Reports & Forecasts: May 2008

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
The month of May is known to produce big trout. Since this is spawning time, the fish will be at their heaviest. Shallow reefs and flats will be the best places to catch sow trout. South end of the lake around the Old Jetties, Washout, Nine Mile, and Long Point will all be good spots. Big baits catch big fish. Try magnum topwaters like Super Spooks, Top Dogs, and He Dogs. Good topwater colors to throw would be bone, black and chartreuse, or red and white. These three colors will be your best bets for big trout. Large Norton Sand Eels are also worth a try; a good all around color for soft plastics is glow. If the water is a little stained, try black with chartreuse tail. If you aren't into the big fish and just want to catch supper, a good place to look will be under birds all around the banks of the lake. Big bull reds will start to show up in the middle of the lake; look for them under slicks. They will be super hungry and are always fun to catch on light tackle. I would throw glow soft plastics, but if you want a thrill, throw topwaters into the middle of these hungry fish.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
James says he's had decent to great days of fishing recently in Galveston, everywhere from West Bay to the upper reaches of Galveston Bay. "It's all wading lately. The fish have been pretty shallow, and the topwater bite is picking up. For a while there, Bass Assassins were outfishing the other lures, but lately the Top Dogs and Catch 5s are getting their share. We had one real good trip the other day in Trinity, with limits of trout, several around five pounds, two over seven. Also lost a monster while trying to handle it. She was over thirty inches. I ain't going to say she was definitely ten, but she might have been You know how fat the fish are over there in the spring. Best pattern in any bay has been to find some shell in open water. When fish are located, it's important not to stomp around on the reef. The fish will be spooky and can be pushed off pretty easily. One of my guides caught some nice fish out of the boat in East Bay today. That pattern should kick in on calm days in May. Working slicks on deep reefs with topwaters is good this month."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
"Wind has hurt us a little this week and throughout the spring really, but the quality of fish we are catching is outstanding. Had one customer catch a seven pound trout the other day on a Catch 2000. Didn't get many that day in the wind, but his was a nice one. Most days, we are catching few or no undersized trout, just solid fish from a pound and a half to maybe five and a half. On the calmer days, fishing is easier of course, and topwaters are working well. When it gets windier, I switch over to soft plastics, like Bass Assassins and Stanley Wedge Tails. I also like the Stanley shrimp too." The fish have spread out to various locales in East Bay. "All of your typical spring shoreline spots are holding fish. The middle should bust out any day now. We'll be on a great numbers pattern sometime soon. Once the water gets into the mid-seventies and above, it's just a matter of time before we start getting easy limits on the reefs and on the shorelines. Redfish have scattered some with the higher tides, but once they return to normal, they'll be easy to find in the marsh."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
"Today was one of those dream trips," Randall says. "I saw this giant raft of mullet and the trout were in there under 'em. They were blowing those mullet four feet in the air. We caught easy limits and big fish too. Had two over seven pounds and some others in the twenty five inch class. Cayenne gold Sand Eels did the trick. This is a pattern that is familiar in my area in the spring. Rafts of new baitfish migrate in out of the surf and the trout find them fast. Wading is really the ticket to catching the big fish. I'm glad this pattern is kicking in; I'm sick of fishing out of the boat. More and more, I try to get my customers to put the effort into wading. The quality of fish is better, sometimes number too." He mentions that he's also recently discovered a new line of wading accessories set to hit the market soon. "The company is called Grind. They make one of the best stringers I've ever seen. It's a tough plastic, slick cord. We had two limits of trout, a redfish and a flounder on one today and the fish came off instantly, still alive. It's a killer product."

Matagorda | Don Wood
Bay Guide Service | 979.240.4137
"The glass minnows haven't really shown up too thick yet, but West Bay is still producing a bunch of fish," Don says. " The coves have plenty of trout and redfish. I've been catching mine on topwaters, larger ones like Skitterwalks when it's windy and small ones like the Mirrolure Top Pup when it's calm. Today we had twenty nine trout and nine reds. It was an easy bite. West Bay should stay consistent like that throughout May too, and the glass minnows should make locating the fish easier once they show up. They probably will after this recent front blows itself out." East Bay is less consistent, but it's coughing up some big trout. "Waders have taken some big trout lately in East Bay. They're catching them on topwaters over there too. It's been pretty tore up with all the wind, but the coves offer a little protection. The mid-bay reefs will kick in once the winds settle. Drifting scattered shell with live bait and soft plastics is the best bet. Things are just on the verge of really good around here. I was wading wet today and that's a sign of good fishing to come."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Fishing has been great in the Palacios area lately. We have loads of bait in the bays and back lakes and fishing has been hot. Birds are working everywhere from the Tres Palacios River all the way down to Carancahua Bay. The wells and barges in front of town in West Matagorda have lots of bait, so it is good just about everywhere. Topwater fishing for redfish in the back lakes is about as good as I have seen in several years. The color that seems to be working best right now is the black/chrome She Dog and the black/ white Skitterwalk. Trout fishing has been on fire at the wells and barges free-shrimping live shrimp and on pearl Gulp shrimp rigged on splitshot. The trout have been ranging in size from fifteen to nineteen inches. Nightfishing has been good also; split tail beetles in glow and lime rigged tandem on sixteenth ounce heads have been the best producers under the lights. I predict May will be another awesome month. Plenty of birds and rafts of bait should lead observant anglers to some quality fish.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
"I'll be fishing grassy, sandy shorelines most of the time in May. I like to stay really shallow early in the morning, focusing on knee-deep to maybe two feet of water. In my area, there are lots of pretty shorelines with beautiful sand and grass in those depths. We throw a lot of topwaters, primarily the Super Spook Jrs. and also She Dogs. As long as light levels are low, I'm pretty stubborn in sticking with those. Once the day warms up and the sun gets higher, I generally move out a little deeper, working guts within the grass flats, and shifting over to soft plastics. The goal will almost always be to catch trout, but of course the redfish are generally right in there among them. Some of our biggest trout of the year usually come in May, and lots of times they pop up in and around schools of redfish." He mentions another option that can present itself some years in May. "We'll have our eye on the surf. If the winds allow, we'll get out there as quick as we can. Often, the first few times we are able to work the beachfront, the trout are bigger than average."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
"The fishing for trout has been good lately, and the fishing for reds has been even better. Usually, on high spring tides, the reds kind of disappear from main bay shorelines and into the lakes. There are fish in the lakes right now, but most shorelines are loaded up too. Shallow sand and grass is producing easy limits of both kinds of fish. Topwaters are working most of the time, but I switch to Norton Sand Eels when they don't and keep catching. I also like to throw Catch 2000s some this time of year. I'll be running the same basic drill throughout May, moving around in the area bays, targeting sandy, grassy shorelines in Aransas, Corpus and Mesquite Bays a lot. I also like to get out and wade some of the mid-bay reefs in bays like Copano, Mesquite and San Antonio. It's a good idea to stay in touch with large rafts of bait on either pattern. There are millions of little forage fish of all kinds for the trout and reds to eat. Focusing on the schools of menhaden seems to be a key to locating some of the larger trout. It's an awesome time around here."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
May marks the beginning of prime fishing on PINS. Various shark species are present including scalloped and greater hammerheads, bulls, tigers and several smaller species. Whiting will be the bait of choice until ladyfish arrive. Large jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, Atlantic bluefish, slot redfish, speckled trout and tarpon are all possible in May. Watch for diving birds and food chain activity. Wire leaders are necessary for the Spanish mackerel and bluefish, small jigs and silver spoons will work well on them and trout. In May, specks seem to be more inclined to hit spoons, Rattletraps and MirrOlure Glad Shad than topwaters and plastic. Sargassum has not been as heavy as the past five years but some is to be expected, try replacing treble hooks with singles, it helps. Whiting, scattered Florida pompano and black drum will be available to bottom fishers on fresh, peeled shrimp and Fishbites. Beware of driving at the water's edge if the sargassum is stacked there. Watch for nesting sea turtles and children and drive at safe speeds.

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
Both the fishing and the catching have been good in recent weeks! We have not had much of a break from the wind, but we have still been able to be out enough to keep track of the fish. The water clarity in Baffin Bay has not improved, but there are still plenty of areas in and around Baffin where the water is clear enough to see structure. Plus the fish are in shallow water, three feet or less, along grass lines, potholes and near rocks. During the month of May, I will start the mornings by working MirroLure MirrOminnows and MirrOmullet in water that is 18 inches deep or less with colors #11, BNSBO and CFPR. As the morning progresses, the fish will move to slightly deeper water, and I will probably switch to MirrOLure She Dogs and She Pups in colors like CRCH, CRBN, CRRW, NSCH & GCRCH. I will always have my MirrOlure Catch 5 in colors like CHBL, CFPR, BNSBO & BCH. My standby Bass Assassins, bone diamond and plum/chartreuse, will always be with me. Wadefish if you can, and don't forget to wear your RayGuards.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe reports that fishing in Corpus Christi Bay in areas like Shamrock Cove and East Flats has been good lately, despite high winds on many days. "Shallow areas like those have clear water as long as the wind isn't due south or north. There are plenty of fish in there right now. Key is to focus on sets of small potholes when fishing the shallower areas in the back and do the opposite on the outside grass beds; throw at the tips of the grass out there. Soft plastics will take the most fish and are definitely the best ticket to bites when sightcasting." He plans to stay in those areas and also spend some time closer to the Causeway in May, while keeping open the possibility of running far down south. "Of course, the Land Cut and Nine Mile Hole are potentially great in spring. Sometimes, clear water comes in from the Lower Laguna and replaces some of the brown tide there. If that happens, I'll be heading that way more of the time. If not, I'll stay closer to home around the bridge in Corpus where the Packery Channel tends to help the water stay clear."

Port Mansfield | Bruce & Brandon Shuler
GetAway Adventures Lodge | 956.944.4000
Bruce says that the trout spawn is in full swing in the Port Mansfield area. "The trout are up in the grass on the east shore. We are keying on potholes and taking some pretty fish. You have to get up there shallow where they are. Topwaters are the tools of choice, of course, and they work most of the time. We are also having good luck hanging Gulp shrimp under Cajun Thunder corks when the conditions get tougher. For people with less experience, it's a great way to get them on some quality fish. Another pattern that is paying off is fishing windy points, and I'll stress again, windy. You find points of land jutting out with chocolate waves rolling into them and lots of mullet and the reds will be there. It's a matter of standing and casting on the upwind side. The challenge is to keep the wind from making you move through the fish." He's also hoping to make regular forays outside the jetties soon. "We snuck out last week and had some beautiful snapper in the ten to twelve pound class. Calm days in May can spell some excellent nearshore action."

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Higher spring tides and strong southeast winds are keeping fishing up to the level we always expect to see this time of year. When traffic permits, we're limited and tagged out on reds by 9 a.m., fishing the east or west sides of the Intracoastal. The middle of April saw some really exceptional trout action south of Gas Well Flats on incoming tides but now they are showing up along the drop off from west of South Padre in the holes in front of the Convention Center all the way north to Gas Well. The reds are biting equally well on gold weedless spoons and Maulers with Gulp shrimp in glow or new penny; trout and flounder are hitting Gulps under Maulers or Cajun Thunder corks rigged with quarter ounce jig heads; smaller topwaters work best early, but when the wind comes up, try switching to the larger, louder versions. Freddy says, "Some days traffic makes it tougher to stay in fish, so you have to work hard and burn some gas to keep your box up to par, but high winds let you cast a mile and make long, successful drifts."