by Capt Craig Lambert
No, we are not quite back to normal just yet. However, things are at a point where we are finally starting to improve on a daily basis. Freshwater runoff in to our bay system was basically toxic sewage for the past few weeks. This "runoff" had pushed our fish to the very corners of our bay system and out to the Gulf or jetties at first. Now that the bay has finally had a few weeks to flush itself out we are starting to clean up and the fish are beginning to move up the bay again and beginning to get back to their normal staging areas as salinity levels rise. PERFECT EATING SIZE!
The bait supply continues to be a problem especially on weekends. The shrimpers just aren't catching that much bait in their nets basically because of water quality. This is why it is so tough to find bait on weekends. For now I would keep a good supply of gulps handy just in case you need to put them under a popping cork on the lightest jighead you have available. They do not work better than live bait as advertised but they do work well enough to catch a few redfish and trout in case you get left out of the live bait scene.VERY NICE!
The flushing of the tides and the continual runoff decrease will allow the bay water quality to improve every day and as it does so will the fishing. We are not out of the woods just yet but I believe by the end of October or mid November things will be 100% back to normal. Fish are easy to find right now because they have been slicking up all over the open bay areas of West Bay and mid bay reefs in East Bay. The fish have moved up from the jetties and can be found in both of those bay systems and along shorelines up to Eagle Point and a little beyond. The salinity levels and the water quality is rising and improving so the specks are heading northward as areas begin to salt up. The channel itself is still pouring out runoff from Buffalo Bayou as it makes its way down in to the San Jacinto River and out to the Gulf. This runoff will make shorelines the place to fish as it will keep the fish away from this undesirable water flow.3.5FT OF WATER OVER HEAVY SHELL
The reds are already up north as they are much more tolerant to fresh water than speckled trout. The rocks and shallow flats along the ship channel should produce redfish in the usual areas. Look for the thickest areas of shell you can find or pipelines. Redfish will be munching on clams and any crabs or shrimp they can find trying to hide around these locales. Pipelines can be especially productive this time of year as they are heavily loaded with shell.
Everybody be safe and as always take a kid fishing!