On Galveston: May 2008

Right now, fishing is what I'd call a little slow in the Galveston Complex as a whole. This is the normal springtime transition that we go through every year. It always turns around in May, though, and that is what we are looking forward to at this time. As a rule we always have better fishing during winter and early spring than we see in this mid-spring period. Right now the high winds and freshwater runoff have put a damper on the fishing in many areas. A lot of fish are holding deep and with continuously strong wind they are hard to target. Lately, any calm day has been quite productive for boat anglers but they have been too few. The majority of the fish seemed to be staged in about six feet of water. At times the shorelines are paying off pretty good, especially in East Bay.

East Bay has probably been our most consistent producer. Back behind Rollover Pass, when the tides and other conditions are right, we have seen some good stringers coming in. This area can be real good when we pull hard pumping south winds like we have had. There is a lot of protected shoreline to work with in East Bay and most everybody I've talked to have been keying on bait concentrations and a few slicks. The shoreline fish are finally starting to slick over here and showing signs of where they are hiding. These are mostly trout with just a few reds and flounder in the mix. We have been hearing of some unusually heavy trout, a few weighing-in at seven pounds have measured as little as twenty-two inches. We have been using Corky's, the Norton Bull Minnow and also the Norton Sand Eel. Color has not been that critical. Darker baits like your blacks, blues and reds have been working the best due to the water clarity.

Trinity Bay anglers are doing fairly well in the upper regions near the HL&P. Flounder have started to show up in front of the spillway. We have had a few waders and kayakers go in behind McAllen Park right after the last few northers and they are finding fish in the clear water that comes from the cooling pond. This time of year you can get back there and pop some really big trout. This area has gained a reputation for speckled trout in the thirty-plus category at this time of year. You just have to pick your days and play the wind to enjoy favorable conditions. Most of the up-stream fishing in the back bays and along the San Jacinto inflow has been rather dismal of late; you can scrape up a handful of fish but it is nothing to write home about. Redfish holding over deep structure have been the bonus. Best areas for them are along the dropoffs and ledges and also over shell and rocks. We have found them in everything from three to ten feet of water so the pattern is sketchy if you could even call it one. Spinner jigs, gold spoons and soft plastics have been your better baits for the reds.

Upper Galveston Bay has been taking a real spanking from the wind and there's not really much to talk about here. We will need to see some calmer weather before that area will turn on. The south winds just pound it too hard.

West Bay has been good when you fish the right cove and catch the right conditions. The problem here is that the fish are only hanging in these coves for short periods. You can go to the same spot every day for a week and only hit it good one time. These fish are in some kind of transition mode or they are staying with the bait. Some guys who aren't afraid to explore are finding them, though. Mirrolures, Spinning Rogues and Rattling Rogues are producing the best. Lures with dark backs and orange or gold on them seem to do the trick. Topwaters have not been producing consistently, however they have been useful in locating fish. You can wade quickly and cover a lot of water for scattered blow-ups. That's when you switch up and slow it down with a Corky or soft plastic and start catching.

The Galveston Jetties are holding a lot of reds right now, especially the north jetty. Look for some good sized trout to be caught here in late-April and May also. Of course you'll need to wait for the wind to get right to fish the channel side of that north jetty.

For the most part the fishing is inconsistent and will remain so until the season develops more fully. The Galveston Bay System has a million fish; we're just having a tough time catching them right now. We go through this every year. I expect a big change to occur in May.

On a side note: the pier fisherman over near Oak Island and Double Bayou have been fishing under the lights and just tearing them up. They have brought in some nice twenty-two and twenty-three inch trout and a couple up to twenty-eight. They have even reported some stripers mixed in there. I would guess these fish are feeding heavily on glass minnows.