Reports & Forecasts: May 2009

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
May is a great time of year to catch huge speckled trout. It is April now and we are consistently catching six to eight pound trout every week. Our biggest so far has been right at nine pounds. Most of these huge fish have been coming out of the shallows around Turner's Bay and West Cove. With all the rain we've had, look for the fish to move further south with the higher salinity. Concentrate on the Washout, West Cove, and the Old Jetties. With water temperatures rising, deeper reefs around the south end and drop offs in the Ship Channel would be productive spots for big trout. Depending on water clarity and depth our favorite lures are Corkys and FatBoys. All the colors catch fish, but my favorite is the copper top in clear water and something with a black back in dirtier water. Other proven big trout lures are Super Spooks, Skitterwalks, and SheDogs. Try these in bone/chrome, and bone/black.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
"My prediction that Galveston would have the best fishing on the Texas coast this year seems to be holding pretty much true!" James says. "We have still been catching them up pretty good in quite a few different places. Of course, the upper parts of Trinity have been steady. Lots of birds working over there. The wading has been good at times too, and the fish are a little bigger on the shorelines usually. East Bay still has hot fishing at times, and the crowds there are light. West Bay coves and shoreline flats continue to hold quality trout too. As we get into May, the fishing should keep right on sizzling. Topwater action should become more steady, especially on early morning wades. But there will also be an increase in the number of fish we catch out in the middle. Lots of years, the deep reefs in East Bay give up some nice catches of trout in May. I'll be checking on all of it if I can. It shapes up to be awesome."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
"Fishing depends mostly on the weather lately," Jim reports. "We are having real good luck in Trinity and East Bay when the winds allow us to fish. Birds have been working in Trinity and the fishing's phenomenal over there most of the time. The trout in East Bay have been a little bigger on average, but you don't catch as many on most days. In May, we should start to see more consistent action. As the water warms up, the fish seem to show up in more places and it's easier to catch them on the windy days. All of the south shoreline of East Bay has good potential in May. And the reefs in the middle should start to be more productive. Birds and slicks should indicate fish out there. The surf will have more fish too." He says that a massive clean up effort is underway in East Bay. "They've got barges and backhoes out there picking up trash off the bottom. People still need to be careful, but it's getting better."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
For Randall, the fishing has been steady, particularly on the milder days between the frequently passing fronts. "We've been having quite a bit of luck on topwaters when the conditions are good. The best one lately has been the Skitterwalk in the white with red head. As long as the wind is onshore and not too strong, it's been working great, mostly for the redfish, but also on some quality trout. The other lure that's been a big producer is the Norton Bull Minnow in the hot Baffin magic color. Our key indicator of fish lately has been schools of the button shad. They are maybe three quarters of an inch to an inch long. The fish gorge on them heavily. Diving pelicans and terns usually help locate them. Haven't had much luck finding the glass minnows lately. We hope to get our first shot at the surf in May. We'll be looking to verify the arrival of the shrimp and the ribbonfish. Then we'll hit the beach whenever we can."

Matagorda | Don Wood
Bay Guide Service | 979.240.4137
"Fishing was steady in the Colorado River until just recently. Lately, it's been a little slow most days, though there are some really big trout coming out of East Bay." The pattern producing the big trout is mostly shallow areas with soft, muddy bottoms. "It's not easy fishing, but the payoff can be a few monster trout. We've been catching quite a few redfish too. In fact, the other day, that's all we caught. They were solid fish in the upper half of the slot and they were just full of tiny glass minnows. Seems like when they are really focused on smaller forage species like that, the soft plastics work best. We are catching best on Exude RT slugs in color patterns with some sparkle that resemble the minnows. Fishing is West Bay should be productive in May. We'll start off early close to the bank throwing topwaters around the shell for redfish, then move out deeper and switch to soft plastics over grass later for the trout."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
The arrival of spring has brought back some great fishing. Shrimp, mullet, and shad are all over our bays and the fishing has been outstanding. Redfish have been roaming area shorelines in pods chasing grass shrimp and shad. Quarter and half ounce Johnson gold spoons and DOA shrimp in chicken and morning glory have been the best producers. Trout fishing has picked up also, as the fish finally moved off mud and shell to sand and grass. Pearl Skitterwalks, red/white Spook jrs and chartreuse TopDogs have been the best topwaters, while DOA Terror Eyz in white/pink and clear have been best for sub-surface duty. Flounder have moved back into the bays, and we have been sticking some solid fish in the eighteen to twenty inch range on calm nights. I look for May to be an awesome month with tripletail coming into the bays later in the month and surf fishing taking off when the water temperatures rise above 75 degrees.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Lynn says the fishing has been good over mud and shell in three to four foot depths for the trout in Port O'Connor on recent trips. "As long as the wind's not too bad, we're having good luck catching solid limits of trout. When the tide is low, the fish get concentrated in the guts adjacent to the major reefs and the catching can be pretty easy, mostly on soft plastics. With higher tides, it pays to focus more on sandy, grassy shorelines or the shallower parts of reefs. Topwaters tend to work a little better in those conditions. In May, I'll focus more and more on the sand and grass pattern, looking for areas with distinctive sets of potholes. We'll throw topwaters a bunch, especially in the chrome/blue colors. I like the SheDogs, Super Spooks and Skitterwalks in those colors. There's some chance we'll get into the surf later this month. Let's put it this way, if it gets calm enough, we'll try it, looking for birds and bait to find fish."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake says that the fishing for trout and reds in the Rockport area has been decent over the last month or so, and he expects some new things to open up in May. "I'll be doing my regular drill, wading a lot and throwing topwaters in chrome patterns and Norton Sand Eels in dark colors like pumpkinseed and purple with chartreuse tails. All of the area bays have good potential in May. I especially like flats around the passes. Seems there are some good trout near the deep water going out into the Gulf in May. That used to be a really solid deal in Mesquite, but now with Cedar Bayou closed, it's not so much anymore." On a related note he does mention trips into the Bayou for surf fishing excursions. "If winds allow, I like to make some runs into Cedar Bayou and walk across the beach into the surf this month. Some of the biggest trout I've caught along the beach in my career have been caught early in the season."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
The fishing has been good and the catching has been outstanding! Very strong winds have made it tough to get out and go fishing on some mornings. But, when the winds slow down overnight and early in the morning enough to allow the water to clear up, the catching has been great! The trick has been to get to your fishing destination before the winds pick up. I've been finding both speckled trout and redfish in water depths of a foot to a foot and a half. Whether the bottom is soft (muddy) or firm has not been a factor. Many of the trout have been between 18 and 24 inches; plenty of redfish have been slot sized. I will continue to fish shallow water, rigging Assassin Kwik Corks with a six to eight inch drop leader and an eighth ounce Spring Lock jighead. On the jigheads, I will use Assassin Blurp shrimp or four inch Gulp shrimp. I'll also be using MirrOlure SheDogs and my ForEverLast Ray Guards when wading.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe says he plans on spending a lot of his time down south in May, especially if water conditions improve or remain as they have been. "The water in Nine Mile Hole, the Land Cut and Yarbrough is not too badly affected by the brown tide. You can see the grass and potholes on most days when you are fishing less than two and a half feet deep or so. The plan for May will likely be to fish grassy areas with potholes in three foot depths or less, targeting trout and redfish in places like The Graveyard, Summer House Flats, the drop off in the Land Cut and in Yarbrough. We have a lot of bright, sunny days typically in the spring, so I favor bright soft plastics like limetreuse and bright white. Especially in the lightly stained water we have now, those colors show up well. I have seen in years past where a push of clear water from the south comes into these areas with the spring winds. This year, we may see that happen."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
The surf of PINS turned on early this year. Usually sargassum will be present in some areas. May is typically a wonderful month for fishing the beach with Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, Atlantic bluefish, whiting and many shark species being in good supply. Large jack crevalle, redfish and pompano will also be caught and usually the ladyfish will arrive in numbers. Tarpon are possible. Water is typically clear and winds and driving conditions are more user friendly than earlier months. Tides tend to be moderate. Topwaters, Rattletraps and spoons will work well on the mackerel, specks, bluefish, jack crevalle, tarpon and redfish as will live and cut bait. Peeled fresh dead shrimp and Fishbites will be the best producers of whiting and pompano. Target areas with concentrations of baitfish and work all areas where diving birds are present. Turtle nesting season is in full swing and the new speed limit is 15 mph. Do not interfere with nesting turtles. Mark the nest site and notify the first turtle patroller you encounter. CB users should use Channel 1.

Port Mansfield | Bruce & Brandon Shuler
GetAway Adventures Lodge | 956.944.4000
Fishing has remained hot for trout in the twenty five to twenty eight inch class around Port Mansfield this spring, Bruce says. "We are still catching lots of solid trout. It's been awesome. In May, we should see the patterns change some. The fish will begin using their summer patterns, meaning the trout will mostly be found on the outside edges of the grass beds in three to five feet of water. May is topwater heaven here. We'll target our trout with light colored topwaters in the mornings and stick with those on the bright days. On the cloudy days, we'll use darker colored ones. Also, this is the month when we start our night wading trips. Another thing we'll start up this month is targeting tarpon offshore. We should see our first silver kings appear this month. We hope to catch some with the same topwaters we use inshore for the trout and reds and also on the bigger swim baits. The tarpon love those too."

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
The first of April saw redfish action drop off a little from the outstanding winter bite. By the end of the month, high spring tides should create a whole new bay full of shrimp, perch and crabs to tempt the schools back onto the flats. Freddy says, "The reds will feed at night if that's when your tide is outgoing. Everything they prefer to eat comes out at nightso it can get tough to catch them during the day without the right tide." We're still seeing trout numbers and sizes that exceed anything we've experienced in many years. Depending on tide and wind direction, you can find trout in three to five foot deep potholes from the Convention Center north to south of Gas Well Flats pretty much all month. We're throwing light-colored Gulps under Cajun Thunder cigar corks in shallow water, switching to the CT oval cork when wind picks up, or Precision Tackle half ounce copper and gold weedless spoons when sightfishing is happening.