GOYEN FISHIN': Mother Nature not being nice to fishers
It's great to be back, talking about what I love to do most, and that's fishing along the Texas Coast!
Mother Nature continues to challenge all fishermen and fisherwomen who have tested the waters the past few weeks along the Coastal Bend arena.
Outdoor temps have been ranging from the low 40's to mid 70's, winds have been blowing in all directions many times in the mid to upper thirties, we've had above normal tides to extremely low tides, and water temps have been matching the outdoor temps ranging in the upper 40s to mid 70s.
With these conditions present most "anglers" or "want to be anglers" will not visit the Coast until the weather gets warmer or the wind stops blowing. Many will agree that in between these fronts there have been some of the most beautiful weather days of the year.
You just hope you can get lucky enough to catch one of these good weather days because usually the fishing is awesome. I've always said that the Coastal Bend area has the best fishers because of all the elements they have to put up with to be successful.
But, like I've mentioned before, even when we've had windy cold weather, the fish have to eat sooner or later.
I am a person that loves stories with happy endings. I will not watch a movie at a theatre if I know it will not have a happy ending. I want the guy to get the girl or the girl to fall in love with the guy. I like to see good guys win at the end or the bad guy change and become the good guy.
I will turn off the TV at home if the story has a sad or negative ending. My wife says I'm a baby and that what we're watching is reality (Oh well!)
I still am a positive upbeat person and also want my fishing trips to end on a positive note!
This past Friday was one of those positive days with a happy ending. Normally, in February I'm in full waders throwing artificial baits in the Baffin Bay complex but this time I agreed to fishing in the boat in Rockport.
I kept looking at the weather report at the beginning of the week and the forecast for last Friday showed terrible conditions.
Things change on a daily basis so I didn't give up hope. When I saw that we were going to get hammered by the winds I called every bait stand I knew of in Rockport.
The only one that had live shrimp was Fulton Harbor Bait behind Charlotte Plumber's Restaurant. I went there and the bait man scrapped the tank giving up what he said was three quarts (yeah, right). I was glad to get what he had and headed back to our pier at St. Charles Bay.
The wind was blowing out of the Northeast at daylight at about 20 mph. which was "not too bad yet." When my party arrived we headed to my boat which was tied up on the end of the pier.
As we got to the water's edge I pointed to the extremely high tide and told them that it was going to probably save the day (trying to be upbeat).
Another thing I told them was that the water was going to be off-colored and that I got live bait to maybe last half of the day.
You can put live shrimp under a rattle cork or Mansfield mauler and catch fish in pure mud.
That is how we were rigged up. We headed to Dunham Bay which was protected from the wind.
We caught a few fish out in front of Dunham and then we headed to the back of Dunham. I told them with the high tide there should be some redfish in the area. After a few short minutes Stephen hung a good fish. I thought it was a redfish but it was a solid 4-pound trout.
We caught nine trout and one flounder on the first drift. They were all solid trout (see related photo).I was using a Gulp and didn't get a bite.
Thank goodness for live shrimp!
We then headed to the east side of Mesquite Bay. There hadn't been a whole lot of trout caught in this area but at least the water was half-way green and protected. By now the wind was gusting to the mid 30's. Most of the Rockport guides cancelled their trips for this day but we were still grinding it. Fishing was good.
Solid trout from 17-19 inch were continuing to hammer the live shrimp with numerous throw backs.
At about noon, I told Glen Dry who was on the boat that there was no way the shrimp would hold out much longer. I told him God was going to have to multiply the shrimp because we were probably going to run out (I think he started praying because they were not hitting lures.)
Each time I dipped the net into the live well, I told them I hoped there were shrimp.
Each time there was!
We continued to catch fish with a lot of undersized trout mixed in with the keepers. I even started using shrimp. We finally headed back to our pier with 29 nice trout and one flounder (see related photo).
What a great day on the water. Conditions were terrible but the fish were hungry. After the fish were cleaned and everyone had left to go home, I got back in the boat, but before I started the motor I realized I needed to drain the live bait well.
After a few minutes I noticed that it was not draining. I checked to see why and found out that it was clogged up. I took the small dip net to see why. Live shrimp had clogged it up. I
kept dipping and eventually filled a full gallon Ziploc bag up with live shrimp. God is Good!
This was truly a story with a happy and miraculous ending!
Capt. Danny Goyen
Danny Goyen is an outdoor writer and speaker. He has been guiding on the Texas Coast for over 25 years.