On Galveston: April 2012

Howdy anglers! Capt. Mickey again, live from Baytown. March is melting into the rearview and April is stretching ahead with promises of better weather and more great fishing. I want to take a minute and thank everybody that came out to the 37th Annual Houston Fishing Show. Dave Holder and his team put on a great show every year and I always enjoy meeting and chatting with all the folks who come out to enjoy it. This show is truly a highlight of the fishing year and if you missed it you really need to try harder next year.

Fishing across the Galveston Complex has been fairly steady maybe not the best Ive ever seen - but not too bad for this time of year. We are catching solid fish on average but no giants... yet. Word is circulating of a few trout up to seven pounds. There are lots of three to four pound trout being caught, with a couple of fives mixed in on a good day. Id say it running sort of like a yo-yo, I mean one day you can wade a flat and catch 50 to 60 fish and next day go back and catch 10 or 12. Sometimes just 5. There seems to be lots of fish and you can get a lot of bites some days but the feeding patterns are not consistent. That's just the way it is; we go through these transitions of winter to spring every year.

Lets start out with Trinity Bay. Its been an awful long time but the north end is pretty messed up. We got a lot of that local rain of the past several weeks plus the gates at Livingston were opened and that flooded the back of the bays. I think the highest release rate at the dam was around 38,000 cubic feet per second. Now after about two and a half weeks like that, they have cut it back to around 3,000 or so. It is gonna take time to clean that water up back there. I really don't think it has moved those fish around a whole lot, though. I have been fishing ahead of the freshwater, working the edges and fringes and just looking for indications of bait if you can find them. You know it has been so foggy and cloudy that the baitfish are not coming to the surface like they do on the sunny days and warmer days. It has just been kind of cold, dreary and cloudy and you just got to put your jacket and waders on and flip your hood up. The fog and mist is heavy enough that you get that little bit of moisture dripping from the bill of you cap. Not exactly postcard weather but it could be a lot worse.

East Bay is pretty much the same as it has been. Most of the fish over there are up in the far upper end around Anahuac Wildlife Refuge and they are pretty much oriented on soft mud bottom. Over here in Trinity Bay when you do find them, they are usually over scattered clam shell or oyster shell off of points and in drains and ridges and any kind of bottom changes. That has kind of been the pattern in 2.5 to 5.5 feet of water. We have been getting a lot of northeast wind so that has kind of put a damper on things but that is good for the back East Bay. Redfish are real spotty right now. On occasion you will fall into a good school of them but for the most part trout is definitely the ticket.

All the baits we have been using like the MirrOlure slow-sinkers and Lil John soft plastic are still producing real good. The Tidal Surge Maniac Mullet is working well, the Corky is working OK. Topwaters haven't been too good, some days you will get a lot of blow ups, but you just don't connect on a lot of fish. The best key to finding the bite has been brown pelicans. They are usually working over schools of shad. If I find a couple in the area, I will shut er down and look it over real good. If you see a shad or two flip here or there, you better get a lure in there because there is definitely fish roaming that flat. As far as finding mullet - that is where the white pelican comes into play. Occasional slicks popping has also been a good sign. The bite window has been kind of crazy, though. You know one day you will catch them kind of early and then the next day you will go back and nothing, nothing, nothing and then from 11:00 to 1:30 in the middle of the day you will get a decent bite. That is the key to catching them this time of year - being where the fish are and sitting on them until they decide to turn it on. What I mean by crazy is you will look at a spot and it is dead. I know they're there because they've been for days. Then bingo! You are on the fish all over the place. It is just trial and error this time of year and you just have to work at it. On the calmer days you can catch the fish out of the boat but the edge goes to the wade fisherman this time of year when the wind gives you a bunch of hull slap.

I have not ventured upstream much of late but I have been getting some reports of fairly steady redfish in Burnett Bay. Other than that it is kind of slow up that way. Not a whole lot of fish being caught, they are having to work for their fish also. Then down the west side over there, it has been rather slow down towards Texas City and Eagle Point area and all that area. The only really decent reports I have been receiving have been from around the Sylvan Beach area. Those old grinders working the pier pilings and other structure over there with Corkys, MirrOLures, and soft plastics. Those guys can go out and find the bite, you can bet on that.

Our water temperature has stayed right around 60 for quite awhile now. I think once we get up around that 64 to 66 degree range and let it stabilize and hold there, we will start getting our drum run coming through the jetties and Texas City Channel and all that area. That is really a good indication when spring is going to kick in. Once that drum run starts, it sets everything in motion and the trout will get more consistent. That is just what we go through. We just love February and March hoping for those bigger trout to show and we are real lucky to be catching what we have been catching. There are some very good signs right now and if they're any indication of what is to come we should have a really great spring season through April and May. Don't be foolish with the spring weather pick your days and remember to play it safe on the water.