On Galveston: December 2010

Captain Mickey here with another look at fishing in the Galveston Bay Complex. Life very good on Galveston Bay right now, no doubt about it. We have lots of fish showing in lots of places with plenty catching going on. Maybe not the best I've ever seen in all aspects but certainly good trout fishing. Redfishing is a little off at present in some areas but trout action is really good. Each new front that makes it to the coast will reduce the water temperature and sets the stage for serious wade fishing the kind hardcore fishermen love to do this time of year during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. It's a real good time to get in the shallow flats, find your baitfish, throw topwaters, Corkys and various MirrOlures, and catch some of the best trout the Upper Coast can offer.

It's kind of strange the patterns in Trinity and East Bay. We still have a lot of fish out deep over major reefs holding in seven to eight feet of water. Normally when we see fish that deep this time of year they are usually over the mud in the northern ends of the bay whether it be East Bay or Trinity Bay; or under gulls as they get to chasing those last big herds shrimp coming out of the marsh on the low tides. Birds work especially well under the conditions described and everybody targets those, but the fish still holding on the deep reefs is not the norm by a long shot. The part that is most confusing is that we also have trout working shallow shorelines. Go figure!

I would have to give East Bay the nod for being the best out of the whole complex right now East Bay is holding tons of fish. Basically all of East Bay down through the middle is full of fish as are both shorelines. North and south shorelines are holding good numbers of very nice trout, solid three and four pound fish, and for conditions (warm water temps) the way they have been that is saying a lot. Traditionally we do not see fish of this quality in abundance in the shallows until the water is cooler.

I think the best game plan at present along the south shoreline of East Bay is keying on the bayou mouths and the primary points just adjacent to those. There are still lots of shrimp coming out of those drains on out-going tides and the trout schools are staged close by to take advantage of the easy pickings there. In addition to the shrimp there also lots of shad balls in these areas. The action is pretty easy to locate, look for slicks, jumping shrimp, pelicans, gulls, shad balls, any kind of jumping bait. Move in carefully and you are sure to draw some strikes.

We are using a fairly diverse combination of baits; Super Spooks, Top Dog Jrs, Corkys, soft plastics, even spoons, basically whatever you like to throw. That is what is so good about this time of year, a lot of people, whatever their favorite lure is, they can pretty much draw the strikes and catch fish this time of year with no problem at all. Water conditions couldn't be better.

West Bay has been showing some hints of pretty good action especially bigger fish shallow in the coves and along the south shoreline and over some of the grassbeds there. There are some pretty good trout being caught over there, not lots of them and not big numbers of them yet, but some good solid fish in the twenty-five to thirty inch class. West Bay definitely gets my nod for the best redfish action in the Galveston Complex right now. We have been receiving reports of good schooling going on and lots of these fish are perfect middle of the slot size. If reds are your passion, West Bay's south shoreline is the place to be as of this writing.

If you like to catch trout like I do this time of year, East Bay and Trinity Bay are definitely your best bets. After a norther and even during a norther, my pick would be the protected shorelines of Trinity and also the upper reaches of back bays such as Burnett and Tabbs. San Jacinto Bay and Crystal Bay can also be good bets on strong north wind days.

If I'm not facing strong north wind, I like East Bay, the south shoreline has plenty of fish on it. Just watch for your bait signs, your tides dictate a lot of that, and jumping, nervous bait whether it be mullet, shad, shrimp or whatever. Near bayou mouths and behind major reefs are going to be your best pay off and as it gets colder the softer mud bottoms are going to start holding your bigger trout.

That's pretty much it. It's a go and we couldn't have ordered better weather so far this fall. We've been blessed with an uncommon number of calm days where you could enjoy the best of two worlds; you could wade fish in the morning and go out and work birds in the afternoon, not too bad at all.

I want to wish all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
I know lots of folks have hunting foremost on their minds right now but you need to get out on the water and get a few days of the best fishing we've seen in quite a few years. Good luck and keep an eye on the weather.