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Jetties are firing with good catches

June 2, 2012 at 1:02 a.m.


The dog-walker pranced away from the stonework - left, right, left, kalooosh!

Foam splattered as the hostile, five-pound speck headed for the safe confines of the enchanted rocks.

I was catching two-foot-long trout on topwaters in 14-20 feet of water at the jetty and loving every minute of it.

Like an artery pumping blood to the heart, a jetty is a thoroughfare pumping new recruits of fresh brine to the upper reaches of bays and backwaters. Its granite acts like a surgeon's stint, buffering erosion from ardent tides, while keeping channels open and flowing assiduously.

"You can compare it to an aorta," said guide Mike Williams of Tarpon Express Guide Service in Galveston. "It supplies the bays with a fresh exchange of water."

The Galveston jetty is separated as the north jetty and south jetty, each with a granite barrier extending farther than any other jetty system in the world - 4.75 miles on the north and 3 miles on the south.

Both set of rocks are equal when finding fish, and, each, as the names insist, fish better considering the direction of the wind and its propensity to allow for clear tides.

Most Galvestonians target speckled trout during the summer, usually averaging 2-3 pounds a fish, a more belligerent, stockier trout than found in the bays. Five to six pounders are not uncommon on a green tide.

Live piggy perch, live croaker and live shrimp are fished more than any other natural bait, with free-lined shrimp casted against the rocks getting the nod on most boats.

The most important piece of equipment when fishing the jetties, according to Williams, is a strong anchor and a back-up anchor. At least four-feet of anchor chain is a must, along with plenty of rope to increase your scope in case of rough seas.

Williams insists anglers should crank their motors before pulling the anchor, just in case the motor doesn't fire. With ardent currents and tides that frequent the jetty, a loss of power could introduce you and your boat to the rocks - not a pretty picture.

"I see $150K boats out there with a $12 anchor," Williams said. "That just doesn't make sense."

If a seafood buffet delights your palate, then a jetty should do the same for your fishing prowess.

Everything that swims the Gulf and bays meet at the granite. It is not uncommon to see bounding kingfish, curious ling and the silver king itself, while redfish, black drum, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel and sharks commingle as well.

If you intend to target trout only, toss plugs and plastics exclusively. That's not to say a red or Spanish mack will not crash the party.

If you like variety, however, toss anything natural like shad, shrimp, mullet, croaker or squid. There are plenty of meat-eaters around the granite.

"By far, natural baits catch more fish at the jetty," Williams said. "And, there is no telling what will show up when tides are really green."

The Sabine Pass, Galveston, Surfside, Matagorda and Port O'Connor jetties have already fired up for the summer with water temperatures in the low 80s, and, the next 90 days will offer the best jetty fishing of the year.

Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (binkgrimes@sbcglobal.net).

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