by Capt Mullet
Hot summer temperatures are just around the corner but hot fishing is here already. Our weather patterns continue to be erratic and these same weather patterns are dictating how well the fish bite or don't bite. Light winds and clean water are what anglers are praying for these days. The specks are lighting it up and hitting everything from live bait to artificials during these brief periods of calm winds. Windier days have been tougher and this southwest wind and no tide movement for the first half of June really killed the good trout bite we had going before the Memorial day weekend. A return to a constant onshore flow is needed to green the water up and get those fish back on an excellent bite again.
Artificials are definitely working better than live bait on good weather days when drifting reefs and flats looking for specks. The key is to keep that bait "low and slow". Limetreuse and glo continue to be the hot colors on my boat and we are throwing limetreuse hackberry hustlers and glo/chart Killer Flats Minnows. On slick calm mornings the topwater bite is awesome.
Days where live bait is required a popping cork and shrimp are my go to set up. I am using midcoast corks with about 3 ft of 30 lb leader and a #6 treble hook. A small split shot is being added to keep the shrimp down in the middle water column.
The croaker bite is in full swing and they are definitely the hot baits right now. I was talking to Capt. George Knighten the other day about how many guides and individuals are dredging croakers and the popularity of this technique that he invented back in the mid-90's. It seems like 50% of the boats on Galveston Bay are now doing nothing but dredging croakers. This technique is obviously very effective but it does require some skill to feel the difference between a fish and hanging up on the bottom. I am actually amazed at the amount of hardcore lure chunkers that have converted from lures to croakers during this time of year.
Islands and reefs along the ship channel are producing nice fish and should really turn on in the coming weeks as our water temps rise. Fishing the wells is about to be a good bet on days with light winds and clean water. I have hit a few wells in recent weeks and haven't had much luck but that will change soon.
The crowd in East bay is still there. Soon Trinity Bay will begin showing signs of life again and then we will see some relief from the heavy crowd in East Bay as anglers move North. Slicks have been the key to finding fish in East Bay. Find the slicks and the fish are there. However, just because you find the slicks does'nt mean that the fish will bite. That dreaded Southwest wind has a way of boogering up the trout bite and cause frustrations in every angler from beginner to pro. This Southwest-westerly wind direction has been the cause of the poor fishing this month. That wind direction actually stops the tide from moving and that is one of the reasons a SW wind shuts the bite down.
West Bay has had some brief moments of good fishing also in the past few weeks. Reds are holding out in the middle of upper west bay and the speck bites seems to be happening better from Karankawa reef all the way to San Luis Pass. Long drifts are needed in West Bay because the fish are spread out so windy days are best over there. Dredging croaks and throwing shrimp seem to be equally effective over there since I am coming in with the same numbers of fish as the croaker guides.
Seeing the space shuttle replica on Galveston Bay the other day was an incredible sight. At first we couldnt believe what we were seeing until we drove up to it and took a few pics.