Develop a plan for fishing in high wind
Aug. 24, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
Updated Aug. 25, 2014 at 9:12 a.m.
You knew it wouldn't last forever - the wind is back. What had been two weeks of placid waters has been replaced by "15 to 20 from the south." And that's knots, not miles per hour.
Winds in this range are manageable and fishable, but you must have a plan. Obviously, north shoreline locales are out of the question, but there are plenty of leeward shores.
"The open bay stuff has kind of been ripped up," said guide James Plaag of Silver King Adventures in Galveston. "But the shorelines are still holding mullet, and there are some scattered trout under them."
Plaag said topwaters and weedless Bass Assassins scored fish this week in the winds.
"The weedless hooks allow the plastic to float through the mullet, and the fish seem to eat it better," he said.
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," said Patrick Lemire aboard the Capt. John party boat in Galveston. "Atlantic sharpnose sharks, ling and kingfish have also been solid, as have vermilion snapper."
The first signs of summer tarpon are beginning to show on the beachfront, according to guide Mike Williams, of Galveston.
"I have been seeing and hooking lots of fish in the 120-pound class," said Williams. "Most of them are hanging in what I call 'Tarpon Alley.' There are kings and ling in the same area that have bit well on natural baits."
Matagorda anglers have watched the tranquil waters of the east bay turn into a big glass of chocolate milk. What was a good bite over midbay reefs has suffered under south winds.
"East Bay has been a mud hole this week," said guide Ken Marshall.
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.
"The water still looks good in West Bay," said guide Charlie Paradoski. "The topwater bite has been off and on, but fish have been eating plastics."
Live-baiters have fared best. 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.
Last week's calm conditions in the Gulf of Mexico allowed surf and jetty anglers a chance to see midcoast tarpon. Schools of fish rolled and daisy-chained along the beachfront with several jumps reported. Though rough seas make it tougher to target poons, those fish are not going anywhere. Well, actually they are - to Mexico.
School is back in session, and so are large schools of fish.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain. Email him firstname.lastname@example.org.