On Galveston: December 2009

Howdy folks, Capt. Mickey here again bringing a recap and fishing forecast for Galveston Bay anglers. My job is easy again this month as fishing is good and, barring anything freaky from Mother Nature, I expect it will remain so right through December.

Everybody knows the upper Trinity and San Jacinto basin regions have been receiving lots of rain and we've got a lot of inflow from both rivers beginning to affect the Galveston Bay System. The upside to this is some big time bird action even though the surface looks real muddy. What is happening is that the river water is layering on top, about two feet thick, and we have clear saltwater underneath. It looks bad but there are just millions of shrimp and small baitfish in there. We are seeing lots of school trout from 15 to 18-inches and occasionally a 19 or 20-incher under these birds. I am literally talking hundreds of flocks of birds working just in Trinity alone. Same thing going on in East Bay. The action is steady and the fish are easy to find. How cool is that?

Shoreline wade fishing action is still a bit slow. We are finding smaller trout, lots of males, and the bigger fish are just now starting to roll up on the flats. I think it needs to get a little bit colder, probably about Thanksgiving time, before we'll see the shoreline thing really start to shine.

Redfish are all over the place, shallow and deep, out under birds, it doesn't matter. You can pretty much pick your weather conditions and you can find fish everywhere. You get a certain wind, you just go to that area where it is protected and fish that and catch your fish. Just flip flop between northers, hit your southern shorelines and wade fish them or work birds off of those shorelines. After a norther go to the north side and do the same thing. If it is calm just work all down the middle. There are birds working in all depths of water right now and shrimp everywhere. The only thing missing right now is the big trout bite and I believe it's just around the corner between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I guess we need to talk a little about the baits we've been using. Now this going to get pretty technical, so bear with me. Right now we're throwing soft plastics, Corkys and topwaters. I told you it was pretty technical but in truth all you need to do is find a good concentration of bait and then chunk whatever you like. Presentation, color, and all that other good stuff is hardly as important as finding a good bunch of bait and you can almost rest assured you'll find trout and reds, it's just that good right now.

I'd like to talk a little bit about the flounder run. I know that TPWD says the numbers are down, especially further south on the mid-coast, but I see no shortage here in the Galveston area bays. We are wade fishing and catching as many as ten flounder in the parties I am guiding and we're not even trying for them. These fish are being caught almost by accident while we are looking for trout and redfish. Honestly, I think if someone really targeted flounder and got in the areas that flounder favor during the run you would have no problem catching ten or twenty. None-the-less we are going by the rules and playing the game their way. We will be keeping our two fish throughout November which is really not a big deal to me. I am not a diehard flounder fisherman so the new limit is not really hurting my business or my pride.

So let's wrap it all up. Right now I give the trout and redfish catches we are enjoying an A+ rating and Trinity and East Bays get the nod for the most consistent action. West Bay always lights up when the winter chill hits the water so keep your eye on it. Water clarity, at least at the surface, is very iffy right now in certain areas of Trinity and Upper Galveston but it is only fresh on top. We have lots of fish lying just below that murky layer. Wintertime fishing is always a weatherman's game and we have to bounce from south to north to avoid the harsh north wind when the fronts come through. Shoreline wading will come into its own any day now and we should begin seeing some heavy trout showing very soon.

Merry Christmas and good fishing! Capt. Mickey Eastman