Reports & Forecasts: May 2019

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe - Big Lake Guide Service - 337.598.3268

I’m happy to report that fishing has been much better this year than it was last year. I believe the fish have rebounded nicely from the freeze. Trout, redfish, and flounder have been prolific throughout the entire estuary. Salinities are high and water clarity is about as good as it can get around here on a consistent basis. May provides great opportunity for fishermen wanting to target big trout. That's our main reason for loving this month so much. You can catch them at this time of year by whatever means you would like, most of the time. Topwaters, slow-sinking twitch baits and soft plastics all work well at this time of year. Quantities of trout will be found around reefs as well as under birds. These fish are generally easiest to catch on soft plastics rigged on quarter-ounce jigheads. We're really excited about this fishing season. So far, things are shaping up to make 2019 a special year. We hope to see all of you on the water or in our boats very soon.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - - 409.935.7242

James considers May to be a transitional month, one which can create some confusion. Good news is, many productive options are available to Galveston anglers, depending on the conditions of the moment. “Wading can be really productive in both East and West Bays in May. Areas down around San Luis Pass produce some solid trout this month for waders, as do spots on both shorelines of East Bay. If winds are on the calm side, fishing out of the boat around mid-bay reefs in both those bays, and in Lower Galveston Bay can produce good catches too. It's a great time of year to throw topwaters like the TopDogs, SheDogs and others. I tend to favor the small ones mostly, like the ShePup. Twitch baits work well too, all kinds really, including MirrOlure Catch 5s and 2000s, and of course, my old favorites, the 51 and 52Ms, in colors like pink/gold and chartreuse/silver. Keys to locating fish this time of year include watching for slicks and finding big concentrations of mullet and/or glass minnows. The latter around San Luis Pass in particular.”

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service - 409.996.3054
Jim says the weather often dictates which type of fishing will work best for anglers fishing East Galveston Bay in May. “We do catch some pretty good trout out in the middle this month, in most years. In order for that plan to work, whether we're wading the reefs or chasing slicks, mud boils and birds out in deeper water, the winds need to be pretty calm. Light winds allow us to work the right parts of the bay with decent water clarity in place, and we're able to see the mud boils and find the schools of mullet easier. On windier days, wading shorelines protected from the breeze works much better. If we have good incoming tides in the morning, shoreline areas close to the ship channel will always have green, salty water and potential for producing good catches. This month, it's often possible to catch fish on a great variety of lures, so lure choice is not really the key; locating the fish is the key. When and if we get heavy doses of south and southwest winds, wading the pocket north of the North Jetty can produce epic results.”

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 - 979.864.9323

Randall stressed how much he likes fishing the month of May while making this report. “This time of year, the bait really rolls through the pass, and we have a bunch of different patterns to work. If winds are really calm, we like to target our trout out in the surf, or on the shallow sand flats close to the pass. Topwaters like pearl Skitterwalks work really well when the ribbonfish are showing up. Smaller ones like Spook Juniors work better around schools of glass minnows. We have lots of both those forage species in the water this time of year—shad, mullet, shrimp and other critters too. So, it pays to stay in areas where lots of signs of life are showing, and where slicks are popping. When we're not throwing topwaters in the surf or on the flats, we'll spend some time throwing soft plastics out of the boat in places where large rafts of mullet are present and slicks are popping. We favor the full-sized Norton Sand Eels overall, but will sometimes switch over to the junior versions when we see lots of glass minnows in the area.”

Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service - 713.725.2401

With the water warming up, Charlie plans on getting out of the waders sometime soon, but will still be wading as much as possible, particularly if catching bigger trout is the goal. “There's still plenty of potential for catching some big trout on the shorelines in East Bay. Fishing out of the boat for numbers of trout and redfish is usually good over there too. Lots of the guys are throwing live shrimp under a popping cork when working that drill. When we're wading in West Bay, we're usually walking and throwing lures over a sandy bottom with some grass beds on it, or a grassy bottom with a few potholes breaking it up. Of course, this is the month when we start taking a hard look at the surf every time the wind calms down for a day or two. In many years, the first and second good runs of fishing along the beachfront are the best, at least in terms of producing trout of the biggest average size. So, we keep the hooks on our topwaters sharp and remain at the ready to walk over the dunes and toss them into the first gut fronting the beach at daybreak.”

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam - 979.240.8204

Fishing for redfish has become productive with the arrival of our big spring tides. We've started to see a big influx of fish on area shorelines and back-lakes. Small topwaters like ShePups in pink/silver and orange/gold/black have been super hot. DSL lures in magic grass and chicken of the sea have been working when the topwater bite plays out. Trout have moved off of the mud and shell bottom and onto scattered shell and grass. We've caught some good keepers off deep shell drifting, throwing live-shrimp under corks, in about three to five feet of water. We've also been catching trout on grassy shorelines, throwing Skitterwalks. Black drum have also showed up with warming spring tides. We've been catching a ton of these tasty fish on shallow reefs in about two feet of water on live and dead shrimp. May should be fantastic with the amount of bait we have now in our bays. The surf when we get some light winds, deep shell pads out in West Matagorda, and back-lakes on big tides, all will be productive areas this month.

Port O’Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service - 361.983.4434

May is a great time for fishing grassy, sandy flats in the Port O'Connor area, Lynn says. “We like to fish flats and shorelines, concentrating mainly on trout, with an eye on the redfish too. May is a super month for catching some of the biggest trout of the year, so we throw lots of topwaters, Paul Brown Lures and other twitch baits, which effectively imitate small finfish, which the big trout like to eat. The trout are spawning regularly this time of year, so they stay hungry and can be really easy to catch at times. One of the most important keys to consistent success in the middle of spring is to stay in places where lots of bait is present. The easiest kind of bait to locate are the large rafts of mullet. In best-case scenarios, once you find large rafts of big mullet, it's possible to determine that other sizes of mullet are also present and even other species which the trout and redfish prey on. So, variety in the types of bait present helps. Another main key to success is tide movement. This time of year, early-morning incoming tides produce best.”

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894

This month, Blake expects to be fishing shallow areas along shorelines in San Antonio and Aransas Bays, in places with lots of grass covering a sandy bottom. “Topwaters work well this time of year, so we throw them a lot, early in the mornings especially. As the sun rises higher, we normally switch over to soft plastics like Norton Sand Eels in dark colors with bright tails, or the Gulp! lures like the split-tail grub. Wading is usually the best way to fish this time of year, as both the trout and redfish generally like to stay in the shallow water tight to the shoreline, making it hard to cast at them from the boat. I do spend some time out on the mid-bay reefs in May too. This is normally the plan when winds are really light and the water gets pretty everywhere. In that same situation, I will make a few forays out into the surf. Out along the beachfront, we like to throw topwaters mostly. If and when those aren't working, we switch to soft plastics, adjusting jighead size to match the current, meaning heavier ones work better when the tide is stronger.”

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata – [email protected] - 361.563.1160

The month of May is another one of my favorite months to fish because of the variety of lures and baits that will produce good catches. The trout will still be spawning and feeding aggressively during their feeding periods. The redfish, flounder and black drum will also be very active this month. I will start my days by looking for concentrations of mullet in two feet of water or less, along shallow shorelines, grass edges or areas with scattered pot holes with mixed gravel bottoms. This is a good time to fish with your favorite MirrOlure SheDogs, TopDogs, Catch 5s or Catch 2000s, in natural colors. These will work as long as there is not too much floating or suspended grass. I'll always be ready to fish with my Bass Assassin Die Dappers in colors like sand trout and salt & pepper/chartreuse in clear water on sunny days, or morning glory/ chartreuse and chartreuse dog in murky water and/or on cloudy days. The croaker season begins in May, and fishing with them will also be productive in the same general areas.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez – - 361.877.1230
Fishing for trout and redfish in the Upper Laguna Madre, Baffin Bay and Corpus Christi Bay is about as good as it gets, in terms of variety of options available. Big trout can be caught in shallow areas, along shorelines, atop sandy grassy bars, and around rock structures, on all kinds of lures, including topwaters, slow-sinking twitch baits and soft plastics rigged on light jigheads. With clear water all over the area, natural color patterns in all these lures work well, and sight-casting opportunities run consistently high on a daily basis. Redfish begin showing up in schools more regularly this month as the water warms up into the eighties. On calm mornings, running the boat over large, shallow, grassy flats often causes the fish to move and push wakes. Once located, they can be approached from upwind using a trolling motor and caught on soft plastic paddletails and spoons thrown ahead of the schools. On windy days, some of the best fishing this month can occur in protected pockets of water in the eastern portions of Corpus Bay.

P.I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
361-877-3583 |

We are well into spring and enjoying an exceptional run of jack crevalle. Not known as table fare, most are targeted for sport, while a few are kept for shark bait. Pound for pound, they’re as tough a fighter as anything swimming in the Gulf. Jacks readily take spoons, topwaters, and swimbaits, with a reputation for spooling trout anglers. Shark action has also increased dramatically; large pregnant blacktips are currently plentiful, filling the void created when the sandbars left the surf. We can expect scalloped hammerheads any day, along with the occasional lemon. Spanish mackerel are also due as baitballs begin moving inshore. Tarpon will begin to appear late-month. The silver kings will take swimbaits, spoons, and flies, when surf water clarity improves. Speckled trout should be available during May, along with red and black drum, and occasional pompano. The month of May will usually determine the degree to which the dreaded sargassum will impact surf anglers' efforts. Be aware that stingrays will also be plentiful this month, so shuffle your feet!

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza – 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge – 956.944.4000

Look for the topwater bite to hit high gear as the cold fronts become less frequent and water temperatures continue to climb. Whether you’re hitting the Saucer area or west shoreline, you should check the trouts' bite attitude first thing every morning with a topwater. Top choices are Spook Juniors, One Knockers, and Skitterwalks. Productive areas to try include the stretch of water behind the nearby cabins on the ICW and the spoil banks on that same channel. If topwaters aren’t working, switch to the Kwiggler Ball Tail Shad, in plum/chartreuse, Lagunaflauge, and Mansfield Margarita. After the sun is higher in the sky, make a run along the sand/grass edge on the east-side flats, looking for rafts of bait. Soft plastic paddletails are usually good producers there, but it’s hard to beat a weedless gold spoon. The cuts between spoil islands along the East Cut have also been holding reds lately. Tarpon and kingfish should begin showing at the East Cut Jetties during the second half of May. Tight lines and calm seas.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Aaron Cisneros | – 956-639-1941

With warmer water temperatures and bigger tides, trout have been schooling on sandbars during early-morning hours. We've been throwing KWiggler Ball Tail Shads on eighth-ounce Screw Lock jigheads, working them on aggressively, high in the water column, for best results. Spoil islands along the ICW have been producing good numbers of redfish steadily for us as well as a few big trout. With spring winds, the floating grass problem here on the Lower Laguna returns. The Spook Junior has been my most productive topwater the past several weeks, but swapping the factory treble hooks for singles has been the only way to keep them running clean for any useful distance with the surface grass conditions. Redfish have been schooling in encouraging numbers on the east-side grass flats. A lazy walk-the-dog presentation has been most effective to entice strikes from them. I rate the fishing we're currently enjoying as exceptional, with great promise for an outstanding spring season firmly in place.