On Galveston: September 2009

Talk about a roller coaster, we've been on a pretty wild ride so far in 2009. The highs have brought awesome action and the lows have been so disappointing. Just about the time you think everything is about to fall in place that old gal we call Mother Nature shows us who is really in charge and lately it hasn't been me. If I have angered her with my guessing; I apologize.

Trying to figure out where we're headed next becomes more than a $64,000 question. Lately, my forecasts have been missing the mark and this makes me think I might have made a better TV weatherman all these years rather than a fishing guide. The weatherman is the only guy that can be wrong most of the time and still maintain solid ratings. Be that as it may, it's time to recap where we've been and make a prediction for the coming month.

In general, fishing has taken a serious dive for pluggers over the past weeks. Fishermen who throw live croaker are doing much better, just whacking the trout and taking limits every day. While this usually happens to some degree every year during the summer doldrums, this is about as bad as I've ever seen.

I hate to keep harping on the weather but, truly, the relentless heat and near non-stop wind have been the chief culprits. Fighting rough, muddy water in the open bay in 100-degree just isn't much fun when you only get a few bites. A while back we caught a nice lay down that lasted for a week or so and the fishing shaped up almost immediately. We were able to work deep reefs and scattered shell almost at will, concentrating on bait and slicks like we always do to find our fish. Sadly, that was short-lived. Strong south and southwest wind has been the norm here and we need a change. Anything from an easterly direction would be great, southeast is always best but I'd even take a due east wind instead of what we've been getting.

We have been scratching along the ship channel and the spoils to find fish on lures. These areas have held the cleanest water with the best protection on the southwest wind. Hardware fishermen are picking up two to three per angler and if you get 15 to 20 you've really done something while the croaker guys are getting 40-50 which means the fish are there, we just aren't getting them.

I have heard of a couple of big trout being caught, a couple over 10 pounds, but they were caught on live croakers. Nothing like that for us pluggers and I have had to cancel half of the trips because 20-25mph steady just gets too rough out there. But it will get better and hopefully we can get some rain. It is just dry, hot and windy and it just makes for tough conditions.

Let's talk about what we're going to do when conditions improve. Remember the water temps are way up there and that will cause the fish to school in deep water where there is plenty of bait. Hopefully we'll get a shot of some of the deep structure stack-ups before the fish scatter to the shallower waters.

There are a lot of the fish in the north end of Trinity Bay and all down the west side. The east shoreline, God only knows how many fish are over there because we have not been able to fish it because the wind direction won't get right. But when it does I would like to be there. The main concentrations of fish right now are along the deep spoil banks and the ship channel and up in the north end of Trinity. The wells are holding lots of fish too. Once it gets calm the wells will be red hot. I expect the main reefs in East Bay will be on fire as well. Hopefully we'll be back on track soon and enjoying the type of action we had back in June.

I wish I had a better report folks, but it is what it is. Hang on, fall is another season, we have lots of fish, we just need better conditions to be able to get on them.