Reports & Forecasts: May 2024

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - - 409.935.7242
James expects good fishing to be the norm in several parts of the bays in his area, come the month of May. “We normally have some good fishing for trout down in the lower end of West Galveston Bay this time of year. The fish bite well over a sandy bottom, sometimes in places with some scattered shell, especially on incoming tides in the mornings. You have to watch that though. If you’re too close to the pass itself, a tide moving too strong will muck up the water. Of course, if winds lay for a few days, the surf can blow up too. On the best days this time of year, it’s possible to catch the fish pretty much however you want, meaning topwaters, hardbaits and soft plastics all work well. If the bite is tougher, especially if we have lots of glass minnows around, little soft plastics and spoons can work better. The coves also produce good catches at times this time of year. That’s usually best in the afternoon hours, with fairly high tide levels. Keying on clouds of glass minnows or giant rafts of nervous mullet and slicks are often the keys to finding the fish.”

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service - 409.996.3054
Jim predicts some of the standard patterns which have worked for decades will be productive in East Bay and the surrounding areas this year. “As we do every year, we’re hoping for an early run of good fishing for trout in the surf. If we get some days with medium-light winds with no east in ‘em, or if the winds just die for a couple days, the surf usually busts wide open. Out there, the bite is usually best on topwaters and other hardbaits. The calm days also open up the potential for a good bite out around Hannah’s and the other main reefs in the middle of East Bay. Calm mornings with incoming tides provide good opportunity to throw topwaters out of the boat and catch some trout. We’ll have some working birds in that scenario, but even when we don’t, the topwater bite is sometimes decent around schools of nervous mullet. If it’s windier, out of the east, the south shoreline will produce best, usually in the shallow parts tight to the bank. If we get some late fronts, and the tide levels drop, the fishing out in the middle will pick up right after the north winds lay.”

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 - 979.864.9323
Randall loves the fishing around San Luis Pass during the last full month of spring, because so many productive options are available to anglers targeting trout and redfish. “The flats near the pass produce good catches of trout this time of year, some days on topwaters, others on twitchbaits, still others on soft plastics. Keys on the sand bars behind the pass include casting and working lures with or at least at an angle with the current, and finding places with lots of bait and slicks popping. If lots of ribbonfish are present, white Skitter Walks work best. The bite can also be great on main-bay shorelines in both Christmas and Chocolate bays. In those locations, we catch more of a mix of trout and reds. We also do well, mostly on reds, in the back-lakes, targeting fish on shorelines with plenty of jumping bait, or working gulls, even wading birds like egrets and herons concentrated in small spaces. The reds will take topwaters aggressively some days, but they’re easier to catch on soft plastics mostly. And, of course, we’re always watching the surf this month. Hoping for that first burst of activity, anytime we get a prolonged calm spell.”

Matagorda Bays | Capt. Glenn Ging
Glenn’s Guide Service - 979.479.1460
May is a great month for fishing in the Matagorda area. Look for warming water temperatures and lots of good options this month. When we have calm winds, the drift fishing in East Matagorda Bay will be a solid option, because of the clarity of the water. Look for trout and redfish to be schooling around mid-bay reefs in the west end of the bay and around the reefs near Chinquapin and in Live Oak Bay. Throwing either live shrimp or Vudu shrimp under Coastal Corks generally produces plenty of bites. Wading around the grass beds on the south shoreline of West Matagorda Bay should also be good this month. Best bet in that area is throwing Bass Assassin Sea Shads into the guts or throwing Skitter Walks and Spook Juniors and working them right over the grass beds. The gas wells and deep reefs in West Bay also hold plenty of trout, which are easiest to target in conditions similar to those which improve the drifting in East Bay, meaning days with calm winds. If light winds persist for several days, we always have a shot at getting in the surf in May, and the fishing around the jetties is sure to heat up.

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam - 979.240.8204
May is an awesome time to fish the Tres Palacios Bay system, with lots of options to choose from. Redfish will start schooling in pods on area shorelines and bayous, feeding on grass shrimp and crabs. Also, any points of shell along shorelines with some grass are good spots to find reds this month. Black drum are also pretty numerous around any shell pads in less than three feet of water. Fresh dead shrimp and popping corks work well to catch those. Trout will likely be found in a variety of places this month. The rigs and reefs out in West Matagorda Bay always have some. Out there, they’re best targeted with live shrimp fished deep under popping corks. The grass beds on the south shoreline on strong incoming tides have plenty of fish, especially around schools of glass minnows and flocks of diving pelicans. The surf also becomes a productive option, if we get some light southeast or north winds to knock the breakers down. Tripletails will migrate into the bays steadily with the warming water temps, becoming numerous by the end of the month. Any structure from Palacios to Port O’Connor could hold singles or a few of these tasty fish.

Port O’Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service - 361.935.6833
In May, Lynn likes to fish areas close to Pass Cavallo, especially when tides are rolling in during the morning hours. “We do well fishing on sandy, grassy flats close to the pass this time of year. On mornings when the tide’s moving good, we often find the trout willing to blow up on topwaters for quite some time after the sun comes up. The key to locating the fish consistently is locating big schools of bait. By this point in the spring, we don’t really key so much on a few mullet jumping somewhere. We’d much rather see lots of mullet and other baitfish in the same area, hordes of bait really. And, of course, we keep our eyes on the weather and watch for the pretty water to move into the surf zone, if winds lay for a few days in a row. Really, nothing much beats fishing in the surf. Particularly in spring, before the super-hot weather settles in, it’s often possible to catch numbers of really solid trout along the beachfront. Out there, the drill is pretty much the same as on the inshore flats; we look for concentrations of bait and mostly throw topwaters.”

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake likes to fish several different patterns in the month of May. “We usually have plenty of trout and redfish on shorelines with sandy, grassy bottoms this month, in bays like Aransas, Mesquite, San Antonio and Corpus Christi Bay. Best bite is tight to the emergent grass when the tide is high and coming in, and then out in the deeper potholes on lower tides. On lots of days, catching them on topwaters is pretty easy. I like to throw chrome/black and orange/black Skitter Walks. I favor the small ones when the water is calm, and the full-sized ones with it’s a bit rougher. Of course, I also like to throw my purple/chartreuse, pumpkinseed/chartreuse and pearl Sand Eels if the bite is tougher. We also do well fishing around some of the reefs this time of year. That’s usually more productive with the soft plastics than the topwaters. And, we usually have some days when the surf gets right, and when it does, the fishing out there can be the best of the spring. Normally, we catch bigger trout on average out there this month than we do later in the summer, when the winds are calmer and the water being greener more of the time.”

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] - 361.563.1160
The month of May is a very good month for fishing because the fishing turns into catching more of the time. The fishing menu includes the hunts for big trout, big redfish and big flounder. It’s easy to catch fish in May because of the variety of lures and baits that work well on most days. Most of the fish will be found in less than two feet of water, along grass lines, drop-offs, and in areas with sandy potholes. The trout will especially be in these types of areas, as they will be spawning actively. I will be looking for areas with concentrations of bait and approach them quietly from a good distance with my trolling motor or wade into them. The different tactics will include throwing live shrimp under popping corks and natural colored Bass Assassin Die Dappers rigged on sixteenth-ounce Spring-Lock jigheads with about twenty-four inches of fluorocarbon leader line. The new smelly Assassin Lil’ P&V hanging about fifteen inches under an Assassin Kwik Kork will also produce fast bites. On sunny days, I’ll also be looking for red and black drum in ultra-shallow water and sight-casting to them with shrimp-flavored Fish-Bites.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez - - 361.877.1230
In May, fishing in the Upper Laguna Madre, Baffin Bay and Corpus Christi Bay is about as good as it gets, according to Joe. “This time of year, we have so many options. Sight-casting for reds and big trout with paddletails in super shallow water works great on lots of days, as long as the wind doesn’t blow too hard. Best bet is to cast beyond the fish and bring the lures steadily by them, close to their faces. We also have good fishing for trout around rock formations this time of year. Sometimes, the best plan is to throw soft plastics close to the rocks and let them flutter toward the bottom. But, on days when winds calm down and the water gets really clear, we often have a great topwater bite. In this case, we can see herds of mullet huddled right on the tops of the rocks, and we throw our topwaters past the schools and make them move out of the way as the lures pass over the rocks. This results in some really exciting blow ups when it works right. For people who prefer using bait, this month is the beginning of their best time of year too.”

P.I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
361.877.3583 -
Lately, jackfish have crashed the beaches on clear-water days, and they’ve been easy to catch on just about anything, including flies. Sometimes, they accidentally beach themselves, chasing menhaden and mullet. Aside from the jack action, the red drum are also active along the beach, chasing mullet. Gold spoons or live/dead bait will work to target any reds in the area. Trout are slowly starting to show up in the surf and can be caught on spoons and slow-sinking lures. Starting in mid-May, they’ll be easier to catch on topwaters. Spanish mackerel are around when the water is clear and they love small spoons. Of course, light wire leaders are a must when targeting the macks. Tossing shrimp will yield a variety of whiting, pompano, and frustrating hardheads. Shark fishermen can expect plenty of blacktips and the arrival of big bull sharks. Also, don’t be surprised if you hook into a scalloped hammerhead on baits like whiting tossed in the shallows. We have more species of sharks active in May than any other month. Driving will be less than optimal, due to the spring bull tides and the presence of debris like logs and trees recently pushed up close to the dunes in the driving lane.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza - 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge - 956.944.4000
With beautiful days becoming the norm, the fishing action is certain to be heating up. The Saucer has remained the most productive spot as of late. The topwater action is kicking off and only getting better day by day. MirrOlure’s slow-sinking Soft Dine XL is also producing good catches of trout and redfish on a regular basis. For those who aren’t fans of topwaters or twitchbaits, the KWiggler Ball-Tail Shads rigged on eighth-ounce screw-lock jigheads are a great option. Colors like plum/chartreuse, bone diamond, Lagunaflauge and Mansfield Margarita are productive colors most of the time. Slightly north of The Saucer, The Pipeline is another great area to fish, especially in the deeper water just to the west of the namesake spot. If boat traffic is heavy, the areas lying north of the East Cut become ideal, in places like the Weather Station, and the area just north of Butcher’s Island. Wagner’s Bar is another great spot to look for schools of active bait. Farther north, Gladys Hole is a great option, as is the shoreline for a mile or two south, especially around the numerous mid-thigh to waist-deep potholes.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Aaron Cisneros | - 956.639.1941
Warming temperatures are the norm as we head into late spring period. Trout fishing on the Lower Laguna Madre has been consistent on recent trips. Most of our trout have been found while fishing flats with depths ranging two- to four-feet, adjacent to deeper water. Both sand bars and grassy spoil islands have produced a great bite when the winds become light. Z-Man four-inch MinnowZ in redbone rigged on eighth-ounce Eye Strike jigs have been working great. A fast retrieve works well as water temperatures are rising. Redfish numbers are strong and they’ve been hungry, feeding on shallow windblown shorelines, and also on shallow, sandy flats. The reds are feeding on small prey this time of the year, like pinfish, crabs, and shrimp, so we pick lures that mimic these when targeting them. This means small topwaters rigged with single hooks in early morning and Z-Man PogyZ in new penny rigged on Eye Strike Texas-Eye eighth-ounce weedless heads in the afternoons, after the wind picks up. In warm water, finding lots of active bait is critical.