GOYEN FISHIN': Timing right for fishing along the Texas Coast
It's good to be back, talking about what I love to do most, and that's fishing along the Texas Coast.
Fishermen all along the Coastal Bend area can finally retire their waders until around October. Water temperatures this week consistently stayed in the upper 70's to low 80's allowing waders to wade wet.
Abnormal spring cold fronts are finally over and the "heat is on." Shoreline fishing has also turned on because of warmer water temperatures. Solid speckled trout have stayed in deeper water longer this year than I've ever seen it in the Rockport arena because of these late fronts.
Even croakers have been 3-4 weeks late showing up at the Rockport bait stands. Last year I was buying croakers at the end of April but last week was the first week I have found croakers at my favorite bait stand - "Sea Gun Bait."
Normally Gerald, the owner of this facility, has the best croakers on the coast but said he will not put croakers in his tanks unless they are big enough and ready to fish with. His tanks are now loaded with the perfect size croakers.
Anglers have been catching above average sized trout above grass and sand along protected shorelines from Greens Bayou to Mud Island. Several reports of trout from 24-28 inches have been caught.
The best depth has been around waist deep with the target area making isolated casts along the edge of a grass line, sand pocket or depth change.
The best way to catch these trout is by using a Salt Shaker or Chatter Weight attached approximately 16" above a red 5/0 Mustad hook. Shake the line 3-4 times rapidly every 10 seconds and you will be amazed at the results.
We've also been catching trout on the shell on several different shell reefs. The best spot is still on the edge or drop-offs on the reef in 3-5 foot of water. Make sure when you wade this summer that you wear long pants. You don't want to ruin your wade by dodging or getting stung by a jelly fish.
Last Saturday I was able to fish in the biggest saltwater bay tournament in the United States, "The Babes on the Bay." After you think it can't get any bigger, it did. Now in its 14th year Karol Scardino, with a team of CCA volunteers, continues to put together the biggest women's tourney there is. There is not even a close second. This event is awesome.
A whopping 420 teams with 1,478 women were signed up. This was a new record. This Aransas Bay CCA fundraiser not only promotes and encourages women to fish it also includes new CCA memberships for all entrants.
Over the years this event has raised tens of thousands of dollars for some excellent causes.
Some of those that have received funding in the past and currently are:
• Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation
• Project Graduation
• Youth and Little League Baseball
• Go For Fish Not Drugs Fishing Tournament
• Coastal Fish Hatcheries through The Lone State Legacy Endowment and other charities.
But one of the biggest donations will go to the "SAVE CEDAR BAYOU FUND."
Last year $20,000 was given to this project. This year Karol said once all the costs of the tournament have been paid for she hopes the Aransas CCA can donate the same as last year or maybe even a whole lot more.
Thanks Karol and all the CCA volunteers for your hard work!
This was my seventh year to fish this event and I can tell you being under one tent with all the women's teams involved is truly an adventure. These are definitely some the best fishing women in the state.
In fact there are women entered from several states. There was even a team entered all the way from Georgia. These women may say that they are there to have fun but I know better. They are there to win.
My team, "Girls Goyen Fishin," is a family affair. My wife - Becky, my daughter - Katie, my daughter-in-law - Claire, and my wife's brother's wife - Katie look forward to this tourney every year.
This year we again entered the Guided with Bait Division and ended up in the top 25 with just under 15 pounds.
It was truly another great adventure on the water.
Capt. Danny Goyen
Danny Goyen is an outdoor writer and speaker. He has been guiding on the Texas Coast for over 25 years.