by Capt Craig Lambert
Change is in the air and the fish will respond to the warming conditions. I have always been surprised by the amount of fish caught in February. Not only is this month your best chance at catching a trophy trout roaming the shallow flats but this is also when the fish really gang up in areas of freshwater flow coming in to our complex.Fishing the San Jacinto River
The weather is about to start changing and warming water temperatures are going to spark predatorial urges to increase feeding habits. In other words they are going to get hungry! We have such fantastic weather here in southeast Texas with 70 degree days in abundance. Several days of these warming temperatures are what you want to key in on for not only fantastic trout action near the rivers but it will also get the redfish feeding around structure and at the jetties and rigs located around our bay system.70 degrees in late January is nice!
The trout have been schooled up these past few weeks so long drifts and plenty of wind to push you along are needed. With temperatures hanging in the low to mid 50's in the afternoons the bite has been good but not great. Typically great fishing will occur as we start to see a consistent warming trend in water temperatures as mid-February approaches. Big changes are coming and the gamefish will react to the changes. Hungry Redfish!
I have thrown both live shrimp under a popping cork and artificials these past few weeks and you can definitely see a trend of bigger fish being caught on plastics. It seems like everytime we throw shrimp we catch a lot of fish but our ratio of non-keepers to keepers is much larger. Plastics has been consistent on neutral colors. Nothing too bright but not too dark either. 1/4 oz jigheads have worked best and 3.5 to 5.5 ft. seems to be the depth we keep finding them in. They are staying deep and most of the bites are coming off the bottom so long leaders and keeping your baits down is getting the most bites.Beautiful Speck!
Expect the large breeding stock of Black Drum to begin invading the jetties and our bay system by the end of the month. These large brutes will be a blast for those looking to catch a larger than average fish. We catch quite a few on trout tackle and it is a lot of fun. Trout tackle is not the recommended tackle to use for these fish. Heavy action rods with plenty of strong line to horse them in and release them unharmed will be best for these fish and their survival. Don't forget to revive them until they actually swim out of your hands. The really cool thing about these larger fish is that they will let off a large "gong" like someone has just struck a deep sounding drum and it can be heard from the boat. So if you are driving along and hear it you will have know doubt what is in the water near you.Pogonias Cromis aka "Big Ugly" aka "Black Drum"
Some of the best fishing of the year is right around the corner so do not miss the boat. And remember to always take a kid fishing.