On Galveston: February 2009

Well it's time for another Galveston area fishing report and with the holidays and football season concluded except the Super Bowl everybody should be rearing to go. Over the past several weeks all the reports I have received say that fishing is good, hunting is good, and if these are your interests it is a great time of year and you should have it going on. The weather has been pretty mild so far and we are enjoying a pretty good winter here on the Upper Coast.

Right now the fishing remains very good in Trinity and East Bays and into their upper reaches including the back bays and lakes. Lots of fish being caught; good numbers and some big ones too. I can't say enough about how good we have it.

Trinity Bay is holding lots of redfish. Big schools are common and you can get on some of these schools and catch 30-40 redfish. When the conditions are right they are coming to the top and just plain easy to catch right now. Soft plastics are bringing us lots of heavy slot reds in the 2628 inch range and some oversized up to 30 inches. These reds are very fat right now, the weights are awesome.

The trout are not too bad either if you can tear yourself away from the reds. There are a lot of trout in the back of Trinity Bay, especially in the Jacks Pocket area. Cutting long drifts in 4-6 feet of water has been productive using soft plastics and Corkys out of the boat. The action is steady and there are a few showing up to 5 and 6 pounds. This is real quality fishing.

Our big reefs that normally produce so well this time of year have not turned on yet. I have never seen as many commercial drum lines strung around these reefs as there are this year and wonder if that might have something to do with it. I wish TPWD would limit the number of lines that could be placed in these prime areas. There are a lot of sport anglers here that enjoy fishing for drum and I fear the commercial fishermen might wipe them out. But getting back on topic, the trout just aren't schooling over our big reefs as we have seen over the years in Trinity Bay.

Tabbs Bay is still producing lots of trout. I have had some good trips of late with Corkies and soft plastics over scattered shell and mud in about 2-3 feet of water, both wading and drifting. I have had four customers this past month break 8-pounds, the biggest trout of their careers. There have been a lot of good fish in the 23-25 inch range . We had one banner day where we had 30 fish and the smallest one was 23 inches with everybody catching and releasing a bunch over 25 inches. It was just incredible. It was like a Baffin trip instead of a Galveston trip.

Going farther north, Scott Bay, San Jacinto Bay and Burnett Bay are all holding good numbers of fish. A young man from Chambers County who I coached in baseball, Chad Trousdale, popped a real nice trout this past Sunday. I saw the fish and it was legit. It was over 29 inches and weighed 9 pounds, a big fat football of a fish that ate a pink Corky. I had another friend catch one that was just under 10 pounds in those back bays on a soft plastic. When I say it's good up here right now I'm not kidding.

East Bay seems not to be getting much traffic these days as there are not many boat ramps open. If someone is willing to make the long run by boat over there they can find multitudes of fish on the shorelines as well as out in the middle. Bird action slowed up somewhat but on occasion you will get a norther through and you will have a few small shrimp get flushed out. They are catching a good number of fish under the birds when they work. It is just crazy to see this so late in the year. I guess this is our payback for having to take Ike down the throat like we did but it is all coming to rare form now. I have not seen many late Decembers and Januarys with fishing this good.

Water conditions are excellent, pretty near perfect at all points. There is little freshwater inflow into the bays right now and all the water is clear and there is a good availability of bait. You can find baitfish just about anywhere and pretty much where you find your bait is where you find your fish. If you want big trout, key on scattered shell and soft mud; that is where they are holding. Pay particular attention to bayou mouths or any kind of drains or ditches coming out of the marsh and also the primary points near those areas have been holding real good fish for wade fisherman.

That is pretty much it for this month. I hope everybody has a great 2009 and that the quality of our fishing holds into spring. I will be at the Houston Fishing Show and look forward to meeting all my old friends and making new ones.