by Capt. Craig Lambert
Summer is finally here and for me this is the time of year when I have families and kids on the boat almost everyday. We have definitely had a lot of fun with exciting catches of speckled trout, redfish, flounder, black drum and sheepshead crashing our lines. With the winds finally giving us a few days of reprieve the bite has finally improved and allowed for some good catches to hit the docks. Nice stringer!
The summer patterns like fishing the ship channel spoils and mid bay rigs have not quite kicked in as of this writing. The fish are still stuck in a late spring pattern where they are holding over sand and/or heavy shell in 3-6 ft of water. Cooler than normal water temperatures have kept the fish comfortable enough where they are content for now. However, as July heats up we will definitely see that migration towards the ship channel and the cooler waters. The fishing forecast for July looks excellent. I believe that July will be one of the best fishing months of the year so far and fishing will just explode all over our entire bay system. Huge flounder!!!
As gamefish migrate towards the cooler waters of the channel spoils they will inhabit many of the new reefs located between Eagle Point, April Fools point and the ship channel itself. The reef building projects that Texas Parks and Wildlife began 2 to 3 years ago has had plenty of time to grow and proliferate with an abundance of life. Gulf trout, gafftop, redfish, sharks and hungry specks will inhabit these reefs and will hit many a lure, shrimp or croaker chunked their way. TPWD are also building several new reefs in East Bay which is long overdue with the amount of pressure that bay receives in early summer. These reef building projects will do nothing but improve our fishing over time and also allow more fishing areas for the constantly growing number of anglers on the water. Nice redfish!
East bay has been a parking lot for the past 2 months with dozens of anglers on each reef. Better weather will mean less boat pressure and that will do nothing but improve fishing over the reefs of East bay. The fish are there but nowadays you have to share them with 15 other boats on each side of you. Trinity bay has been tough to fish with Southwest and Southerly winds blowing hard these past weeks. There have been some reported catches of trout and redfish along the eastern shoreline but high winds and the absolute worst wind direction for this bay has almost completely shut this bay down for a lot of anglers. Lighter winds will clean Trinity bay up fairly quickly and it will be an area to focus your angling efforts for redfish out in the open waters and speckled trout should be targeted along the reefs and rigs. Family Fun!
Live shrimp under a popping cork has been my preference for live bait so far this year. My exact setup is the Midcoast Evolution Cork with about 25 inches of 30 lb monofilament on a #6 3X treble hook. There is not a game fish in our bay system that doesn't respond to that setup. On some of the windier days I have thrown a few croakers in the boat and have had mild success. I have noticed this year that the croaker bite has not been aggressive. As it gets hotter that croaker bite will improve and the fish will attack those croakers with a vengeance. But right not it seems like the bite is very soft and they just are not aggressively hitting croakers. This makes it much harder for the novice to feel the bite and know when a fish has a hold of their bait. 28 inches 7 1/2 lbs and not signed up for the STAR tourney!!
Do not forget to get those kids and yourself signed up for the STAR Tourney this year because it is not too late. This is by far the very best tournament for anglers in our great state of Texas. Just imagine what it would be like to catch a tagged redfish or a scholarship winning fish and not be signed up. What a sickening feeling that would be. For less than $50 you have a chance at several huge prizes including trucks, boats, scholarship money and thousand of dollars in cash. Sign up today before you lose out on a fish of a lifetime! Very happy young man!
Take a kid fishing!!