Temperature, trout venues heating up
Dreary, wet, February chill is not what most salts consider good fishing weather.
Then again, most anglers don't fish until the water warms to 72 degrees and suntan lotion is needed.
Nevertheless, if we only fished when the weather is good, that would leave us eight months of sitting at home in a state of depression.
Big trout venues like Calcasieu Lake and Baffin Bay have begun to heat up.
Guide Guy Stansel of Hackberry Rod and Gun texted me four photos this week of four different fish more than 9 pounds.
"The big trout have really been eating Corkies," said Stansel. "The bite really heated up this week when water temperatures reached the 60s."
Flats adjacent to the ship channel have held most of the best bites. Afternoons have seen the most action.
"The fish have really been heavy and in good shape," said Stansel. "It ought to be good again after this next cold front."
All reports from Baffin Bay appear solid, according to several sources. What had been a lackluster month improved this week with the return of greener water.
"We caught some beautiful fish this week," said Mike Grigar, owner of Johnny's Sport Shop in Eagle Lake. "Cliff (Webb) released one about 10 pounds, and we had some good 7s and 8s."
Grigar said north winds brought in clear water, which has been hard to find, and plaguing winter waders.
"There was a good topwater bite down there, too," said Grigar. "Redfish were all along the King Ranch shoreline."
Red shad and Chicken on a Chain Bass Assassins took most of the fish, along with Corkies and pink/silver Super Spook Jrs.
Along the middle coast around Matagorda and Port O'Connor, the shorelines and deep reefs continue to hold fish.
"There have been trout up to 5 pounds in the middle of the bay," said guide Charlie Paradoski. "They have bit good in the afternoon as the water warms."
Paradoski said wading has produced fish as well - just not as consistent as drifting.
"We have been starting out the mornings with a wade, trying to get a big fish, but the numbers have been better while making long drifts," he said.
East winds pushed tides way up this week, allowing anglers in Seadrift and Port O'Connor a chance to work coveted back lakes.
"Redfish were real consistent for limits while wading with TTF Flats Minnows," said guide Harold Dworaczyk of Bay Flats Lodge. "We caught scattered trout to 25 inches as well."
Galveston Bay anglers have found their best fish on the upper end of the complex. Guide Mike Cacciotti reported good catches of trout and redfish on soft plastics and live shrimp fished over reefs. With better tides, redfish pushed on the north shoreline of Trinity and East bays.
A return to milder temperatures is in the forecast for this week, which is always welcomed for pluggers after double-digit speckled trout.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (firstname.lastname@example.org).