On Galveston: August 2011

Capt. Mickey here to give you my version of what's happening in the Galveston Bay region. Let me tell you that we have it going on right now. The wind is down and the fishing is up. The whole bay system is in good shape and folks are catching fish all over the place.

I probably sound like a broken record but the key to good trout fishing in Trinity Bay is still shad and slicks with the preferred structure being some amount of shell. Never pass up bait concentrations in deeper water or away from areas known to have shell bottom though - we've had some good days recently in mixed schools of trout, reds, drum and even gafftop over mud bottom. For whatever reason it seems they all just lay up in that mud together out there in the middle of nowhere. The only constant in the equation seems to be shad.

We are throwing the Big Nasty Voodoo Shad quite a bit and also the new MirrOlure plastic bait I mentioned in an earlier article called the Lil John. When the fish are getting deep and you don't want to put on a big gumball jighead to get down to them, all you have to do is put on a Lil John on a 1/4 ounce head. It sinks real fast and has an amazing darting action the fish love. It is also scented and the fish love that too. Both of these lures are good for teasing finicky trout as their darting and fluttering draws lots of follow-up strikes if you miss the first one.

Some of the wells in Trinity Bay are beginning to hold good numbers of trout. Not all the wells are real hot just yet but a few of the Sugar Wells, the Exxon C2 lease and some of the wells around the old Yellow Separator midway in the bay are holding fish. Some of the well pads in the channel like the A Lease are holding some fish and some of the old pads along the outer reaches of the ship channel are also producing trout. They don't have any structures on them but if you find a good pad between Marker 52 and 56 in that area there is a good chance you will find fish.

Like Trinity, East Bay is producing lots of fish in the Bull Shoals area, Hanna Reef, and Lady's Pass. Hanna is a huge reef so you can spend the whole day if you plan to fish all of it. Dredging activity and dirty water have been affecting much of Hanna this year. Strong incoming tides are carrying all that mess into East Bay so it is probably best to hit that area when the tide is going out. All your reefs along the north shoreline and out in the middle all the way to the back are holding nice trout and some reds, we call it Moodys Triangle (Moodys Reef, Windmill and Frenchies).

The jetties and surf are also holding nice fish. When the surf is flat and green, San Luis Pass, Rollover and High Island, all the spots the Dawn Patrol guys love to fish, are producing good catches on Super Spooks, soft plastics and spoons.

I have been getting lots of questions from folks wanting to know where all these trout came from all of a sudden all across the Galveston area so here's my take on it. Obviously they were there all along, but with that hideous wind we had all through spring and part of early summer we just couldn't get on them. The population is very good for this time of year and sizes are good too, so I think my theory is good. As we head into August, unless we get some severe tropical weather coming through, I look for the deeper structure to continue to hold more trout. Let's just hope the wind stays down and were able to continue working them.

A few tips on fishing wells and related deep structure. I see people motoring right to the well or deep reef with their outboard when they should be riding the troll motor. Hull slap is another problem, especially when anchored. Sometimes it is better to drift through and then use the troll motor to get back in position or make a really wide loop with the outboard rather than anchoring right over top of them. Another common mistake is giving up too soon. I see folks pulling up to a well and fishing only a few minutes. Give them a chance to settle down for a few minutes and react to the baits. You might get a surprise, or then again you might have chosen a well with no fish or maybe somebody was there ahead of you and spooked them up real bad. Whatever the case might be, don't get in a hurry to leave. It has been my experience that trout action will be best on the north end of a well pad in Trinity on incoming current and the south end when it is going out. Another trick that works for me is moving away from the well and targeting the muddy edge of the shell pad. One thing is certain, you'll never know what's there if you don't work it correctly.

We are currently enjoying a great summertime fishing pattern; about as good as it gets. Our salinity and water clarity are good everywhere with the exception of the dredge activity that is messing up the eastern waters of East Bay. Soon the redfish will start roaming the flats. I expect the trout to remain strongly oriented to deep structure all through August. The trout I've been cleaning have been full of eggs since early May and that is a good sign for the future. Lots of folks are releasing larger trout, keeping fryer-size, and that too should be good for the future of the fishery. Lots of folks are praying for rain, but for the sake of the fishing, I doubt anybody wants a deluge. It's looking good for late summer and fall, let's just hope it holds.