by Capt Mullet
Cold weather fishing is by far my favorite of the year. Typically the day or two after a front passes the fish are sometimes picky. Not the case these the last few days with specks and reds hanging on the edges of deeper water with that dramatic drop in tide. With water temps hovering from the mid 50's to low 60's these fish are feeling the milder temperatures and the feeding frenzy from fall is continuing.
Last Friday, the morning after that front passed, the tide had dropped about 2.5 to 3 ft. It was super-low! We started out drifting the edges of the ship channel and never had to leave. 4 to 7 ft. was the magic depth. Long leaders (4-5 ft of 30 lb mono) with a small 1/8th oz weight near the hook under a Midcoast Evolution cork has been my setup for the past week.Beautiful speckled trout!
The trout bite is getting better as our water temps drop and we get more in to a winter fishing pattern. The best bite the last few days has been in the morning and late evening. I had a pair of father and sons on the boat and it was awesome. We caught a ton of undersize specks and also ended up with a few keepers. We did have a swimmer. One of the kids decided to make an extra umph on his cast that sent him overboard. Luckily he had a change of clothes in the car and we just gave him a cool blow drying back to the dock to change and head back out. Luckily the fishing was hot to keep him warm.Proud dad!
Look for the next few weeks to be excellent fishing. The fish are responding well to artificial lures as well as live bait. Wadefishermen are cleaning up right now. The typical wading areas in West Bay and East Bay are producing right now with East Bay being the better of the two. My recommendation for the walk-in wader at this time is Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Just make sure the water is at normal levels and preferably some type of easterly component to the wind. Lower tides are going to put these fish in the canals and bayous so that is where the boaters should be. The Trinity river above the bay is very good right now for specks and reds as well as the San Jacinto river. Canals in East and West Bays will hold fish also. The flounder continue to hang around the ship channel although in depleted numbers compared to November and early December.
Continue to look for great fishing and definitely improved fishing with the onset of a few fronts and some much needed rain to sweeten the bays. See you on the water!