On Galveston: August 2009

Last month I reported that if Mother Nature would remain kind. July’s fishing had a good chance to make the record books, it just was that good. Well, Mother Nature has a mind of her own. Maybe my prediction provoked the old gal. We had to endure quite a string of hard south wind days in July and you know what that does to the fishing in many areas. Finally though, the strong south winds seem to be backing down and we’ve only a little west wind that we’ve have to fish around lately. Not too bad, fishing has bounced back overall, so let’s get started with this months report and forecast. We will begin with the areas where the action has been most consistent.

East Bay and the Lower Ship Channel – This area has provided the most consistent speckled trout action lately. A lot of the old Bolivar well pads and helicopter pads all along the Houston Ship Channel on the east side have been holding numbers of just keeper to medium sized trout. Lots of numbers on calmer days and easy limits. If you can get on a pad and catch the current just when it begins to slow, where you can get your jigs down, we are popping them real steady. Limits by 9:30 have been common on good days when working the deep well pads in about 8-12 feet of water. The reefs in East Bay, Hannah’s and all of the bigger reefs down the middle of East Bay, have been producing some really good trout with reports of a few pushing eight pounds. These are mostly coming on soft plastics and live baiters are doing their thing too, catching lots good specks. When the water is clean on the north shoreline of East Bay; wade fisherman are doing real good on redfish with spoons and jigs and there has been some topwater action as well.

Campbell Bay and West Bay – All the water through this area has been producing good fish over shell. Anywhere from about 5-7 feet of water over good solid oyster shell has been producing good numbers of trout under bait slicks and tide lines on soft plastics. Water conditions have been holding in this area as it is not as west wind sensitive as other regions. There has been some scattered action behind San Luis Pass when you catch the tide right down there. Guys wading the guts and the sandbars with topwaters and soft plastics have been doing good on trout up to the 26-27 inch class. I have heard of a couple of big 29 inchers from back there. For the most part there are fair numbers of fish behind the pass. The beachfront from High Island all the way over to Surfside at Freeport has been paying off good when the green tide rolls in right up on the beach, everybody is enjoying catching them. Good numbers of trout with artificials and live bait have been coming from the surf when you can fish it. A word of caution though, the sharks are in there too. A lot of little blacktips have really been tearing the live baiters up. The pluggers are having an easier time but they’re having their problems too. A shark will eat fish off anybody’s stringer.

Upper Galveston Bay – From markers 52 to 72, all the reefs along the ship channel have been paying off fairly well. Working schools of fish under slicks has been productive over humps, ledges and drop offs. Deeper reef structures in that area have been holding the best numbers of trout with these hotter water temperatures. A good push of cool gulf water rolling up the channel really helps keep the bites coming. West and southwest wind helps increase tidal movement along the channel.

Trinity Bay – Redfish are still the big ticket over here. It’s a shame there are not any tournaments here because it is real common to catch 18-19 pounds for your two best redfish in the slot. There are a lot of big fat healthy reds here right now. There is some trout action to be found, but we just need better wind conditions to catch them consistently. Anything in that due south around to due west quadrant slows the bite because it kills the tide flow over here and stirs the water up. Just to give you an idea, yesterday we had a light north wind and it was trout limits by 9:00. We saw trout jumping out of the water feeding on small shrimp and the crazy part was there were no birds on them. The north end is still pretty fresh and off-color but all the reefs and well pads and everything down the middle of Trinity Bay has better water quality.

Like I said at the top, fishing is coming back around. We had that little lull there with all of those pumping south winds and it kind of killed the open water fishing. I’m not going risk making an August prediction just in case Mother Nature is listening, but I think it’s going to be pretty good.