On Galveston: November 2009

Captain Mickey here, and I am happy to report good fishing across the Galveston Bays region. What a change from the doldrums we suffered through during late summer!

Water conditions are good all across the system from West Bay all the way up to Trinity. Equinox tides swelled our water levels and shoreline wade fishing has become a bit "iffy" with the fish scattering, but that is about our only negative I can see at this time and our deep water action is hanging right in there. I don't think the bigger trout will commit to the shorelines until the water cools a bit more and the water levels return to normal. Right now most of the quality trout seem to be staging in about 4-7 feet of water. We are finding them over deeper shell and along the muddy edges. The keys right now are slicks, tide lines, and shad schools.

Bird activity is fairly wide spread across the region. East Bay and Trinity especially have a ton of bird activity covering mostly small school trout. There are a lot of "whisker and eyeball" shrimp moving out of the marsh and it seems the school trout are really working them over. I expect to see more quality fish under the birds soon.

A little bit of fresh water inflow is coming down the Trinity river watershed due to Dallas having received twelve to fourteen inches of rain a couple of weeks ago. They are not releasing a lot of water yet at the dam there at Livingston but it is enough to sweeten the marsh and get a lot of bait moving down into the bay along with the trout and redfish that had migrated way upstream in the river. There are still some trout holding around the wells in the middle of Trinity Bay but I predict that will come to a halt in the next few weeks as the fish begin moving toward shallower water and shorelines.

A lot of big flounder being caught right now. I know there is a big controversy over the shortage of flounder further down the Texas coast but I don't think we're seeing that here in the Galveston Bays. We are catching flounder right now along shoreline points, reefs, bayou mouths and drop-offs, and we are not even fishing for them. Most of our catches have been made while throwing soft plastics and spoons for trout and reds and are a pure bonus. For a while we were getting small male fish but some really nice flatties in the 22-26 inch class are showing up and the run isn't really underway yet. A lot of people have been calling my radio show and saying they are catching more flounder than last year which really makes this flounder decline tough to comprehend. As far as I can see we're in for a heck of a flounder run this year.

Redfish, what can I say about them, they are taking over the world. Anglers from High Island all the way down to San Luis Pass are catching schooling reds standing in ankle deep water throwing jigs and topwaters. The schools are running the shorelines, blowing bait up in the first gut, everything from undersize, to slot size, and even the big bulls in the 45-inch class. You have your traditional bull-red fisherman using cut mullet and gizzard shad in the passes and they are catching tons of big fish. The redfish run is definitely on and it's been a great one so far.

West Bay anglers are reporting fair to decent action from mid-bay and down behind the pass. The tri-bay area of Chocolate, Bastrop and Christmas seems to have slowed a bit, not quite as steady as it was recently. This may be due to the bull tides or possibly a migration of fish up into bayou systems like Bastrop and Halls. I think there are a lot of fish up in those backwaters and it's going to take a while for them to move back down and infiltrate the bays again, kind of what we went though in Trinity and East bays this past summer, a little transition.

Things are looking really good, a lot of things on the bright side in the Galveston Bay complex and the whole upper Texas coast from Galveston over into Louisiana. I see the fishing prospects for our region as a loaded gun on hair trigger and cannot wait until it goes off. I've seen a lot of late fall and winter seasons coming together and this looks like it could be for the books. Good fishing and best Thanksgiving wishes.