing out of the boat will become more and more productive, as some of the fish move off the shorelines into deeper water. Then, the areas off Green's and Mecom's cuts should produce well, also the deeper parts of Campbell's Bayou. Usually, the wading is better in May during windy stretches, and fishing the open water areas is better when the wind lays some.”
Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service – 409.996.3054
Jim says he's been doing well wading some of the shallower reefs and shorelines with a mix of shell and mud lately. “We're catching decent numbers of trout wading. The best bite is when the tide is moving, as always. Doesn't much matter which way it's moving, but it can't be slack. When the tide is higher, we're doing better on shorelines where we find some scattered shell. On lower tides, fishing the reefs farther from the bank can be better. As we move into May, more of our fish will move into deeper pockets of water out around the mid-bay reefs, and we'll target them by looking for slicks and mud stirs. Normally, we find some big schools of reds churning up the mud out there. We should also have some birds working as the shrimp move into the bays and marshes. When it gets windy, we can move into the bayous and marsh lakes and target reds. Occasionally, we catch some pretty big trout working that pattern, too. Overall, things look pretty promising, especially if we don't have too many days of strong south or southwest winds. If we do, the beachfront in Bolivar usually produces best.”
West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service – 979.849.7019 – 979.864.9323
In a place where the main feature of the coast is a major pass connecting the bay to the Gulf, spring is the season for many species to move from the ocean to the estuary. Consequently, the arrival of various life forms in the pass and on the adjacent flats inside the bay is the main thing anglers await in May, Randall says. “We're anticipating the arrival of the shrimp, glass minnows, ribbon fish, shad and squid. They are usually here sometime in May. Some should be heading through the pass any day now. Once we see the bait species moving in, a vigorous bite from the predators usually follows. Keying on slicks and visible signs of life are then the keys. We try to match the hatch somewhat, throwing topwaters like bone Skitter Walks around lots of ribbon fish and dark soft plastics when we see birds hovering over the shrimp. It's a cool month to fish the area around San Luis Pass, for both trout and redfish. I also want to make everyone aware that I've opened an RV Park that's welcoming all fishermen and their boats. To check it out, look up fishcamprvpark.com, or call me directly.
Matagorda | Bay Guide Service
Charlie Paradoski – 713.725.2401
Charlie expects fishing to pick up once warmer days arrive. “We're starting to see some grass growing again on the flats in both bays, which is a little late but a welcome sight none-the-less. The freeze pushed that back some. But, by the time we get to May, we should have plenty of grass and fish on the flats. Most of the people lately have been targeting drum and redfish using live shrimp or cut mullet and doing pretty well with those species. May can be a great month for topwater action on reds in some of the backwater areas and in the shallow parts of the coves tight to the islands. The Colorado River is still producing plenty of fish, and it can be a good option when it's windy, but the fishing in there during the day isn't nearly as consistent as it is at night. So, it's a better option for folks who are willing to venture over that way under the cover of darkness. Maybe the most promising thing on the horizon for the trout fishing is the start of the surf season. If we have a relatively calm month, we might see a good run of big trout along the beachfront.”
Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam
www.palaciosguideservice.com – 979.240.8204
Fishing has steadily improved in the wake of this winter's freeze. Fishing for reds has been fast and furious in the local rivers. We're throwing live shrimp under popping corks and trolling along shorelines. All the local rivers are holding plenty of redfish. The bite has been best where ditches or creeks dump into open areas. Seems like every time we troll by a cut in the shoreline we get a few bites. Most of the fish we're catching have been running between twenty and twenty-five inches or so. Trout fishing has gotten better too, especially since the glass minnow migration kicked into high gear. The trout have been hanging out close to the clouds of minnows and have been aggressively attacking small topwaters like bone Spook Juniors and She Pups. Most of the trout are running between sixteen and nineteen inches. Flounder have made their way back into the bays too, and we're picking up a couple most every trip. These fish are biting best around the mouths of creeks and sloughs. May should be great, with plentiful options, including the surf and the well pads out in West Matagorda. We should also start seeing tripletail under rafts of floating debris.
Port O’Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service – 361.983.4434
In May, Lynn expects to be primarily fishing for trout in places where they are able to move back and forth from the bays to the Gulf. “In the spring, we usually have good luck fishing areas around the pass, on sandy flats with scattered grassbeds. The trout will ride the rising tides in, using the guts in the sand bars, and will spread out on the flats adjacent to the guts during the day, especially when the tide is high. We'll throw topwaters early in the mornings, especially if we see lots of nervous mullet jumping, but we'll throw soft plastics more of the time. The bite this time of year is usually fairly aggressive, so we like presentations with some speed and lots of erratic movement. I'll also spend some time fishing around shell in the main bays when I'm not wading the flats adjacent to the pass. Some of the main bay reefs hold lots of trout in April and May. Fishing around reefs is usually best on soft plastics, but it's kind of like the fishing on the flats. An incoming tide early in the morning increases the potential for a good bite on topwaters.”
Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake expects a variety of patterns to produce well for trout and redfish in May. “One of the main things I like to do is fish the areas close to the Lydia Ann and La Quinta channels. This time of year, we catch more trout than normal in places like that, while the bait is making a push from the Gulf into the bays. We usually find our fish around riffling rafts of mullet in places like Super Flats and East Flats during May. Topwaters work well on some days, especially early in the mornings, if the tide is moving in. I also like to fish sandy, grassy shorelines, staying tight to the cord grass on the bank. We catch some of our biggest trout of the year during spring working this pattern. On the calmest days, two other patterns come into play. The mid-bay reefs produce well at times, with soft plastics usually working best out there. And, if the winds calm for a couple days, the surf can be the best place to be. I usually make a few trips around the jetties and up the beach this month when the water's green to the beach.”
Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata – [email protected] – 361.563.1160
May weather typically makes it a great month to be out on the water fishing. The menu will include a variety of fish, including some of the big trout which make this area famous, also redfish, flounder and black drum. Because of the variety of lures that work well this time of year, catching fish is packed full of fun. We find most of our fish in less than two feet of water, in areas with lots of grass and scattered sandy potholes. We also do well along grass lines and drop-offs from shallower to deeper water. The trout will be spawning and active in the shallows. We focus on areas with slicks and/or good concentrations of mullet to decide where to fish, approaching them quietly with the trolling motor before getting out to wade. We like to throw Bass Assassin Die Dappers on sixteenth-ounce jigheads. Of course, we tie them onto fluorocarbon leaders. If the bite with lures gets slow, we won't hesitate to switch over to live shrimp under popping corks, especially if strong winds muck up the water a bit. Dangling Gulp! products about a foot under a Bass Assassin Kwik Kork is another good option.
Corpus Christi / Joe Mendez—www.sightcast1.com—361.877.1230
May is typically a great month to fish for trout and redfish in the Upper Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay, Joe says. “This is one of the best months for a combination of fast action and potential for big trout. We did, of course, lose some of our trout in the February freeze, but we've been catching decent numbers of bigger than average trout in the shallows lately, and May is historically a good month to catch some of the big female trout, while they are in active spawning mode. Of course, all of us should do what we can to preserve fish for the future by catching and releasing trout, especially the big ones. People sight-casting from the deck of a boat should be prepared to handle their fish at the gunwale, even when taking pictures, and release the fish quickly, without slinging them onto the dry deck. This helps ensure the fish will survive after they're released. Of course, fishing for redfish in the shallows is also good in May, especially in the mornings, on flats with lots of grass and scattered sandy potholes. After the sun gets up some, fishing for them is better in four to five feet of water.”
P. I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
361-877-3583 | Oceanepics.com
The Texas surf has seen some highs and lows recently. Water temps took a long time to warm up and induce migrations after the big chill. The mullet took a beating from the cold, and have been noticeably absent, especially from Rockport south. Without a strong run of mullet along the beach, we have had low numbers of some of the predators who prey primarily on them, like jack crevalle. However, we have caught some big jacks and over-sized reds recently, using fresh dead whiting. Sharks are currently starting to really make their presence known in the surf zone. Mostly, they're refusing to take stingrays, as they normally would, preferring whiting, sheepshead and pompano instead. During every calm spell, we're catching pompano on shrimp and Fishbites. This should remain the case throughout the month of May. Trout have been thicker than normal in the surf this spring. Targeting them with topwaters, spoons and soft plastics will produce best results, during times when the waves aren't too rowdy. While wading this time of year, beware of the stingrays, as they move into the shallows in big numbers. Always shuffle the feet to keep them in touch with the bottom.
Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza
Snookdudecharters.com – 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge – 956.944.4000
Anglers in the Port Mansfield area are doing well targeting red and black drum lately. Trout fishing has been slower. Those bent on targeting trout should try the following areas this month: behind the cabins to Benny's Island, east of Benny's to the Pipeline. Relatively deep water is usually productive this time of year. North of the East Cut, fishing off the break in four to eight feet of water from the Weather Station to Jones Cut historically produces good catches. On the west side, the stretch from Century Point to the Oak Mottes deserves some attention, when winds calm. Community Bar can also hold lots of trout in spring. Currently, we're catching reds steadily, and the topwater action has been sizzling. We're throwing Heddon's black or bone One Knockers. Gold, weedless spoons also work well, for those who don't want to work topwaters. Areas from West Bay south to Peyton's Bay have been holding good numbers of reds. Also the stretch from the King Ranch pier north to Gladys’ Hole. Knee to thigh-deep waters in the Saucer have also produced fast action at times for the reds. We'll continue hoping the trout action picks up and enjoy playing with these aggressive reds.
Lower Laguna Madre—South Padre—Port Isabel
Aaron Cisneros | tightlinescharters.com – 956-639-1941
As is typical when the spring winds start to crank up, we're finding a decent bite when targeting trout in shallow water along windblown shorelines lately. Action has been fairly steady on KWigglers in plum/chartreuse rigged on eighth-ounce screw-lock jigheads. We've been working them fairly fast and making lots of erratic twitches with the rod tip to earn the most strikes. During the peak of the spawn, it's not unusual to find large female trout mixed in with a bunch of small males, so we're persistent as long as we're getting plenty of bites. Fishing for reds has been outstanding. We're catching best in shallow water, in places where a mostly grassy bottom has large sandy potholes scattered around. We're getting most of our strikes around or in the potholes, throwing KWiggler Ball Tails in colors like lagunaflauge, rigged on eighth-ounce heads. Rising tides have filled the tidal flat lakes, and fishing for reds has been excellent in the ones on the island side of the bay when the wind really cranks, because many of these backwater areas offer protection from the strong breezes. Action should remain steady in these areas until the really hot weather comes to stay.