On Galveston: May 2009

The key to catching fish right now is playing the weather between the fronts. Wind is always a factor during springtime and everybody has their protected coves and shorelines they run to on the windiest days. The weather pattern of late has also included many days of high atmospheric pressure between the fronts and this can put a crimp in feed patterns. If you know you are in a good area that is holding fish you just have to grind it out sometimes, they'll bite sooner or later. Not to worry though, May always brings better weather.

Trinity and East bay are still stealing the show here in the Galveston area. We have just tons of trout and redfish in both bays right now. Wade fisherman are catching them, drift fisherman are catching them, bank fisherman are catching them. The word is out on Trinity Bay and it is getting a lot of pressure. Trinity is holding its own, though, and lots of anglers are enjoying really good trout action. Fishing pressure in East Bay is not as heavy and I would like to suggest for anybody making their first run of the year to East Bay, navigate with caution. The water is full of obstructions and debris from Hurricane Ike. Some of this has been marked, but not all, so "safety first" is the byword. I would like to encourage that East Bay boaters carry a few pieces of PVC and mark anything they find that has not already been marked.

I had some good catches this past week; lots of nice trout in the four to seven pound range. We haven't busted an eight in quite a while but we are catching good solid fish from twenty-three to twenty-seven inches, it is really good. Plastics are the still the best bait choice. We are getting a sprinkling of topwater action, but nothing consistent yet. It seems we just can't get them on top and interested for very long. Our water temperatures are yo-yoing. It will get up to 72 then drop back to low-60s. Still, that mud/shell mix under three-six feet of water seems to be the most reliable pattern and is paying off most consistently.

East Bay's pattern has been about the same. Their fishing is maybe a little bit better along the shorelines and around bayou mouths. Focusing on primary points during tide changes is a good plan for catching fish over there. Soft plastics are also the deadliest bait going in East Bay as of this writing. Corkys are hanging in there when a good concentration of trout is located and, it goes without saying, wading with this bait is easier than drifting.

Overall, water conditions across the Galveston region remain very good. We do have a little bit of fresh water coming out of the back of Trinity Bay when we get real low tides following northers. This is pulling a little bit of water from the upper system watersheds and it is definitely concentrating the shrimp and some shad. Baitfish schools are prevalent all across the open bays right now and naturally there are plenty of trout and redfish in there with them.

Windy days have been sending us to the shorelines and wade fishing has been the game. Big trout have been our focus but I have to say we have so many redfish in the bay that you can stumble onto a school just about anywhere you go. Spoons have been working very well on these reds and when you get into them it would definitely pay to tie one on. Spinner baits have brought us a few but the spoons have been the best pick.

Trophy trout are the biggest game going right now; catching that elusive spring trophy is foremost on many anglers' wish list. I have been noticing that the eggs in most of the trout I have been cleaning are well along in development. The size of the eggs and bright coloration of the blood veins are an indication that spawning should begin soon. The full moon period in May should bring an awesome spawn for the Galveston Bay complex. When this occurs the shorelines will be the place to find your lifetime fish.

There has been drum activity at the jetties that is worth reporting. A lot of people like to fish the jetties this time of year specifically for the drum run. But the big bonus out there in my book right now is a lot of big redfish and some real nice trout. Both heavy reds and solid trout are being caught in the Freeport and Galveston jetties.

Overall grade for the entire Galveston Bays Complex would have to be an "A" and I would have to give an "E" for effort to all the anglers that have been playing the wind and weather throughout this period of frequent northers coming through. Grinding it out can be tough sometimes but when you hit it right you can have a field day. It has just been that good!