On Galveston: May 2011

Howdy anglers, Capt. Mickey here with a look at recent fishing results and a peek at what May should bring. Believe it or not we are actually having a real spring rather than one of those lingering winters that gives way immediately to summer heat. Hopefully the spring fishing patterns that have been emerging will last more than a week or two this year.

Speaking of patterns, we really had it going on during the first weeks of March prior to the full moon (super moon of March 19.) Super moon is the name given a new moon or full moon that coincides with the moon being closest to Earth in its orbit. Naturally, when the moon is closest to Earth its gravitational forces are stronger with greater effect on ocean tides and currents. That whole two week period between the new moon of March 4th and the full moon of March 19th gave us phenomenal fishing, some of the best I've ever seen for this time of the year. We were wade fishing and catching some really nice trout up to twenty-nine inches on Super Spooks, Corkys, and that new Mull-O-Grunt by StuntGrunt Lures. Unfortunately, the weeks following that super moon have been pretty much hit or miss and I'm not really sure what's up with that. While the weather hasn't been the greatest I don't believe it deserves all the blame. Hopefully things will turn for the better real soon.

Trinity Bay: Right now I would have to give the nod to Trinity as the bay with the most consistent action here in the Galveston Complex. The far north end seems to be holding lots of trout. Given lack of runoff, salinity levels are higher normal for this time of year and this is likely the reason so many trout are holding up on that end. Wade fishermen working mud and clam shell flats have been doing fairly well on average. Keys to getting on the bite have been locating bait schools and occasional slicks. Areas close to bayou mouths, any kind of drains coming out of the marsh, where you have any kind of mud bottom or depth change with some scattered shell seems to be the ticket for finding the better trout. Since the full moon we have been using topwater baits like Super Spooks in clown and bone-chartreuse although color may not matter all that much. I think the biggest thing will always be running a bait across the top of feeding fish and having the right rattle or clunk noise to match the conditions. Smaller plugs seem less effective of late and the rattle tone in the Super Spook seems to be what they want right now. Soft plastics have been best for trout when drift fishing when the winds are down. We have taken some four and five pounders drifting near the mouth of the Trinity River and up by Skippy Reef and Exxon F Lease in the four to six feet depths out there over scattered grass and clam shells. Redfish are up in the marshes again, we were catching a few out on the flats but now it seems to be a lot of "rats" and the bigger redfish seem to be way out deep in the middle or back up in the bayous in the marsh. There is some pretty good red fishing going on upstream, above the Fred Hartman Bridge, like in San Jacinto Bay, Burnet Bay, Crystal Bay and the San Jacinto River.

East Bay: Patterns in East Bay seem to be favoring deeper water. The better numbers of trout have been more or less hanging on the mid-bay shell the past couple of weeks. Shoreline action is scattered, a sprinkling of trout, just not real consistent. I believe this will change and they will make a move creeping back up toward the banks in the coming weeks. Most reefs that taper down into deeper water are the better bets at the time of this writing. Wading shallower shell like you find around Bull Shoals and Hanna Reef has been producing fewer fish in general but the ones they're getting have probably been the best to come out of East Bay recently. Of course you need to be there when the wind is down to be able to fish it properly.

West Bay: There are still fair numbers of trout coming out of West Bay. Best action has been very early and again as soon as the sun hits the horizon in the evening. We call it the glass minnow pattern. Glass minnows are most active during darker periods and this means when the trout are on them the bite will best right at daylight and again right before dark. Being at the right place at the right time is always important but when the trout are on glass minutes it is even more important. Rather hard for your average fishermen to get in on the action when it's like that.

Galveston Jetties: A few good fish are being caught at the Galveston Jetties. It's been producing a lot of big black drum and naturally some big trout mixed in with them and a few redfish also. The way the wind has been blowing lately you just have to pick your days very carefully. Tide changes on calm days having been paying off, coming or going, doesn't really seem to matter but you definitely need current out there to kick things off.

That about sums it up for now. As I write this in early April we are still getting fronts every week or so with back and forth twenty to twenty-five mile per wind, hard southeast for a few days followed by a day or two of north. All of this will be history by the time May rolls around and I expect with the kind of fishing we saw in early March it could bust wide open again in May. Water temperatures have finally crept up to the 70 mark and historically when this happens lots of forage species such as mullet, shad and glass minnows begin to show in great numbers. Fishing could be better right now but I think there's lots of good catching coming our way. Meantime, get out there and have fun with them and always remember to keep an eye on the weather.