Tenacity is a must if you want to catch fish in windy conditions
When ardent winds blow persistently like they have all of 2014, you must have a plan to consistently catch fish. However, some of the best plans don't pan out some days.
You can gripe, cuss, moan and stomp your feet about salty blusters, or you can tighten your cap and fish.
If you choose the later, you might surprise yourself; the former almost always sends you home empty-handed.
"The middle of the bay has been tough to fish," said guide Charlie Paradoski. "But the shorelines are clean and holding some good trout around sand and grass."
Paradoski said the morning bite has been tough, but wait until the tide begins to fall in the afternoon and the fish have fed well.
"We didn't have many fish in the morning, but just after lunch when the tide started out, those fish began to feed in the heat of the day, and we caught lot of big redfish."
Offshore anglers have braved 5-foot seas during the ardent south winds, but the fish have not seemed to care. Limits of red snapper, kingfish and a few ling have been the norm on Spanish sardines and cut squid.
"Seas have been bumpy, but red snapper have cooperated," said Patrick Lemire aboard the Capt. John party boat in Galveston. "Atlantic sharpnose sharks, ling and kingfish have also been caught."
Though the recreational red snapper season has been closed for almost two weeks now, the Capt. John is part of a pilot program that allows the boat to continue to take the two-fish limit until quotas have been met.
The first signs of summer tarpon are beginning to show on the beachfront, according to guide Mike Williams, of Galveston.
"Water conditions along Tarpon Alley about 4 feet off the beach have been outstanding despite the winds," said Williams. "There are kings, blacktips and more jacks than I have seen in a long time."
Williams said he has caught and released tarpon to 120 pounds already, but the brunt of silver kings will not show for another month.
Better water has been found on the grass beds in West Matagorda Bay, Espiritu Santo Bay and San Antonio Bay. Incoming morning tides have afforded the best bite.
"We have been working on redfish in the back lakes with the strong winds," said guide Lynn Smith. "Speckled trout are good on the flats around the jetty, but the sharks continue to be thick around there."
Croakers fished over grass and on protected shell have garnered the best bite around Port O'Connor. Back lakes have been good for redfish while drifting with live shrimp under a popping cork and Gulps.
"We have had some good days this past week wading with croakers," said guide Nick Stillwell of Run-N-Gun Adventures. "If the wind ever lets up, we will have more water to fish and should do even better."
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (firstname.lastname@example.org).