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Craig Lambert

Capt. Craig runs Galvestoninshore fishing Guide Service. He has been fishing Galveston Bay complex for 19 years. Out of his 24ft Lake and Bay boat, Capt. Craig caters to all levels of experience to make sure the best time is had by all.

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April 17, 2012

April Fishing

by Capt Mullet

So far the fishing in April has been good. Fish are showing up in all areas of the lower Galveston Bay system from San Luis Pass all the way to the Texas City Dike.

The new construction they began last spring just south of the Texas City Dike area and Pelican Island has finally finished. We will see this year how all of this new construction will affect fishing in that area. I would love to be an optimist but they have already ruined many great areas to fish so my feelings are already tainted by this new construction. Eventually we could have some decent riprap for fish to congregate against in the coming years so we will see what opportunities this area will provide. You can bet I will be exploring this area for new fishing spots in the coming weeks.


BIRDS, BIRDS, BIRDS!


Signs of birds working have begun but not in full force quite yet. They consist mostly of undersize specks and gafftop but we have pulled a few small keepers out of them. The trout are extremely spooky and they are hard to approach so start way up wind and work your way slowly towards them with your trolling motor. A TTF killer flats minnow or Hackberry Hustler on a 1/4 oz jighead in pumpkinseed is perfect. This is the beginning of the brown shrimp migration back in to the bays so make sure you are using a darker color on your plastics.


WE SMOKED'EM THAT DAY!


The redfish bite has been hot in lower Galveston bay and I have spent most of my time chasing redfish. Typically April is a windy month but other than this last weekend when it blew 25-30 it has been great weather and the conditions have been good. We have been throwing mostly shrimp or Gulps under mid-coast corks with short leaders of aprox 18-24 inches. The reds are hanging in the 2.5 to 3.75 ft water depth wherever the bait is at. Be it pelicans diving or just areas of excessive mullet, find the bait and you usually find the fish. Prepare to unhook a few gafftop because they are definitely hanging around.


NOT BAD FOR 30 MPH WINDS!!


The trout bite has been fair out of the boat. I am definitely not loading the boat up with specks but I am also not really chasing them much either. There are a few Speckled trout hanging around over heavy shell in 3 to 4.5 ft of water out in the middle. But they are really spread out so a strong wind is needed for long drifts to catch a few. I have never cared for fishing the causeway because of the crowd but there have been reports of some decent fish being caught in all areas of the railroad bridge. A light tide is needed and live shrimp seems to be the best bait either free lined or under a popping cork.


PASSING ON THE TRADITION FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION


The hardcore wadefishermen still has the advantage for numbers of fish being caught. Wadefishing is very good in the lower galveston bay right now and will be for the next month or 2. Wading coves or shorelines that have transition zones from sand to mud are deadly and are good places to find. The San Luis Pass area and the coves of West Bay are traditionally good wade fishing spots this time of year. They offer plenty of drive-up and walk-in wade opportunities. This would be my hot spot area for the walk-in wader. Other areas for the walk-in fishermen would be to focus on the Dollar Point area and Mosquito Island. Every April offers great wade fishing opportunities along the levees from the Moses lake entrance all the way to Mosquito Island. April can be magical over there. Topwaters or corkies are preferred but soft plastics will work also.


LOTS OF PUPPY DRUM!


I have not spent any time in the other areas of the bay system due to the fresh water run-off which continues to be a problem for the Galveston Bay system. The 1 or 2 scouting trips on the north side of the bay produced only a few fish and lots of fresh and dirty water. These latest rains will not help anything either. The lower bay system is in best shape right now so that is where I will be for the next few weeks. Hope to se ya'all on the water!

April 04, 2012

March Madness!

by Capt Mullet

While the NCAA Basketball hoop-la is at its twilight I regularly find myself daydreaming about stalking that beautiful trophy yellowmouth on a perfect day on my favorite spot. Other guys are thinking about basketball. Not me! My mind is on specks that look like basketballs. As I write this blog I catch myself thinking of the exact piece of shell I would like to be casting to. Dreaming of that instantaneous hook-up that almost scares you when that fish rips the rod right out of your hands. Those are the kind of yellowmouth basketballs I am thinking about!

Pro's Tip:
Big speckled trout are shallow so if you want a chance to catch one then you had better be stalking them quietly with all of your senses attuned in. When an athlete is in the zone he sees, hears and computes everything in his environment. As an above average angler you must be able to do the same. Paying attention to every little detail from reading the water to noticing every little wake, slick, pod and mullet around you is something I try to teach or stress to my clients who already have their own boats but just want to learn how to get to the next level of angling. If you really pay attention to the natural world and get in the zone then your catching ratio will go up dramatically.


Springtime patterns give the wade fishermen a serious advantage over other anglers. Finding a flat or cove along the shorelines of West Bay, East Bay or Trinity and grinding it out is what the serious angler is doing this time of year. Days of planning and watching the weather is critical to get the water depth, tides and winds just right. My general rule on wadefishing is the nastier the weather; the better the fishing. Drizzly, cloudy, windy days of low pressure are good days and should not be ignored. If you are waiting for that beautiful sunny day then good luck and have fun practicing your casting all day long with no bites.


Most of the time I have been throwing the Hackberry Hustler on a 1/8 or 1/16th oz jig but you will find a few broken backs, topwaters and corkies in my wade box also. Be sure to have something that imitates a small glass minnow also. The glass minnow hatch usually happens about the 1st thru 3rd week of April. So be ready for it. The Glo 3" inch Killer Shad from TTF works very well as a small glass minnow imitation so I keep a few of these in my box as April approaches.



Nice catch Alex!


Drift fishing should continue to improve as long as it stops raining. The flushing of the bay we experienced in February was a big plus and should allow us to have a productive spring. The February flooding event was really a good flushing and should be over now and the whole bay is fishable again. Salinity levels have been on the rise for the past 2 weeks even in the northern part of Galveston Bay. The beginning of March end of February was tough for most boat fishermen but if you looked hard enough you could find a few for the freezer. Every other day we would catch the occasional blue cat or redfish.

The Spring Season is full upon us so follow the weather. The timing of early spring fronts will be the most effective way to know when the "bite" is on. Areas like the Kemah Shoreline and the Dollar Point shoreline will be turning on soon and are definitely spring hotspots for walk-in waders and drift fishermen. Your favorite soft plastic will work. Lately I have been throwing the Mrs Trout Killer by TTF when fishing out of the boat. I also like throwing some type of broken back or even a corky devil when drifting over heavy shell. When in the presence of mullet these type of plugs can be deadly so make sure and have a few rigged and ready to throw. The fish are going to hang shallow for a few more weeks. So areas of mud with scattered oyster or clam shell throughout are going to be priority areas. Theyw will be switching to sand by th enext full moon. Any type of shoreline leading in to or out of these type of areas are highways so taking your time to look along shorelines for slicks or signs can pay off. Live baiters will do best with a popping cork and shrimp. Try to keep your bait in the lower level of the water column so adjust your leader depths accordingly.



Now that is a Big Ugly!!!


The "Drum Run" is already happening and should peak in the next few weeks. This time of year these species are overlooked for their ability to fight on light tackle. These fish have no food value (Unless you like worms) so take the time to release them carefully back in the water. The jetties, ship channel and Sea Wolf Park are definite hot spots throughout March and April. A great drive in spot for Big drum would be a day at Sea Wolf Park. Big black drum are caught on a regular basis at that location during the run on all types of baits including shrimp, crab and shad. Fishing off the rocks with sturdy poles and heavy lines will definitely give you a fighting chance at one of these beasts. Rock walkers at the jetties are also scoring well on these brutes.

The beachfront surf is another good area for spawning Black Drum to be found. Fish for them in the same way you would a bull redfish. Use Med-Heavy long distance poles so you can get your bait in to that 2nd or 3rd gut with a spider weight to keep it in place. Kayaks and canoes work well for paddling your baits out to that second and third gut. 3-4 ft leaders of 50lb+ will suffice with circle hooks for catch and release. Live mullet caught with your cast net is a preferred bait but isn't always there. My next choice would then be blue crab and/or fresh shad.

From a boat the preferred areas would be the rigs along the ship channel, Feenor Flats, the concrete ship and other deep areas that offer bait and tidal flow. Most of the rigs along the ship channel will hold black drum at this time of year. A weak tidal flow or the changing of the tides is the best time to target these big brutes in my opinion.


Eating size!

March madness really is here!
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