GOYEN FISHIN': Puzzling year so far fishing at Baffin Bay
It's good to be back, talking about what I love to do most, and that's fishing on the Texas Coast! "Spring is in the air," or so they say.
Last week was the beginning of spring, but temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s a few days ago shows that winter is still trying to hang on. These weather patterns still continue to make fishing inconsistent. The magic number for consistent trout fishing is usually when water temps reach 70 degrees. We've seen that a few times but should begin to see it more often as we move deeper into April.
Fishing the Baffin Bay arena this year has truly been puzzling. Most of my trips for the past 26 years from January to the mid-May have been in the Baffin Bay complex. January and part of February was sporadic but was much better than the last six weeks.
Many fishers including myself have seen the bigger trout eat like crazy for three to four hours and not eat again during daylight hours for four to five days. You know the fish are there but how do you tell that to your customers who grind it all day for a few bites and three to four fish?
I have been fishing the Rockport area for most of my trips the last few weeks. I have not had a "bad" trip down there since October of last year.
Strong winds from all directions have made fishermen fish where they can instead of where they need to. I have noticed this year especially that when weather with high barometer levels move through the area that fish will not eat in areas that have grass and sand but will eat over shell.
That's why I have temporarily moved to Rockport. There are numerous shell reefs and most of them are full of trout from 10-20 inches. This past Saturday we had 40 trout up to 20 inches. Three came off of grass and sand and 37 came off of shell.
Two weeks ago, I took Elton Calhoun and his two grandkids fishing during spring break to Rockport. The wind calmed down for a few hours at daylight, so we headed to one of my favorite shell reefs in the middle of the bay.
I didn't know what to expect as far as the kids' ability. I had a full tank of live shrimp and told them that to be successful we needed to be able to make long drifts so we could cover a lot of area. I have not thrown out the anchor since last October and didn't want to start today. I also told them that if your arm wasn't sore from popping the living daylights out of the cork you would not catch many fish.
Mother Nature must have been smiling on us because the wind was blowing 25 mph at 5:30a.m. and now at 7:30am it was only blowing around 10 mph. I handed Ryan and Kyle two Quantum Spincast poles and to my amazement those two boys, 12 and 14 years old, could cast it out of sight and didn't mind popping the Alameda Rattle cork that was attached above live shrimp. Every one immediately hooked up. The trout were there.
Elton and his two grandkids caught a trout almost every cast for over an hour. Most of them were under 15 inches but there were several keepers mixed in.
I keep a small red bucket on the boat for the live shrimp. I set it up front so the boys wouldn't have to keep walking to the live well in the back of the boat. After our first very successful stop we made a long run to another deep shell reef. On the way I forgot to get my red bucket and it almost hit me in the head as I was driving. The bucket blew out (oh well ...)
I had now opened the ice box and handed everyone some sticks of Prasek's sausage. These are about as big as a fat first grade pencil. The two boys ran up to the front of the boat and started fishing. They started catching fish immediately but there was no bucket up front to get shrimp out of so Ryan put a piece of sausage on his hook and started fishing with it. You can probably guess what I thought. (Whatever floats your boat.) Well, guess what, Ryan's cork went under and I netted the biggest trout of the day. A trout over 18 inches ate a piece of Prasek's sausage! Can you believe that? Do not try to figure that one out. It was just another great adventure on the water.
CCA BANQUET COMING UP
The annual Mid-Coast Chapter CCA Banquet is just around the corner. The banquet will be Friday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Victoria Community Center. This event has been sold out the past few years and it looks like that will be the scenario again. There are still a few sponsor tables available. These tables hold 8 people and come with all kinds of frills and thrills. There are also some $99 tickets available. This includes CCA membership star tournament entry, a full catered barbecue meal and free drinks. Once these are gone they will not be sold at the door. Space is limited.
If you need a ticket you can go by the Tackle Box and pick one up there. If you want to buy a sponsor table, call Hector Mendieta at 361-571-1239.
Captain Danny Goyen
Danny Goyen is an outdoor writer and speaker. He has been guiding on the Texas Coast for over 25 years.