Reports & Forecasts: July 2020

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - – 409.935.7242
James expects the fishing in Lower Galveston Bay and other areas fairly close to the Ship Channel to be productive in July. “We're starting to see the regular old summer patterns emerge lately. If the tide's coming in during the morning hours, the catching's pretty good for people wading shorelines fairly close to deeper water. At other times, fishing out in the middle is much better. Of course, light winds make fishing the deeper water out of the boat much more productive. Lately, I've been catching plenty of trout wading on sand and shell early in the mornings, throwing small topwaters like ShePups in pink/silver. We've also been doing well out around deeper structures, throwing Bass Assassin Sea Shads and gold/chartreuse and silver/chartreuse 51 and 52M MirrOlures. The best way to work those is basically just turn and burn 'em, without any twitching . We're starting to see a good many slicks around the reefs out in the open water, so we'll probably be doing some 'slick hopping' during July. The key on that drill is to get out in front of the slicks, meaning upwind/up-current from where they popped, which means paying attention to the tides.”  

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service – 409.996.3054
As is almost always the case, the productivity of the fishing in July in the Galveston area will depend on the weather. Wind speed and direction and the amount of salt in the water all affect where the fishing will be good, and how good it will be, Jim says. “We had an excellent run of wading recently, lots of solid trout on the shorelines. Then, when the full moon caused those really low night-time tides, the fish pulled out into the middle. Over the last couple days, we're doing better fishing out of the boat. There are slicks popping and birds working around the reefs in East Bay. Folks are catching pretty good over around Campbell's Bayou and Swan Lake too, around the rock groins over there. Action should continue steady in both those places during July, and the fishing might get better a bit farther up the channel too, if we don't get any more heavy rains. The jetties and the surf have been just wide open, with people catching easy limits on days when the clear water reaches the beach. The topwater bite has been pretty good for us when we're wading, but tails are working better in the deeper water.”

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service  979.849.7019 – 979.864.9323
Randall was already experiencing some fast catching in the calmer winds at the end of May, start of June, when he made this prediction. “July usually brings more stable weather, and more stable weather means more consistent catching. We've been doing great lately in the surf, catching easy limits of trout. The best lures for that drill have been topwaters like full-sized Skitterwalks with some kind of shine to 'em, and Norton Sand Eels rigged on three-eighths ounce Norton jigheads. For me, the colors of choice have been tequila gold and glow/chartreuse. These lures should continue to produce well along the beachfront all summer, and we'll throw the soft plastics in fairly deep water in the main bays when the surf isn't right. Snapper fishing has been outstanding already too, and normally, it just gets better as the hot weather and calm winds become more the norm. I like to mix things up, and July provides great potential for catching speckled trout, redfish, red snapper, king mackerel and a few other species, all within fairly close proximity to San Luis Pass. I'd say we're set up for a fun and productive summer of fishing.”

Matagorda | Bay Guide Service
Charlie Paradoski – 713.725.2401
Like many other coastal guides in Texas, Charlie looks forward to fishing the beachfront as much as possible during the month of July. “We've been through a pretty windy period this spring, but recently, things have calmed down some, and I'm looking forward to fishing the surf as much as possible this summer. If we can get out there, it spreads us out some. We usually do best on the beach throwing topwaters early, either in the first or second gut, depending on the tides. We do better on MirrOlures and soft plastics out a little deeper later in the mornings, most days. If the surf isn't green, we'll be able to catch better wading the shorelines of both bays.  Wading the shallows early in the morning produces well, both trout and redfish in good numbers, normally with a pretty predictable topwater bite. Folks using live shrimp and live croakers have been catching plenty of fish lately; the lure fishing has been pretty good too. All the deeper areas of East Bay with scattered shell on the bottom produce well this time of year for people fishing from the boat, as does the new artificial reef in West Bay.”

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam – 979.240.8204
Fishing has been steady as summer patterns become more stable. The trout have moved out to deep shell pads and wells in West Matagorda Bay, and we've been targeting them with live shrimp rigged about four to five feet under popping corks. These fish are eating best on incoming tides. Most of them have been solid keepers in the sixteen- to eighteen-inch range. The surf has produced some good catches lately, with some heavy fish caught close to the beach in the first gut early. The catching is better out in the second and third guts later in the mornings. We've been doing best out there on SheDogs in pink/chrome and chartreuse/chrome. Fishing for reds has been fairly consistent along area shorelines on ShePups and bone Skitterwalks. Flounder gigging has been really hot too. With the right winds, we're sticking limits pretty quickly, mostly fish between sixteen and seventeen inches. In July, we should continue to have good results in the surf and at the rigs in deep water. This month, the best plan is to get an early start to beat the heat, since the bite is normally best before the high temperatures stifle the bite.

Port O’Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service – 361.983.4434
Lynn believes in fishing shallow areas close to much deeper water during the hot months. “We spend as much time as possible either in the surf, or close to the pass. If the water's too rough or dirty along the beach, I like to fish the shorelines, flats and sand bars which lie close to the deep water in West Matagorda. This area produces really well this time of year because the deep, cool water provides the trout some relief from the high temperatures. We get lots of bigger than average tide-runner trout coming through the pass this time of year. We focus on sandy pockets in the grass, also the edges of the grassy parts of the flats, and grassy humps on the bars. We throw topwaters every day, always first thing in the mornings, sometimes all day long, if the blow ups keep coming steady enough. We stay around large concentrations of bait, meaning rafts of mullet with some other prey species mixed in. On the windier days, when we can't get into the surf and the water's mucked up around the pass, we'll head to the back-lakes and target redfish, but mostly, we're after the big surf-runner trout.”

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake had been experiencing good fishing on trips prior to offering this July outlook. “The new Haynie Cat allows me to tool around in the back-lakes more of the time, especially with the high tides we've been having lately. We've had some really good days catching both trout and reds on topwaters in the mornings in the shallows in some of those lakes. Of course, we're also fishing along main-bay shorelines most every day too, in deeper water, around grass edges and over shell, using soft plastics like pumpkinseed/chartreuse and purple/chartreuse Bass Assassins, also live croakers. I'll continue to do these same drills throughout the summer, working the shallow backwaters early, trying topwaters on pretty much a daily basis, always ready to switch to the croakers when and if they become much more productive. And, of course, I'll be looking to get out in the surf some. Out along the beachfront, I usually do really well with topwaters in the shallowest gut early, then catch better on soft plastics in the deeper guts later in the day. The recent calming of the winds might mean we'll be able to get out there regularly in the near future.”

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata – [email protected] – 361.563.1160
Both the weather and the catching should be hot in July, if historical averages are met. We normally experience consistently fast action this month, while temperatures are hot, but before the real dog days of summer settle in. Because of the warmer water temperatures we have during this summer month, the fish will be pretty shallow, in depths up to about eighteen inches early in the mornings, then they'll move into deeper water as the sun climbs in the sky and heats things up. The trout, redfish and even some flounder have been taking the four-inch Bass Assassin Sea Shads quite aggressively. The best colors lately have been Calcasieu brew, pumpkinseed/chartreuse and chicken on a chain. The Elite Shiners in meat hook color have also been working well. I'm rigging these lures on eighth-ounce spring-lock jigheads. Assassin Die Dappers on sixteenth-ounce heads in colors like sand trout, trickster, chicken on a chain and opening night have also been catching plenty of trout. The sight-casting game for drum, reds and trout in less than fifteen inches of water has been fun on sunny days. We're doing best throwing shrimp flavored Fish-bites on sixteenth-ounce heads when working that drill.

Corpus Christi / Joe Mendez——361.877.1230
Fishing in Baffin Bay and the Upper Laguna Madre can be fantastic in July, Joe reports. “We do well fishing along the spoils, around shallow structures lying close to deeper water. Both trout and redfish will be up on top of the spoils, on the grass, sand or rocks, early in the mornings, then pull off to the deeper edges of the bars as the day wears on. When we see big rafts of mullet on top of the spoils early, we know we're likely going to have some fairly easy catching for a while. The water's in great shape lately, so we're able to see the layout of the spoils clearly. Once the fish move off the tops of the humps and gather around the edges, this really helps us keep catching. Most of the mid-day bite is along the edges of the sand, where deeper water lies close to the spoil. Often, the best catching at this time is on the side of the spoil facing the ICW. We'll target our fish mostly with soft plastics rigged on light jigheads. Spoil humps around the mouth of Baffin and those lying between Penascal Point and Baffin tend to produce the best results.”

P. I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
361-877-3583 |
With summer in full swing, calm weather and clear water usually prevail on Texas beaches. The top sportfish this time of year is the spotted seatrout. Early in the morning, we drive along searching for deep holes and cuts in the sandbars. Once we find a likely looking spot, we throw topwaters, soft plastics and spoons. Depending on the exact location, by-catch when trout fishing will include Spanish mackerel, jacks and even a few tarpon. Redfish also love the holes and cuts, and are easiest to catch on live mullet. Bait-balls will show up along the beach this month, with a variety of predators chasing them, including the jacks, Spanish macks, tarpon and sharks. Shark fishing tends to slow down this month, though we do see the beginning of our run on big tigers, before it peaks in August. Large hammerheads will also be present. Targeting black-tips can still be productive with baits like cut whiting, but more rays will bite than sharks.  This time of year, giant rays populate the surf, so always exercise extreme caution when wading. With hurricane season gathering momentum, make sure and check the forecast before venturing far down the beach.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza – 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge – 956.944.4000
Topwater action has been steady lately, with floating plugs producing blow ups all day long at times. Pink/gold/pink and bone One Knockers have been working best. Blue/chrome and bone/silver Spook Juniors are also producing plenty of action. Action along the west shoreline north of town all the way to Glady's Hole has been consistent. We're also having good luck around the spoil humps close to the ICW. Topwaters will work for those fishing out of the boat, but soft plastics on eighth-ounce jigheads work better. Lately, the K-Wiggler Ball-tail Shads in Laguna pearl and Mansfield Margarita have worked well. Parts of West Bay, the area around Century Point and both oak mottes can be productive for drifting, when winds allow. Slicks popping close to the ICW around spoil banks provide clues to other productive places. I've also had decent results lately at the Pipeline, the Weather Station and at both Butcher's and Wagner's bars. Best bet on these hot days is to target both trout and redfish in relatively shallow water early, about three feet or less, then move out to the deeper breaks later, as the sun and water temperatures rise.

Lower Laguna Madre—South Padre—Port Isabel
Aaron Cisneros | – 956-639-1941
Fishing in the Lower Laguna Madre has been really good lately, with an early morning topwater bite most every day. When tides are coming in during the first hours of the day, we've been spending most of our time working flats adjacent to sand bars and spoil islands. K-Wiggler Ball-tail Shads in Lagunaflauge rigged on eighth-ounce screw-lock jigheads worked with quick, erratic action have produced best. We've got plenty of trout on shallow flats, with a good percentage of small keepers up to about twenty inches and a few whoppers mixed in. Reds have been cruising the shallows feeding on small bait fish early in the mornings, so they're aggressively taking small topwaters rigged with single hooks. Spook Juniors with white and chartreuse on them are working best. Once the sun heats up the flats, we've been moving out to the deeper grass beds in about three to five feet of water and throwing dark soft plastics with chartreuse tails to keep the bites coming. Out there, we've done best working them low and slow through sandy potholes in the grass. These patterns should hold throughout the summer, and the numbers of redfish should continue to go up as temperatures stay hot.