On Galveston: May 2010

If I was allowed only two words to describe the general state of fishing across the entire Galveston Bay complex I would have to go with inconsistent and late. There have been some signals of good things to come and, as always, a couple of hot spots; but in general the catching has been inconsistent and spring seems to be arriving several weeks later than expected.

Trinity Bay
We still have a lot of fresh water over here. We are finally starting to get some green streaks and some cleaner areas where clarity is becoming almost good enough for lure presentation. This past Monday I fished really hard, me and another guy, and we were on a good bunch of fish just didn't get a lot of bites. I think we might have had twenty bites and caught ten of them. They're just not ready yet. Water temperatures are still ranging anywhere from 62 to 66 which you know is at least 6 to 8 cooler than normal for this date. The frequency of northerly fronts is the major culprit, still only four to five days apart, and tides blowing out to 2-3 foot below normal. The stiff southerly wind between the fronts has been hampering our open water efforts. A good warm up and moderate south wind would do this bay a lot of good.

East Bay
Right now I would say East Bay is offering the most consistent fishing in the Galveston system. Having said that though, I don't want anybody to get the idea that its on any place you stop but there are some stretches of shoreline and some deeper structure where decent catches being made. East Bay's north and south shorelines have many points, coves and drains, not to mention wind protection, and all of these can offer opportunity under the right conditions. Reports indicate waders, drifters and troll motor fishermen are all getting some action so long as they are willing to work long enough to figure out the patterns and the wind will give them the chance on open water. Of all these options marsh drains and points directly adjacent are probably the best bets for waders. Good tidal current is important in these areas, incoming and outgoing tides will both produce fish. Soft plastics have been the best lure choice and we have been trying the Voodoo Shads from Big Nasty Bait Co. These baits have lots of action so naturally they'll catch fish. Corkys are a good bet when you're on fish but probably not the best lure for finding them as you just can't cover enough water if you are working them correctly.

West Bay
That scattered shell and mud bottom pattern and most of the major reefs are still producing whenever the wind allows drifting open water. Catches have been fair on average and good when the wind lays but we haven't been getting many days like that. Trout action in the coves is starting to play out as the water gets warmer. These areas are always at their best with water temps running mid-50 to low 60s. Now that the water in West Bay has warmed up to the mid and upper 60s the fish have naturally pulled out of the cove patterns and we are catching them off bars next to guts and naturally deeper shell. Right now it's the kind of deal where you just have to be standing there when they come through as the fish are moving. Reports of a few trout to seven pounds are circulating so it is definitely worth a try to get on them before the pattern winds down completely.

Upper and Lower Galveston Bay
A few fish are starting to show up around Dickinson Bay and the Moses Lake tide gate area. A fair number of redfish and spotty trout action around the Seabrook Flats and Sylvan Beach area is being reported.

Galveston Jetties
Lots of drum and redfish are being caught along the jetties and also in the Texas City Dike area using live and dead shrimp and cracked crab on the bottom. That is pretty much the migratory route of the black drum and a lot of folks are doing real well doing with them, killing time and waiting for the trout and redfish to start busting loose in the rest of the bays.

That's pretty much it folks, the bays are finally beginning to warm and the fishing is starting to come around. Anglers who are familiar with the spring patterns in these bays understand that lingering winter and late northers have us running about a month behind where we normally would be at this time. Our water should be in the low 70s already but we just haven't reached that magical point yet. We are beginning to see a few slicks and the mullet are moving shallower. There are tons of shad everywhere in deeper water. We are beginning to see a few white shrimp moving out of the marsh and sooner or later the brown shrimp will be moving. The month of May holds lots of promise, we just have to wait it out.