On Galveston: January 2008

We've got it good in the Galveston Bays right now. If anything has changed since my last report I'd say the fishing may have improved, especially for big trout.

Trinity Bay
Fishing on Trinity is still wide open. The bird action has slowed down a little bit, probably because the northers have finally flushed what was left of the white shrimp crop from our area marshes. Deep water structure is still yielding big numbers of trout, but not necessarily big fish. We are beginning to see some reds mixing with school trout and also a few stripers and some hybrid stripers. We are catching about four or five stripers per day with our trout and reds.

The key right now is that things are changing. A lot of bigger trout are beginning to show on mud and muddy oyster beds in two to four feet of water. Some days you find them shallow but for the most part they are hanging in water too deep to wade and drifting is tough because some of the reefs are pretty shallow in this end of the bay. Trout in the 23" 25" class are becoming more common; ten to twelve a day mixed in with our limits of other fish is what we've been seeing. There are some reports of trout to seven pounds, but we have not been able to pop any monsters. That will come as it gets cooler.

The water conditions are perfect from shore to shore and front to back in Trinity and we're seeing fish everywhere. We went upstream into Tabbs, Scott and Burnett bays and everything is looking good up there too. The redfish are starting to gather on reefs situated close to deep water, a sure sign of the winter pattern coming together.

Soft plastics are the best baits right now. Pretty much any type of soft plastic you want to throw will work. We are getting some action on topwater but it is just not consistent. One day we are whacking them and then you may go three or four days and not get a topwater bite. Drift fisherman working deep structure are doing well with MirrOlures. We are catching almost all of our bigger trout on MirrOlures.

Everything is working right now and we're having a great winter fishing season so far; we certainly paid our dues earlier in the year with all the rain and freshwater in the bays.

East Bay
We have pretty much the same patterns happening over here as we are seeing in Trinity. Mid-bay shell reefs are holding lots of trout. Drifting the reefs with MirrOlures and soft plastic has been very productive. Shoreline wading has also been good, so I guess you could say everything is wide open just like in Trinity. Also like Trinity, East Bay has not yet been giving up her biggest trout. We think this is only another cold front or two away though as all the signs are beginning to come together. Those soft mud and shell bottoms in East Bay will produce bigger fish as soon as we can get that water down into the fifties.

Upper Galveston
Upper Galveston Bay is on too. Sylvan Beach has been producing nice fish, so are Seabrook Flats and Clear Lake. Clear Lake trout have been on the small side but there are just a ton of them right now.

West Bay
West Bay has been coming around pretty strong too. Especially during and right after cold fronts, that seems to be the pattern for West Bay this time of year. Trinity and East Bays may not produce well during a front but West Bay always does when you get that big tide drop. Lots fish come out of the canals and the bayous. They follow all the shrimp out into the middle of the bay over the shell, from North and South Deer Island on down to Carancahua Reef; there has been a lot of good drift fishing and bird action.

Flounder Run
The annual fall flounder run is always of great interest to Galveston area anglers so let's talk about it. Back on October 22 we had our really first big norther of the season and it put everything in motion. Each successive front just adds to it and strengthens the pattern. There are presently a lot of flounder being caught in the Galveston System and there seems to be a greater than average number of three to six pound fish. It has been a long time since I have seen that quality of fish being caught. The biggest catches are coming in from the Galveston Yacht Basin, the Old Coast Guard Station, Sea Wolf Park and at the Barge Graveyard on the Bolivar side. Believe it or not, lure fishermen seem to be having a better year than the live bait crowd. The Berkley Gulp and Gulp Alive have been working exceptionally well and are playing a role in this success. The magic water temperature for getting those flounder to really bite is about 60-64 degrees. Once you start to get into the 50's the numbers break off but the big quality flounder are still there.

All is alive and well in the Galveston Bay System. The whole complex is brimming with good action. Barring any severe fronts we are going to have a great second-half for December and January should be great too. Keep your eye on the wind, tide and weather and always remember to pick your days carefully between fronts.