The Buzz: July 2018

The Buzz: July 2018
Catch and release has become increasingly common on our daily fishing trips.

As July approaches, we should start to see more of our normal summer patterns with calmer winds. For some time now we have been experiencing an abnormal amount of west and southwest wind. I’m not sure what is going on with these continual west and southwest winds we’re having, but they’re welcome to go away any time now. The westerly winds blow water out of the bay and reduce the flow of incoming tides. Galveston Bay System’s hydrology works best from the southeast so those “sweet southeast” winds we normally get are great for our tide movement and help bring more water on incoming tides. Whenever we get a few days of southwest, the bite generally turns off and the tide just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do.

Being that July is in the doldrums and can often be dead calm, we will quit our complaining and get into a longer window of opportunity on areas we can spread out on. As all Texans know, July is hot, really hot. But don’t let that scare you away from enjoying a day on the water. Often times people don’t want to grind all day in the heat but June, July and August can be some of the best times to fish in the Galveston Bay complex – if you can take the heat. Simply put, when it’s calm, we can go every day and we can fish essentially anywhere we want. March through May weather is hard to beat temperature-wise but being around the spring transition and all the crazy wind that occurs, it’s often better to just have a crawfish boil. This month will be game time and we will truly be able to see what we’ve got to work with.

The bay is trying to come back to life. Our salinity levels are becoming pretty stable in most corners of the bay system. Trinity Bay is getting saltier by the day and the upper stretches of the Houston Ship Channel are holding signs of life. We are still in a recovery process from all the events that have happened in the last three years of flooding, but at least we are making headway in the right direction.

The fish aren’t super spread out right now so you can’t just aimlessly drift and keep getting bites the whole way. You have to pinpoint the pods of fish that you find and stand on them. Anchoring is the best method for not losing the fish. With all the new technology in Power Poles, GPS and iPilot trolling motors with the anchor mode, anglers nowadays have more advantages in being able to position themselves right on the school without moving. It seems lately that if you just keep trying to re-drift or troll around a spot, you will lose the fish and not be able to find them again. The amount of fish we used to have just aren’t here anymore, so you’ve got to play smart.

We as anglers need to come together and help conserve our resource. And, as I’ve mentioned in other articles, we don’t have to sit and wait for regulations to change to get the ball rolling. Truth be told, it’s too late for TPWD and the legislature to help us with the current situation anyway. Changes should have been implemented a long time ago when three consecutive years of incredible spring floods were wreaking havoc in our bay system. We have to change the perception of why we fish. Fishing doesn’t need to be about killing every fish that bites our lure or bait. Learning the patterns, tricking fish, having a good time and enjoying the day for what it’s worth is what it’s all about. Try to keep only what you need for dinner and let the rest go. That’s the beauty of fishing, you can throw them back and still have a good time. If you’re truly so hungry you have to kill every fish you catch, you might want to get into another hobby.

West Bay has been good for wade fishermen on the far west end and around the San Luis Pass throwing MirrOlure She-Dogs and Provokers. East Bay has been hit and miss but when the tide is right, the reefs have been producing good catches of trout. Redfish have been good in open-water schools in the middle of the bays over pods of mullet, menhaden and ribbonfish. The Houston Ship Channel spoil banks have been the most consistent and will continue to be until the greater influx tide-runner trout make it up toward Trinity. Trinity Bay is showing improvement and some trout have been caught on the gas wells in the middle. Trinity will only get better and better as we get further along into summer.

Be safe out there and enjoy your fishing. Follow us on Instagram @harpsguideservice