On Galveston: March 2009

Trinity Bay – We still have a lot of reds holding in the north end of the bay and some pretty good trout are holding with them, some up to 6 and 7 pounds. They are holding close to the river mouth area and bayous. That has pretty much been the pattern. Finding these fish has been easiest between the cold fronts. Before the strong southerly flows come around we look for one or two magically calm days. The water clears and the fish are lighting off pretty good. We are finding schools of baitfish, mostly mullet and some shad, and it looks the glass minnows are entering the mix. Most of the trout are coming on soft plastics with a little sprinkling of topwater action, but the surface plugs have not been real consistent yet. We will get a topwater bite once in a blue moon and it can be real good but this has been by far the exception and not the rule.

Back of Trinity Bay – Long Island Bayou and Red Bayou are holding pretty good numbers of redfish, trout and flounder. In my experience this is unusual for this time of year, but then with no real significant freshwater inflow to speak of we are currently salty way upstream in areas like Long Island Bayou and Red Bayou. Your best bet is to chart them on your depth finder in the deep water bends and ledges that border these. We're talking deep here, so the best lures are deep diving crankbaits and slow bumped soft plastics on 3/8 ounce jigs.

Back Bays – Scott Bay is holding some pretty good numbers of fish over old pipeline oyster shell in about 6-8 feet of water. Soft plastics and MirrOlures have been effective and taking good numbers of trout up to about 6 pounds. San Jacinto River, north of I-10, is holding good numbers of trout and a few red fish on deepwater drop-offs and ledges in about 6-10 feet of water on scattered shell. Deep diving crank baits and soft plastics are doing a number up there also. Same pattern as the bayous and rivers in the back of Trinity Bay. Occasional slicks and baitfish schools are the key to locating these fish.

East Galveston Bay – East Bay north shore along Anahuac Wildlife Refuge probably has the best concentration of fish right now. These fish have been holding primarily on mud shell mix in 2-4 feet of water. Corkys, some topwaters, and gold spoons are doing real well on redfish and trout in that region of the bay. Far north end of East Bay is a big bayou called Oyster Bayou and it is producing some very nice trout. As a matter of fact a good friend won the Specktacular tournament held this past weekend near Oyster Bayou. They had 3 trout that went just under 18 pounds they could only keep one over 25 inches. Their best was an eight pounder. They reported using soft plastics, Bass Assassins, on 3/8 oz jig heads. They were working the drop offs and ledges down the edge of the bayous especially in the points, bends and turns of the bayou itself. Water conditions are pretty clean because they have not had rain over that way either. Most of these fish have been feeding on glass minnows and tiny shrimp.

All bayous, rivers, and other deep water cuts are holding a lot of flounder this year. The biologists say all of our big flounder migrate to the Gulf of Mexico but we all know that is not always true. Lots of good flounder up to five and six pounds are being caught in these deep water cuts and bayous on soft plastics. Nobody is going up there and fishing for them like they normally do, no telling what we could see if somebody used live bait on the bottom for them.

West Galveston Bay – The coves started producing fair numbers just recently. Fishing overall for this whole bay complex is just fair as we are going through the transition from winter to spring. The good coves in West Bay that have the good deep guts that running into them that fan out into the back of the cove have been getting some trout movement in them and most of the fish have been coming on Mirrolures and Rogues with some topwater action. An occasional lunker trout is being caught at this time but March is the prime time down there without a doubt. If you can pick the right cove that has the most baitfish in it and be patient, and you may have wait for a tide change, you can do well. An incoming tide is ideal for these coves. Most of the fish being caught in the whole complex have been on the afternoon or late evening bite.

Christmas, Bastrop and Chocolate Bays – Look for solid trout to come from Christmas Bay, especially on the north side behind the northers when the water returns to the flats. This is just a prediction, but it happens every year like clock work. Usually in early March you start seeing some really good quality trout and redfish up along the north shoreline of Christmas Bay.

Water conditions in pretty much all of the Galveston region bays are excellent and the salinity levels are quite high. This is the main reason we are finding fish congregating in the northern parts of the bays, they are moving toward the reduced salinity of what is left of the river and marsh inflow. The baitfish move into these areas and the trout and reds follow.

Look for fishing to improve as water temperatures rise in March. Right now I would say fishing is fair to good overall for the entire Galveston complex. We have slowed some since December and January when I rated it excellent all across the system.