by Capt Craig Lambert
Clean water and light winds are how we started out this month and because of it the fishing has been outstanding. The lower part of our bay system has really cleaned up and trout green water can be found everywhere. On the other hand, the upper system is still dirty and partially fresh but the fish don't care and they will continue to move north gradually along the ship channel as July passes. HOOKED UP!!
The croaker bite is in full force now and will be the best live bait for catching speckled trout for the next month or so. Expect those croakers to really hit you in the pocket book this month with prices as high as $12 a dozen. One thing I have learned about croakers is you really need to take care of them. Especially at these higher than normal prices. A good oxygen system or even just a good bubbler will keep your bait lively throughout your fishing trip and really enhance the amount of fish you put in the box. So make sure and carefully handle croakers. Not only will it save you money by keeping them healthy and lively but it is definitely an important part of catching more fish. Red tails and partially dead bait will not work very well so make sure and check out what you buy before taking them and keep them healthy for best results. NICE TROUT YOUNG FELLA!
Lots of good opportunities will prevail this month especially for trophy speckled trout. Every July I am always looking to catch big trout during midday periods especially on those calmer days. Deep water along with structure are the key elements and if you add in perfect wind conditions (light) then those big girls are almost guaranteed to bite. Wellpads, oyster reefs and other structure will be good areas to find big specks and I always seem to come back to the same spots for trophy sized fish every year and every year they do not disappoint. Big fish are creatures of habit just like you and me. They go where the water is coolest and the food is plentiful. FANTASTIC YOUNG ANGLER!
Fishing the many gaswells and reefs extending from the lower ship channel all the way up to lower Trinity Bay is going to be a good pattern for trout fishermen these next few weeks. Most well pads offer an artificial reef complete with an oyster shell base and areas for specks to hide from sharks and dolphins. I prefer to start out fishing deep in the morning so 3/8th or 1/4 oz jigs are preferred depending on depth and strength of tide. I find that as the sun comes up the specks tend to move up higher in the water column especially if the water is clean and the winds are light so adjust accordingly. Look for soft plastics like Bass Assassins, Norton Sand Eels and others to produce extremely well while croakers dominate the scene for live bait. Don't count out using topwaters during that midday bite. With those fish up in the water column that puts topwaters in the mix. BIG SPECK!
The jetties are probably the number one destination to catch reds but several other areas like estuaries, marsh drains and coves located all over our complex are also available to the Galveston Bay angler. Marsh drains and marsh areas are best as the sun goes down. Hearing and seeing redfish come out of the marshes on to the flats or shallow shorelines at night or dusk to feed is an awesome adventure for the senses. For those of you brave enough to stay after dark in a cove after the sun goes down it will definitely change your thoughts about fishing at night. I can remember having redfish run in to my legs as I was wading one night when a school of hundreds and possibly thousands had come out of the marsh to feed and was cruising as a large group down the shoreline of West bay. It was an awesome but scary experience in a way when you are being bumped in the legs at night by cruising reds in a school the size of an acre or more. If they were Piranhas I was a goner. I only had a chance to catch 2 reds out of them before they had moved away but it was an absolutely remarkable and incredible event that I will never forget the rest of my life. Events like this occur nightly all over our bay system and it is truly an amazing and wonderful experience of the natural world.LOVE THOSE REDFISH!
Take a kid fishing!!!