by Capt Craig Lambert
The best speckled trout fishing of the year is occurring right now as it usually does at this time every June. Last month's deluge of rain has had a huge affect on our fishery. It has literally pushed every fish in our complex in to East Bay or out to the beach front. The reefs in East Bay are no secret and that is evident with 20 - 30 boats on each reef everyday for the past week. Typically I would run far from these types of crowds but the fish are there and it seems like almost everyone is catching. Artificial guru at 15 years of age!!!
Every year those first 2 weeks of calm weather after the spring winds have always been fantastic. But with all of this freshwater that has pushed all of our fish in to one area expect that trend to hold throughout June. Artificials are working best since the fish are holding tight to the bottom. I have seen a few croaker guides with decent boxes but artificials are producing the best boxes. I personally think that color doesn't mean too much. Technique is what is actually putting fish in the box. I have been using mostly dark colored very soft plastics like Bass Assassins and Big Nasty's with no paddle tail. The trout are holding on or near the bottom after that sun comes up so slow rolling your baits in the oyster shell is producing some serious boxes right now.
The coaching I give to my clients all day is "Low and Slow"
The surf is also producing huge right now. All those fish from the upper bay system have to go somewhere and it looks like a lot of them have taken up residence in the surf. The dawn patrol is mopping up on a daily basis with this light North-Northeast wind occurring almost every morning. Green water has come in close and as usual the fish are responding and eating everything in sight. Topwaters, live shrimp under a popping cork, mirrolures and spoons are probably the best tools to hit that beach front with. Early morning is critical, typically that incredible surf bite turns off early but specks can be caught during all times of the day in the various guts between the sand bars. These boys are some seriously awesome anglers!!
Because the trout are staying in the lower column of the water table the croaker soakers are doing OK but I haven't heard any one say the croaker bite is fully on just yet. Quality croakers seem to be hard to find at the bait stands and healthy croakers are critical to catching speckled trout. Expect the croaker bite to kick in by the end of the month. Fat Trout!
You might as well completely write off the upper bay system and the ship channel for the next few weeks or so until the flood waters recede all over the state. That is unless you want to go catch a few striped bass or channel cats. Conditions are horrible all the way from Trinity to the Texas City Dike. West Bay and lower Galveston Bay are holding trout green waters with only a few small pockets of trout here and there but for the most part both bays are not producing very well at all. The only bright spot has been a few areas where birds are working. Not a lot of keepers under them but plenty of action.Good times!
Take a kid fishing they are the future of our sport!