On Galveston: August 2010

As I write this, the wind is blowing east/northeast at about 25 mph up here on Trinity Bay. No fishing today, but man what a run we have had here for the last two weeks! Just to give you an idea of how good it is, pull up to any well in Trinity Bay down through A Lease, get a bite, anchor up, and you'll have your limit by 7:30am every morning, and I mean good fish, 18"-23" on average. Every now and then, you'll even pop a 27". All the females seem to be lounging around over the deep well pads, and all the males are hanging out along the shoreline, waiting for the females to make their move and spawn.I've started wade fishing Trinity Bay along Little Hodges, Big Hodges, and the Vingt-et-un Islands (pronounced Van Tune French for twenty-one islands). The wade fishing on the east shoreline has been real good under rafts of mullet, pods of shad, and slick, clear water anywhere from knee to chest deep. Using soft plastics and topwaters, I've been catching lots of two to three pound trout and every once in a while a five pounder. The fish are running from 17-20" for the most part and lots of them easy to get a limit. Trinity's still kind of fresh up in the top end. The flow from the dam was just cut back at Lake Livingston to 8,000 (it was running about 18-20,000). That has been keeping the salinity down and that is where all our redfish are, way up in the grass beds in the far northern pockets. They're real hard to catch, too, because they're holding shallow, and the water is dirty and stained. But the trout fishing's a solid A+. The ship channel from marker 72 down to 52 or 48 and all the reefs and pads around there are holding a lot of fish. Naturally, the guys throwing live croaker are having a field day like they always do when the fish are thick, and the lure and live shrimp-cork guys are doing pretty good too. I've been throwing a combination of baits. When I find them feeding real good on the wells I go over to a shrimp tail such as the old Kelly Wiggler; I've got a million of them left over from the old days, twenty years ago. It's every cast with those, and you can catch twenty or thirty fish on one bait. When the bite is slow and picky, I will stick with a Big Nasty Voodoo or a Bass Assassin, something real soft that has a lot of action in it. I've had good luck with red shad, chicken-on-a-chain, and Calcasieu brew but, to be honest, I don't think the color really matters all that much. I just tie on whatever I have the most of at the time and let my customers fish with that.Nothing has changed over at East Bay. All the reefs are holding fish from the front to the back along the south shoreline. I haven't been over there, but I have friends who are just crushing them every day, wading the south shoreline with soft plastics and topwaters. There are just so many fish right now; I don't know what to say! It's kind of like it was in the late 80s before we had our second big freeze. The fish are really just pouring in here, and the calm conditions and clear water make all the difference.

There are fish over at Dollar all along Texas City, West Bay, and I mean everybody is catching trout everywhere! When the surf is right, it's on like crazy! People are just catching hordes of fish throughout the whole complex: over the deep shell, along the shallow flats, wade fishing, boat fishing, whatever's your pleasure. I haven't seen it like this in years; even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. On a really bad day, I can still catch twenty to twenty-five fish with lures, just grinding them out with high winds out of the boat. I hope I've given some inclination of how good it really is. Water conditions are pretty much good throughout the whole system as well.Some disturbing news amidst all this though, possibly related to the oil spill. Over east of us, our friends at Sabine are seeing quite a few more pogy (menhaden) seiners moving from the Venice area down to Sabine and Calcasieu, and they are just killing dump trucks full of bull redfish in those nets. It was a hot topic on my radio show. I think one week in late June, Louisiana Fish and Wildlife buried over ten-thousand bull redfish that washed ashore. So far, it seems like Texas Parks and Wildlife have done nothing about it, and those are Texas fish, too. It is reported that some of the pogy boats have worked on the Texas side of the Jefferson county line, and redfish are washing up over there. We've been stirring the pot, so hopefully somebody, maybe CCA, will make a stand because this is a terrible waste of redfish spawning stock. Other than that piece of bad news, fishing's very good right now on the upper coast. Even in Sabine, they're having an excellent summer season; some longtime anglers calling it the best they've seen. I don't know if Alex was a sign of a busy hurricane season, but we sure needed the rain, and looks like everyone came out safe and ready to fish!