On Galveston: February 2010

Howdy, Capt. Mickey here, we finally got the holidays behind us and it's time for me to try and offer a little fishing recap and a fishing forecast that might come true. The way the weather has been of late I could probably throw a dart and be about as accurate. So let me kick everything of here by saying I hope all are well and keeping warm here in the New Year and I hope you get to enjoy lots of days on the water in 2010.

Winter is taking an unusual toll on the coast as we seem to getting one of those old-fashioned winters. We've had major weather issues, with all the rain, fog, cold weather, and winds. We really had a flurry through most of the month of December. As things have gotten colder and drearier, you've just had to pick your days, and the bite was usually slow.

Everything has been slow: West Bay, East Bay, Trinity, all the big three. However, West Bay had a little bit of shine to it about the middle of December. There was a lot of small and mid-size fish up to about three and four pounds caught drifting on the reefs and on the streaks in the middle. Really, West Bay's been the most consistent of all our bays, which sometimes happens at this time of year when Ol' Man Winter gets serious on us. Once that water stays in the 50s a long time, West Bay tends to produce a lot more consistently. Burnett Bay, the little bay back upstream here from Trinity, has also been loaded with little fish, and lots of boats are drifting out there catching anywhere from fifteen to thirty trout a day, sometimes full limits for everybody, but no size worth crowing about. A few fish have been in the five-pound class, but mostly they're all "just keeper" stuff.

Trinity Bay has finally gotten rid of all that fresh water it accumulated; it turned over just at the end of December. There has even been a little bird action from the spillway back towards Fisher's Reef in about eight or nine feet of water, where the greener, clearer water was. The river's finally gone down, and regular tides are returning. We've had a northeast wind and really above-normal tides all season, but now the waters have salted back up significantly, so it's not looking too bad for the rest of the season if we just get some good weather. There's a front blowing in now; as I write, it's gale-force winds here out of the west-northwest. We're going to lose a lot of water, and this is going to be about a one-week set back, but that's just part of the winter game we have to play.

East Bay's been yielding a few really good trout along the north shoreline behind these fronts. There's always that one-day window when you can squeeze in behind the front and work that north shoreline. There's not a lot of fish, but there have been some nice ones in the 28 to 29-class being caught over there and that's something you can crow about. You have to really work hard for those fish, though. Mostly 51MR Mirrolures and Corkys have been doing the trick in about three feet of water. It's really hard wading; you just have to put in your time and pay your dues, and some good fish will come out of it. In the last few tournaments around here (we had a couple during December), the fish were really nice, so that's a good sign for the spring coming up.

Hit your good weather trends behind these harsher fronts when you can and concentrate on deep shell in West, East, and Trinity Bays. If you get a good warming trend that lasts a few days and that high pressure moves off, those fish will really slide in shallow, kind of like they do over at Calcasieu and Sabine. For the most part, though, your fish are going to stay in that 4-8 foot range where they can snuggle down in that mud right at the edge of the shell. We haven't really had many warm, sunny days this season so far, and that's hurt us, but that's the way it goes. The good news is that we're saving fish while we wait. A lot of pressure has left the bays, as we're not hitting them as hard. That's good news for this coming year. Maybe there'll be a couple double-digit trout from one of the nearby flats in March or early April. Keep your lures ready!