by Capt Craig Lambert
December has always offered up great fishing opportunities for all types of anglers. It looks like this month so far has achieved above average temperatures and that is giving us above average fishing also. The bay is wide open right now to what ever type of fishing you like to do. The flounder are still running in the channel. The trout and redfish have reached their winter areas and are very cooperative. And the jetties are offering up plenty of opportunities to catch flounder, sheepshead and redfish. Take your pick because fishing is just plain good right now.
The flounder run is beginning to wind down but do not give up just yet. Trophy size fish are making their push through now, however, I think the run has been slow this year and fish are still trickling through and will continue to do so until late December. We are still catching 20-30 flounder per trip and just a few more days until we go back to the 5 fish limit. The great thing about flounder fishing is their willingness to strike almost anything presented in front of them that looks or smells like a meal. Gulps are the easiest to use but definitely not the most cost effective anymore. Just keep whatever plastic bait you are using covered with some type of spray or rub on scent product. Grab some 1/4 and 3/8 oz jigheads and head down to the Galveston ship channel. The crowds are gone so if you have never tried it then now is the time before the run if over.
From the reports I am getting the bite is excellent right now in almost every major satellite bay in our system. East bay is prime for wading the shallow flats and shorelines. Good catches of speckled trout are being caught by wadefishermen with soft plastics and corkies. For those anglers without a boat these next few months will be primetime for fishing "The Refuge" aka Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. This area offers up great walk in wading spots that will offer up protection form the wind on an East, Northeast and North wind. Water levels are critical for fishing the refuge so make sure you have normal tide heights before making the trip over there. This area has everything you are looking for in a wintertime fishing flat. Scattered shell and miles of shallow muddy flats perfect for the walk-in wader or kayaker.
Trinity Bay is also producing a lot of quality specks both in the boat and for waders. Artificials is the preferred method for this time of year but a popping cork and live shrimp will do the trick also. The northern section of Trinity and both the eastern and western shorelines will be primetime all winter long. There are miles of wadefishing and drifting flats to explore from Jacks pocket all the way down to Smith Point. Areas where fresh water enters the bay are spots to key in on. Places like Double Bayou, Lone Oak Bayou and the Van Te-uns will produce. Gamefish will seek the lower salinity levels and warmer temperatures coming from these bayous and drains. The H L & P discharge tends to keep warmer waters flowing down the Eastern shoreline of Trinity which will keep anglers busy for the next few months also.
The reports from West Bay have been mixed. The oyster boats have finally shown up down there so key in on the areas around the working oyster boats and you will find fish. These areas of dirtier water will hold both speckled trout and redfish. Corky devils and soft plastics (plum of course) are the preferred methods but a popping cork and live shrimp will work also. Don't forget the Causeway Bridge. This giant structure is a fish magnet all year long that will hold schools of trout along with a few flounder during December.
The San Jacinto river is producing speckled trout and redfish in both quality and numbers. Muddy flats and freshwater are two wintertime combinations that our gamefish rely on to survive the colder water temperatures and this area has it all. The river will provide protection from the wind in all wind directions and has plenty of open flats that will hold our elusive gamefish. Freshwater clam reefs and pipelines (marked by PVC in a straight line) are the prime spots for keying in on. Pipelines are typically covered with oyster shell and warmer bottom surfaces that the fish tend to like. This area is prime right now.
Fishing is great right now so take advantage of it and go hit it hard with this weather that is in our forecast for the next few weeks it looks like this will truly be a "December To Remember".