Fishing improving with warmer tides
March 23, 2014 at 11:04 p.m.
Updated March 22, 2014 at 10:23 p.m.
It's March, and the wind is blowing in every direction.
Nothing new about that.
Tides have been lower than normal because of north winds, but the spring equinox should push new water to the bays.
Despite the wind, catches have been admirable.
Baffin Bay has produced, nothing new about that. Trout up to 10 pounds have been taken on a variety of MirrOlures, Gamblers, Bass Assassins and slow-sinking plugs. Best catches have come from waders working guts lined with grass, rocks and spoil banks. The recent warmup has afforded a topwater bite with water temps reaching the upper 60s.
Trinity Bay anglers have had to work with the wind to find clean water. The east ridge near Double Bayou is a lee for east winds, and fish have been hanging over mud and shell.
"We have caught fish for two months in Trinity Bay," said guide James Plaag of Silver King Adventures. "Those fish are holding tight despite all the boat traffic."
Indeed, word has spread about the massive school of fish on the upper end of the bay. Plaag said he has counted as many as 38 boats in one area.
"The big fish are up tight, and you have to wade to get them," he said. "All that boat traffic pushes those fish out deeper, too, and you can catch them drifting."
Corky Fat Boys and Slammin' Chicken Bass Assassins have been Plaag's go-to bait.
"One day, they want the rat-tailed Bass Assassin, and the next day, they want the paddle-tailed Sea Shad," he said.
Warmer water temperatures have triggered the black drum run in the Houston Ship Channel and along the Texas City Dike. Cracked blue crabs have been the go-to bait for drum 30 inches or better. Sheepshead have been hanging tight to the rocks at the jetty and just about any piece of shell in the bay.
Port O'Connor anglers have found lots of sheepshead and black drum at the jetty, while bay anglers have camped at the mouths of back lakes and intercepted red fish on the falling tide. Trout have been scattered, but expect the bite to pick up on the reefs in San Antonio Bay when spring tides swell.
Matagorda anglers have dealt with winter-like low tides during the past week. That has been good for catching redfish in the guts but not so good for trout on the shorelines. The good news is lower tides have congregated many trout in the middle of East Bay, and light winds late this week allowed drifters to find them.
"The water clears pretty quick this time of year," said guide Tommy Alexander. "Even if the wind blows hard, if it settles, the water will be fishable in a few hours. There are good trout in the middle of the bay, and it should only get better in the coming days."
Winds and bumpy seas have not discouraged offshore anglers. On a recent 12-hour trip aboard the Capt. John party boat out of Galveston, boat limits of red snapper to 22 pounds have been taken with many in the 15-20 pound class. The Capt. John is able to harvest red snapper as part of a special red snapper project approved by authorities.
Fishing should only improve with every flower that blooms.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.