by Capt Mullet
It is finally here! The best fishing of the year has just kicked off with this latest cold front. We fished in some crazy winds on Friday and Saturday but it was worth it. As that North wind blew and that tide dropped last Friday the bird activiy erupted in almost every satellite bay in our complex. I have heard reports of outstanding fishing in East Bay, West Bay and Trinity during the passage of this long awaited front.
The flounder have been flushed out of the marshes on this latest blast and are stacking up in Galveston and Bolivar. Look for them in their usual places along the Galveston ship channel with Sea Wolf Park being the best and most crowded spot. Flounder season offers an excellent shot for the beginner fishermen to go out and hammer a hard fighting and delicious fish. The great thing about flounder is you really do not need to mess with live bait at all. Any soft plastic or spoon hopped along the bottom will work but I think a Berkley Gulp is by far the best bait for floundering. You don't need a big fancy boat or a trolling motor or any high dollar GPS/Sonar units. A boat (that floats), an anchor and a pole in everyone's hand and you are probably going to catch a few flounder. Launching at the Galveston Yacht basin puts you right on top of the fish and anywhere in the Galveston ship channel is a potential flounder catching spot. Typically areas where there are depth changes and structure like rocks or bulkheads are areas to target. A heavier jighead like a 3/8 OZ is what I use to make sure and keep the bait on or near the bottom. If you have not tried it before you are missing out on some of the most exciting and fun fishing of the year.
The speckled trout and redfish fall pattern has also begun in full force. Trinity bay has erupted with spurts of bird activity from Tabbs Bay all the way to the pocket. Typically the best times are early morning and late evening but every day seems to be a little different. Lots of throwbacks under the birds but there are enough keepers to make it worth your while. For bigger fish look for shorelines, shell humps and shallow flats in that 3-4 ft depth to find hungry predator fish. Popping corks with live shrimp will work for drifting the flats but for hardcore lure chunkers plastics or topwater is the way to go.
Birds have started in upper West Bay according to Capt. Thomas Barlow of Notorious Guide Service. He also reports that redfish are showing up on just about every shoreline including Greens Lake, Jones Lake and Charanchua Lake. He did mention that he was concerned over the lack of rainfall we have had over the past few months. His thoughts are that "if we do not get some rain before winter then West Bay could have another 'off year' again". West Bay is the shallowest and warmest bay system we have and typically it is an excellent winter fishery especially in years of normal to higher than normal rainfall. The Texas City Dike plays a big factor in the health of West Bay. The San Jacinto and Trinty river watersheds are both blocked by the Dike and their waters are diverted out thru the Jetties. This blocks a lot of freshwater and pollution from entering West Bay. Flooding in the upper areas of the bay will send speckled trout to find saltier waters in West Bay. If you like to fish West Bay in the winter then start praying to the rain gods!
Fishing is excellent now and will remain great thru late December and on in to the winter. The time is now to get out and go fishing because it is on fire!! Take a kid fishing and see you on the water!