Reports & Forecasts: May 2010

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
It's finally here! The spring winds are still blowing but the trout bite is on! A great way to target trout on a windy day is to hop out of the boat and wade. Any flat in the estuary will offer some great wadefishing in May. Throw topwaters or floating Corkys. My favorite topwaters are Super Spooks and Skitterwalks. Any color will work, but go with more natural colors in pretty water and something vibrant in dirtier water. If wadefishing is not your thing, pick an oyster reef on the leeward shore and fish it as thoroughly as you can. My best colors lately have been opening night, chicken on a chain, and glow. Any lure in these colors work. Try both quarter and eighth ounce heads, and let the fish make the decision on what size you should stick to. Try to be as stealthy as possible! Use the wind and tide to your advantage. Do not troll against the wind or tide because it does not work! Most of our fishing will be done on the south shoreline due to the predominant south wind. Any of the reefs around the Washout and Old Jetties will be good fishing.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
"Fishing is on the verge of breaking wide open, I think," reports James. "Lately, it's been a little inconsistent, with the crops of small shad, minnows and red worms hatching out. The fish tend to gorge on the small forage, sometimes mostly at night, and they can be finicky and hard to catch during the day. We have been wading mostly, and catching solid trout in the three to five pound class on the better days, throwing pink/gold MirrOlures and pearl/black Corkys. Also catching some on pumpkinseed/chartreuse Bass Assassins too. Boat fishing hasn't been really good, but it will pick up in May. Also good in May are the flats around San Luis Pass, the Pens in East Bay and Rollover Pass. Those are the places I'd head if I was trying to catch a wall hanger trout. If just catching fish is the goal, drifting reefs in East Bay is a better bet. Another thing that might get hot is the east shore of Trinity if the salty water makes it up around the corner. Once we get the shrimp coming into the bays at the end of April, things should kick off real nice in lots of places."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
"Fishing has been good," Jim says. "We're catching both trout and reds in good numbers. Of course, the better fishing is coming on the days with lighter winds. If it's light enough, you can catch limits or near limits out of the boat in the middle on the reefs. On the windier days, it pays to get out of the boat and wade. We're still catching pretty good that way as long as it's not just cranking too much. We're finding fish up and down both shorelines, choosing our areas to match the conditions. I haven't caught any real big trout, but lots of solid fish, up to about six and a half pounds. There have been some bigger fish caught in Rollover Pass, on the turn of the tide, when the winds are light. Biggest from there that I've heard of was a little over nine pounds. May should be good if the weather's right. The bay and back lakes are full of fish. You can basically catch them however you want to on the better days. Mostly, I'm throwing topwaters when the bite is easiest and backing them up with tails when the bite slows down a bit."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
"I'm seeing lots of cool things lately. We've got shrimp in our bays already, and the glass minnows showed up in good numbers too. Birds are already working. The water is finally looking better after all the rain we had this winter. Trout fishing is picking up. Mostly, we're catching numbers of solid keepers, but on some days, the big ones are biting too. I had a trout that weighed nine pounds the other day. Caught it on a Sand Eel. The fish wasn't even twenty eight inches long; she was as fat as I've ever seen. That day we had a couple of other big ones too. The redfish are steady, better in the afternoons. In May, we expect the trout fishing to get even better. We'll key on the schools of baitfish, whether they be glass minnows, shrimp or even ribbonfish. Topwaters will come out more of the time, but we'll use the Sand Eels a lot too. Everyone should look for some new colors in the Sand Eels. They'll be hitting the shelves soon. I've fished with some of the prototypes and they are working really well."

Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service | 713.725.2401
As always, the fishing choices in May in the Matagorda area will depend on the weather. "With the unsettled weather we've had lately, the fishing has been on the slow side. The wind is strong and comes from all directions, so it keeps things kind of messed up. By May, we should see lighter winds and fewer fronts, so fishing is typically steady. In nicer weather, meaning lighter winds, we like East Bay, because the trout are generally bigger over there; if it's windier, West Bay is usually a safer bet for smaller trout and plenty of reds. In either bay, we'll be wading and targeting sand pockets in the grass beds. The grass is usually well established this month, and that makes the pockets easy to see. We'll be throwing small topwaters like the Spook Jr. and the baby Skitterwalk. The fish are usually aggressive and these lures work consistently, but if they aren't, we'll switch over to our standard soft plastics in the same places. We'll keep our eye on the surf toward the end of the month, because we usually see some potential there by early June."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204

Fishing has finally started picking up in our area. This past month has been the most consistent bite we have had all winter. Our topwater bite has finally taken off as our fish are now over grass/sand/shell, and we are starting to see more and more bait in the water on every trip we take. Bone Super Spook Jrs and pearl Skitterwalks have been our best lures here the last couple of weeks. Both trout and reds have been real aggressive and have wanted the lures worked really fast. Lots of small mullet and glass minnows have started to show up, and staying around the migrating schools has been a key to the topwater action. Some good keeper fish have been coming from the south shoreline of West Matagorda and from the eastern shorelines of Tres Palacios Bay. Nightfishing on the piers along South Bay and East Bay is also producing some good fish, mostly on Tsunami Shad swim baits. In April, more and more bait fish should arrive, and staying close to the schools should be a key to catching the trout and reds.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
With May falling smack dab in the middle of spring, Lynn expects to use tactics which are proven producers in this mild season. "I'll be fishing mostly on shorelines with plenty of grass and hard, sandy bottoms. I like to target areas with a good mix of sand and grass, where there are plenty of potholes in the grass. We'll stay pretty shallow for the most part, fishing right close to the bank earlier in the morning and moving more toward the edges of the flats as the day heats up. Lately, we've seen a good influx of glass minnows moving into the bays, so there should be plenty of schools of those roaming around this month. I'll try to stay in places where there are signs of them. I like throwing lures which closely resemble the minnows when they are abundant. Topwaters like the Spook Jr. and soft plastics with straight tails in natural colors come to mind. The trout have shown back up in numbers around here and I look for more action on them in May, and the redfish are still plentiful. This is a great month to catch both species on topwaters."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake says that May is much like April for him in terms of patterns he likes to fish. "I'll be keying on shorelines with lots of hard sand and grass. Chrome/black and chartreuse Super Spooks will be good lures, especially early in the day. We'll throw purple/chartreuse, pearl/chartreuse and pumpkinseed/chartreuse Sand Eels too. Bays with good shorelines this month are San Antonio, Mesquite, Aransas and Corpus Christi Bay. I also might spend some time around the pass areas. We've had a good influx of bait in those places and there should be steady action as long as the bait is migrating into the bays. Trout fishing is picking up some. I'm looking for tide runners to move into the bays through the passes and make it even better. The redfish action is a little off when compared to this time last year. Seems the cold winter might have stacked them up in a few holes. With the water warming up and the tide rising, they should spread out some and be available in more places as we head into summer."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
The tides have been very low for an unusually long period of time, but I like the low tides because it concentrates the fish. The water clarity has been improving in all regions of the Laguna Madre, so many of the natural colored lures have been working very well. I have not been catching as many trout as I usually do this time of the year, but the ones that have been caught have been in very good shape and I can tell that they have been spawning. The water temperature is not an issue any more, so many of the fish are in less than two feet of water. I have been and will continue to fish in water that is between ten and eighteen inches deep, sight casting some of the time at redfish and an occasional trout. I'll be rigging bone diamond and plum/chartreuse Bass Assassins or natural and new penny four inch Berkley Gulp shrimp on sixteenth ounce Assassin Spring Lock jig heads. Don't forget your Costa Del Mar sunglasses and the 4EverLast Ray Guard boots.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe plans on running south as much as possible in May. "We should be smack dab in the middle of the good run of trout fishing in the Land Cut by then. Lately, we've been having some real low tides. If that continues into May, it will make the Land Cut good, as it will probably cause some fish to abandon Nine Mile Hole into the ditch. Of course, if the tide is not too low, it could stack up some fish in the deeper areas of the Hole too. Either way, I'll be looking to do some sight casting on the flats inside the Hole and working the west drop off of the Cut too. Another good option down there this time of year is the Kenedy shoreline, all the way from Rocky Slough north to Point Penascal. The drill there is to keep the boat within reach of the rocks and make lots of casts close around them. If the water is ugly down south, I'll probably change the plan and move north, into Corpus Christi Bay. The areas in the eastern part of that bay hold up great in strong southeast winds and the water is normally clear enough for sight casting."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
May is genuinely the beginning of the summer season on PINS. A wide variety of species are available including sharks of several species, jack crevalle, tarpon, king and Spanish mackerel, pompano, Atlantic bluefish, whiting and speckled trout. The trout will hit silver spoons and blue/chrome Rattletraps better than topwater lures in May. Spoons will also work on most of the other species. Sargassum and Portuguese man-o-war are present in varying numbers. Birds diving and wheeling will lead anglers to most of the surface-working species and fishing deep pockets with dead shrimp and "Fishbites" will produce bottom feeders. Colonial-nesting waterbirds will be on nests on rookery islands so give spoil islands a wide birth. Also, Kemp's ridley sea turtles will be nesting on the PINS sand throughout the month. Please keep an eye out for them while driving. Water is usually clear and tides should be moderate. Incoming tides tend to be more productive than outgoing. Watch for children and pets when approaching beach camps.

Port Mansfield | Terry Neal | 956.944.2559
Warming water temperature is always the key to spring fishing success and with the prevailing patterns of late it has been slow in coming. Hopefully more consistent patterns will begin emerging soon, maybe even before you read this. Lots of good redfish have been showing up on the flats and this pattern should continue as the water temperatures continue to rise. We are all waiting for the trout to turn on. Low tides and cool water temps have kept them deep so far this year. There is an abundance of shrimp showing up which is normally a forerunner to the trout movement. Off-colored water still remains a problem for the Port Mansfield area but with each passing day green water is getting closer. We've had lots of good catches regardless of the water conditions. Hopefully some good spring tides will help clear out the pockets of brown tide. Offshore reports continue to be good with lots of 10-20 lb red snapper being brought in. Keep only what you can eatrelease the rest.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Southeast winds are finally moving the brown tide north, and we can see the potholes. We still have very low tides, but that should change when the spring tides return. Our trout catches are up, especially those over 25 inches. The lure working best is the Berkley Gulp three inch shrimp in pearl white, molting, and nuclear chicken rigged on a quarter ounce head and a short leader under a Cajun Thunder cork. We're catching reds when the tide is outgoing; those numbers should improve as soon as the water clears and the turtle grass grows some. Freddy says, "The perch are showing up and we're seeing more shrimp than we have in years. With trout fishing on the rise and improved water conditions, the big herds of redfish will soon be roaming the flats rounding out our catches and giving us the limits we expect." In May, we'll be switching to Cajun Thunder cigar corks with Gulps for trout and throwing Precision Tackle half ounce gold weedless spoons at reds in the shallow areas that will flood when the tide levels rise.