Reports & Forecasts: May 2015

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
May is when the trout fishing really starts heating up. Trout will be located on reefs in the lake in four to eight feet of water, as well as under flocks of working birds. They'll also be found in the ship channel from the intracoastal, south to Nine Mile Cut. The fish in the lake will take topwater plugs and plastics rigged on quarter ounce jigheads regularly. In the channel, points and cuts will concentrate schools of feeding fish. The eddies these structures create will hold plenty of trout during periods of tide movement. Quarter ounce jigheads are the standby lures, but sometimes heavier heads are required due to strong currents. Large schools of redfish will be crushing bait in the middle of the lake. These fish are willing to eat anything that lands in front of them. Look for them under birds, as well as around slicks and mud boils. Flounder will be located at those same points and cuts that the trout are, in the ICW. Fish them with your bait traveling against the current. Make sure that your lure maintains contact with the bottom.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
James says the topwater bite along area shorelines was outstanding on days leading up to this report. "We are getting 60 or 70 bites on a regular basis. Of course, we are catching all the fish that bite us; that's the way it is with topwaters. But the action is steady. A good solid average size to the fish too. Best lure lately has been a chrome/pink ShePup. We've also had good luck with MirrOdines at times, and rat-tailed soft plastics are working like they usually do. I have been wading all the time, and I'll continue to do that throughout the rest of April. Wading helps us cope with the windy conditions, and the fish want to be shallow anyway. As we get into May, we'll start seeing the fish move out around the reefs in the middle a bit more, and we'll do more fishing out of the boat. We've have plenty of rain this winter and early in the spring, so we'll have a good shrimp crop. That means we'll have lots of working birds and easy fishing. As long as the wind isn't screaming in May, we'll be catching plenty of trout and redfish."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim says the recent reduction in rainy weather brought an excellent run of fishing, one he expects to continue through the spring, with any luck. "We finally got rid of most of that freshwater that came rolling through after all those heavy rains. Seems like once the water temperatures came up some, the fish moved out of the backs of the bays and hit the shorelines. We've had some really good days lately, wading shorelines and catching all the trout we want. Mostly, they are liking topwaters. At least, we are catching most on top. Normally, when the bite is on this time of year, you can catch 'em however you want. We should see plenty of good action along the shorelines in East Bay throughout the spring when tides are high. If the tide pulls out, we will need better weather, because the fish will pull out onto the reefs. When they do that, lighter winds help us get out there and chase after 'em. Should see some birds start working in the near future too. That will make for some easy fishing on the better days."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
When submitting this report, Randall said "Fishing for redfish has been off the charts. Mostly, the best catching had been on a Norton sand shad in voodoo color, rigged on a three eighths ounce jighead. The schools of fish had been tight, and moving fast, so once found, they were easy to catch, but it was a challenge to stay connected with them. For the trout, the bite had been best on woodpecker Skitterwalks (white with red head), and they'd been catching fish up to five pounds or so. "This year, the strong winds cranked up a little early and have things kinda messed up as we speak, but typically, May brings a bit of relief from the gusty conditions, and we should get right back to catching consistently. We'll be looking for migrating schools of bait fish and shrimp, and trying to match the hatch as best we can. One thing is for sure; I'm loving my new G-2 Etec motor. I've been getting incredibly good fuel efficiency out of it, averaging nearly five miles per gallon. I'd like to thank Sport Marine for their support."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service | 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
May is one of Tommy's favorite months in Matagorda. "May is a great time to throw topwaters. Water temperatures and tides are right for it. I spend most of my time in West Matagorda, working shallow shorelines with grass beds early, keying on bait. We won't hesitate to switch over to soft plastics if we're catching for a while on top, then watch the bite dwindle down. Sometimes, we find it effective to move out to grass beds along the outer bars later in the morning to keep catching. In May, we also like to target trout on deeper reefs like the newer ones put in by the state, using heavier jigheads to keep soft plastics close to the bottom. I will do the same drill in East Bay, in places around the reefs in the west end. We will keep our eyes on the surf; May is often the first month we see green water to the beach on occasion, and we catch some of the best trout of the year out there when we do. I will also start targeting tripletail this month. It can be a great month for those tasty fish, especially when winds are somewhat calm."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
The recent rains have pushed our fish out of the rivers, onto the local shorelines and into area bays. We have been targeting trout, drifting over shell in three to four feet of water, throwing VUDU Shrimp covered in VUDU Shrimp Sauce. These trout have mostly ranged in size from fifteen to twenty inches, with a few up to twenty three inches. The reds are starting to school up a little and are feeding pretty good on Egret Bayou Chubs in cajun/pepper and strawberry/white. The reds have been located close to drains and have been feeding best on falling tides. Flounder are also starting to migrate back into the bays, we have been seeing more and more on our gigging trips, with lots of undersized ones in the bay right now. May is one of my favorite months to fish, as the local bays and surf come life. The glass minnow migration should be in full swing on the shorelines, the trout ought to be in the surf on calm days, and tripletail ought to start showing up, providing lots of options for all kind of anglers.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Lynn likes to fish on shallow flats in the area adjacent to Pass Cavallo during the middle of spring. "The trout will be coming in and out of the Pass, and I'll be trying to catch them on shallow flats in those areas, targeting spots which are holding lots of bait and trying to maximize production during incoming tides, particularly early in the mornings. I spend most of my time throwing topwaters during May. Of course, I like Super Spook Juniors, particularly the white with chartreuse head. I also throw pink Skitterwalks quite a bit, both the baby one and the regular-sized. I won't hesitate to switch over to soft plastics on days when the bite is tougher. I like to stay really shallow and make lots of casts into parts of the flat having a good mix of sand and grass, using the potholes or sandy spots in the grass as targets. Fishing has been pretty steady so far this spring, and it should only get more consistent as the weather settles somewhat and becomes more predictable."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake expects to be fishing sandy shorelines in May, targeting trout and redfish in water depths about knee to waist deep, using topwaters like chrome and blue Super Spook Juniors. "Topwaters have been working well in the bays lately. We've been having a good topwater bite on a steady basis. I've already been focusing on areas close to the main passes mostly, in Aransas and Corpus Christi Bays. That area should remain hot for me as we get further into spring. Also, we are also having a good run in the surf already. I've had about ten days when I've been able to catch lots of trout out along the beachfront already. In the surf, we're catching best on soft plastics like Bass Assassins and Norton Sand Eels. I expect to hit some days where the topwater action is good out there too. It's a good sign for us to be catching trout so early in the surf, so I expect it to be an outstanding year for that kind of fishing. I also expect to keep hitting some of the reefs in bays like San Antonio, Mesquite, Carlos and St. Charles too."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
Everything is warming up in May, including the water and air temperatures, along with the fishing and catching opportunities. With the trout actively spawning, I'll be fishing along grass lines and potholes in less than two feet of water. I'll be fishing in water holding good numbers of bait fish like mullet or shad, and I'll be approaching the selected areas by shutting down my outboard about a hundred yards away from my target and getting closer using my trolling motor. If the water clarity is good, and it is not too windy, I'll start using my favorite MirrOlure SheDog. I also like to use the Bass Assassin Kwik Kork with about twelve inches of 25 pound fluorocarbon, tied to a 1/8 ounce jighead, rigged with smelly baits like three inch Bass Assassin Blurps or Berkley Gulp! shrimp. May is also the beginning of croaker season, and I like to use them by free lining them with a #3 Mustad Wide Gap Croaker hook, and I like to fish with them along the edges of grass lines and drop offs.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe has been targeting and catching plenty of trout and redfish on shallow flats lately, using soft plastics. Water conditions vary with the tides, and he adjusts his locations and strategies accordingly. "When the tide goes out, the brown tide moves from south to north, so I spend more time in areas around the bridge, or even north of there. The water in Shamrock Cove and East Flats is beautiful lately, and deeper parts of the cove are holding plenty of fish. It's possible to see the fish and sight-cast quite a bit in places like that, even on the windier days. In water with less visibility, I am finding my fish really shallow. It's easier to see them by looking for wakes and nervous bait fish in the murkier water. I am using paddletails with strongly contrasting colors when fishing in water which has some of the brown tide in it, using the vibration of the tail and brighter color of the tail to get the attention of the fish. I'll continue fishing the fringes of the clear water on days with better conditions and heading north into the clear water when winds blow."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
May can be a fantastic month for fishing PINS beaches. It's never a question of fish abundance; it's about wind and the amount of sargassum in the surf. A variety of warm-water species are generally present throughout the month. Tides are mostly favorable and driving is not nearly as difficult as the earlier months with more northers. Ladyfish, bluefish, redfish, pompano, black drum, sheepshead, whiting and Spanish mackerel can all be available. Jackfish can be seen working bait shoals, and tarpon begin to make their appearance. Stray ling and king mackerel are occasionally found. Deeper pockets and wide, deep guts will hold lots of bottom fish; dead shrimp, cut mullet and Fishbites are good bait choices. Target birds and other obvious signs of food chain activity for steady action on lures. Silver spoons and chrome-blue Rat-L-Traps work well in May. Various shark species can be available and the best baits for these are the species present at the time. Drive cautiouslyMay is a busy month for turtle nesting.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000
Fishing has been unreal lately. Don't get me wrong, there has been the occasional day where it has been a grind to catch fish but for the most part it has been very good. The redfish are finally starting to cooperate on the flats, gold and silver weedless spoons have been the lure of choice. Trout fishing has also been epic. We have had several trout over 30 inches caught and released in a short period of time. We have been using Skitter Walks and Kelley Wiggler Ball Tail Shads on 1/8 oz jig heads. Most of the keeper trout have been in mid-thigh to waist deep water. The bigger trout have been along the shoreline in knee to calf deep water. The snapper fishing in state waters has also been very productive. Several 24lb snapper have been brought in. At times the average catch has been 12-15 lbs. To me it is just amazing that we can catch snapper and still see the sand dunes. Hope everyone stays safe on the water, until next time tight lines and calm seas.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
This time of year, it's all about the wind. Our prevailing southeast wind is the strongest factor that effects fishing on a regular basis. Over the last few years, we have changed some things to deal with the muddy conditions. Using the Cajun Thunder round cork with a Berkley Gulp! Live three-inch shrimp on about a fifteen-inch leader addresses several of the problems you have when the water is cloudy. Popping the cork makes the lure hop up off the bottom and then it drops back down from the surface, so the noise, or vibration, plus the scent from the Gulp! help the fish find the bait and then react to the hopping and dropping. Freddy says, "When fish can't see the bait from any significant distance, you have to use vibration and smell to get the predator close, and then natural instincts will kick in, so don't ignore dirty water. The fish are there." We've been catching more trout each trip, some over twenty five inches. We're still landing oversized reds and at least two keepers on the slow days, with limits when the tide is right. Stop OBDD!