On Galveston: July 2010

Nothing makes my job easier than a good run of steady catching, and fishing has finally busted loose! This week I've had a couple of really good trips: easy limits and four to five hours of catch and release in one spot. They don't seem to be leaving a lot of signs, but I've found that fishing around big shad balls and mullet has been paying off the best, and once you get on them, they're really thick and stacked up tight. We've finally hit our stride, and as long as we have these calm winds, we should see lots of good fishing for the rest of summer.I give the general Galveston Bay region a solid B+ rating right now that could easily become an A+ on speckled trout. Almost every reef in East Galveston Bay is loaded with schools of trout in anywhere from four to eight feet of water. These conditions are really paying off big for the lure fisherman, croaker soakers, shrimp fisherman, and pretty much everyone else. A lot of the catches are real nice fish in the two to five pound class. There are quite a few medium-sized fish, and occasionally you hear about a seven or eight pounder. I caught a 29.5-incher last week, and it was really lookin' good. As far as reefs go, the best fish concentrations are at Hanna's, Ladies Pass, Whitehead Reef, Moody's Pass, Richards Reef, Elm Grove Reef, Pepper Point Reef, etc. Really all the reefs over there are doing good. Some of the better wading spots are Windmill, behind Moody's, and over on the south side near the Hog Pens, which is holding a lot of good fish from Baffle Point up through Severs cut. Good, solid trout are also starting to show on some of the well pads on the lower end of the ship channel all the way up to the mid marker 52, 54, 56 (what we call the pipeline area, Bart's Pass, and Redfish Island area).Trinity Bay gets an A for redfish. There's big open-water schools in eight to ten feet of water over shell and such. Personally, I usually go with soft plastics such as the new bait made locally, Big Nasty. I'm partial to the Voodoo bait in the Big Nasty series. As for shad imitating baits, I'm using a lot of the Money Minnows that Pradco makes. Those are really paying off because they match the size of the shad that the redfish are feeding under. Both the pearl/chartreuse back and dark green back/pearly belly colors have been a real knockout lately. Topwaters are working great for wade fisherman, not so much for those fishing from boats. I think it has some sort of correlation with the noise. Any baits such as Catch 2000, Top Dog Jr, and Super Spooks are paying off (any colors). We do have some trout in Trinity Bay, the schools are small and a bit scarce, but guides who can work the slicks or fish open water structures are catching a fair amount. Still, the bigger trout are coming from East Bay and the Galveston Jetty.The beach front is doing real well for redfish and trout; it really kicked off in early June. The water was still a bit sandy, not that emerald green you want, but the people chunking plugs, topwaters, and soft plastics were doing well. Those with bait buckets had a good time of it, too.Haven't heard much on the Tri-Bay area down there. They are still having spotty catches, but I look for that to change with the brown shrimp moving in and San Luis pass greening up. We should be hearing better reports from that area real soon. Basically, all the fish seem to be in that triangular area we see every year once the migrations have all come together from the Gulf, including the brown shrimp. Then it's just a stack up, a real strong area.Overall, fishing is good, no complaints. Thank God the winds have stopped blowing. I hope everyone keeps in their thoughts all the really hard-working, proud fishermen over in Louisiana with this oil spill mess. Galveston isn't out of the woods yet, either. This could affect the entire Texas coast. We'd better pray that a major hurricane doesn't visit the Gulf and really screw the coastline up. Hope everything's well for all you fishermen out there. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.