by Capt Craig Lambert
When it is hot it is hot and the fishing is definitely hot right now! Lighter than normal winds and heavy spring rains has made the past few weeks a bonanza for those willing to hit the bays in search of gamefish. The abundant rain has sweetened the bays this spring and the fish seem to like it since they have been hungry and energized. NICE CATCH!
Most areas of our bay system are beginning to really turn on. Typically in May the hot areas are East Bay, Lower Galveston Bay (Dike to Causeway), Dickinson bayou/Dollar Point and of course the beachfront. Of these four mentioned only East Bay and the Dollar area have really begun to shine so far. But it is still the first week of May and by the end of the month all four of these areas should be at their peaks. The best fishing days this month will be the days when the winds lie down. Calm days will mean lights out fishing so be prepared to go when that forecast is right. THE BIG UGLIES ARE STILL AROUND
The Reefs in East Bay over the past few years have become an incredibly popular and crowded place to fish in early spring thru late summer. Finding fish off the beaten path will help increase your catches so pay attention to slicks and areas that might have nervous or scattering bait in areas other than where the crowd is at. Finding fish off the beaten path is best when you have a good wind behind you. Looking for fish is much more productive when you can drift through an area quickly and cover ground. There is no magic formula to finding fish other than what you read in all the articles and magazines. Just get out there cover ground and chunk plastic or shrimp and see what you catch. SPRING RUN!
Lower Galveston Bay and the Dollar reef area will definitely shine this month. Drifting the flats along the levies around Moses Lake and the Texas City Dike will produce quality fish for the next few months. Working rip rap and structure like points and older pylons will produce gamefish like redfish and speckled trout. Also don't rule out th enew rocks in lower galvestobn bay. Casting up close to the rocks is the key to catching a lot of fish. Also look for birds to start working this month in several bay systems. Typically late afternoon outgoing tides are best for finding birds with fish underneath them. TROUT ARE HEATING UP
Slicks are a dead give away for this time of year but identifying a true fish slick takes experience. There are all kinds of slicks on the bays. A really long slick can be made from a boat wash and seagulls and pelicans can also cause slicks from their droppings while crab traps are probably the biggest deceivers for most anglers. The key to identifying a slick is understanding the life span of a slick from its creation to its end.
Make it a point to try and visualize the entire life span of a slick from its beginning to its end. And when ever you are on the water and are lucky enough to watch a slick form then pay attention and watch how far it moves based on the environmental conditions of the day. This will be an invaluable lesson to most anglers trying to understand slicks better and how to utilize them to catch more fish.PURE FUN!
Most slicks will start out small and then grow as the tide and wind spread them out. Once you determine how old the slick is you can then make an effort to try and visualize where this slick began and how the tide and wind has floated the slick along. The smaller the slick is the younger it is and the closer the fish are to it. Not all slicks are the same. Some are bigger than others or even oilier than others and some will disappear within minutes while others will last a half hour or more. How a slick smells can tell you a lot about what it is. If you get up wind of a slick at it smells bad or rotten it is definitely a crab trap or something floating in the water dead. But if you get up wind and you smell a pleasant sweet smell you better be looking upwind for it because that will be some type of feeding fish. As you get in this situation more and more you will also start to recognize gafftop slicks. They are brighter oilier and their sweet smell is even stronger. QUALITY REDFISH!
Start paying a little more attention to reading the water when you are out there and it will definitely put more fish in the box for you.I LOVE BENT RODS!
Take a kid Fishing!!