Cherish your fishing challenges
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DANNY GOYEN :: GOYEN FISHIN'
Fishing along the Texas Coast for the past few weeks has been a mysterious challenge and adventure.
There is nothing I love more than a challenge that usually turns into an adventure.
As I've said in the past, Mother Nature presents our greatest challenge when it comes to catching what the Texas Parks and Wildlife says is a legal keepable trout or redfish in the Coastal Bend.
October usually presents us with a variety of weather patterns that makes fishing inconsistent and sometimes downright tough.
Just in the past few weeks, we have seen wind from all directions up to 30 knots, rain (thank goodness), temperatures from 45 degrees to the mid-nineties, patches of Red Tide from Beaumont to Brownsville and astronomically high barometer readings.
Even with these conditions present, male and female fishing diehards continue to step up to the challenge with smiling faces and unexpected aggressiveness.
All I need is three to four men or women who will grind it for at least ten hours with confidence and the challenge will be met with success.
The bays are still full of fish and when constantly moving and using all available techniques, we have been able to catch lots of fish, even if the vast majority are not legal keepers.
I know the meaning of success is different for all anglers, but "getting your money's worth" should not be all about filling your icebox with full limits of trout and reds.
It should be about the "total" experience of a full day on the water.
On a guided fishing trip, the guide should make it all about you, even if you are less experienced than others on the boat.
I love the challenge, the tougher the conditions, even with rookies, makes for a greater adventure as long as there is "no whining."
In just a few short weeks, when water temperatures stay in the mid to upper 50s for a few days, all live bait will become nonexistent on my boat until around Easter of next year.
Last Wednesday through Friday, water temperatures fell into the mid 60s and trout from 12-17 inches finally hit soft plastics aggressively after several months of being on vacation.
Any shell that had two to five feet of water above it was the most consistent.
All the reefs from Port Lavaca Bay to Nueces Bay are holding trout. Keep moving until you find pockets of fish.
The best two baits have been the Saltwater Assassin in plum/chartreuse and Chicken-on-a-Chain.
The trout have mainly come from the end of the reefs where the depth range from 3-5 feet starts.
Redfish have been on the first drop of the reefs in 1-2 feet of water.
Before the cool weather came, live shrimp under a rattle cork had and will still be the most productive way to catch a wide variety of fish on all available shell.
The bays are still overflowing with juvenile trout from 10-14 inches. Even with higher salinity levels, the fish have not left.
Remember to try and stay on the water at least 10 hours, so you can at least be fishing a portion of a major-minor feeding time.
We fished until 1 p.m. last Saturday and only had a few fish in the box, but by 4 p.m. we had a nice box full of a variety of fish.
It looks like trout and redfishing will be over the top through the winter with the amount of fish we've seen the past few weeks.
We still need to pray for more rain, no freeze and especially for the Red Tide to leave the bays so the oyster harvest can begin. Numerous families depend on oystering for their livelihood.
Here are the top ten teams in the Mid-Coast Chapter CCA Guides Cup Tournament last Friday in Port O'Connor:
1. The Spot Collectors, Mark Robinson, 17.55.
2. Lester Contracting, Clint Anderson, 16.70.
3. Deep Sea Wranglers, Tom Perilloux, 15.60.
4. Kresta's Boats and Motors, Brad Graham, 15.45.
5. Team Tackle Box, Dwayne Lowery, 15.45.
6. Team Speedy Stop, Scott Mitchell, 15.00.
7. Fishin-Pak-N-Bars, Toby Zaplak, 14.75.
8. Texas Gold Hydraulics, Danny Goyen, 14.15.
9. El Salado-Nueces, Tim Reddon, 13.85.
10. Team Backlash, Tommy Alexander, 12.55.
Thanks again to all 20 guides and buyers for their time and sacrifice to help make this event possible!
The trout were put into a container and sent back alive to the hatchery to be used for brood stock and will be put into our local bays after spawning.
How awesome is that!
Good Fishin,Captain Danny