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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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March 04, 2016

Spring Break is Here

by Capt Craig Lambert

The mild weather patterns have really provided some excellent fishing opportunities as of late. The jetty runners are seeing the beginning of the Black Drum run while the above average water temperatures are sparking a shallow water bite and the wadefishermen are loving it and cleaning up on the flats. Expect these 2 patterns to both get better as April approaches and expect to see some nice catches for the month of March. But the story of the month is Spring break and making sure those kids have a great time on their vacation. So let's just go over a few places to take your kids out on the water and get them fishing.


BIG TROUT!!

Many fishing guides are available all over the State of Texas and Louisiana and I guarantee nothing will make a kid happier than a day of fishing on a guided trip. Yes trips are expensive but a quality day of fishing on the bay with your family is priceless. However, there are many other fishing opportunities available around Galveston and in the area to get kids hooked up for spring Break without a boat. Families have some very good opportunities at a few hot spots around the Galveston area and the Bolivar peninsula. San Luis Pass and the beach on the west end of the island will be a fantastic area for kids to explore the beach and bay habitats and the incredible variety of birds and wildlife. On the East end of the island East beach and the South jetty can also be an excellent spot with multiple places to fish in the surf and on the rocks. Although it isn't the nicest beach in the world the South jetty however is one of the finest fishing spots around. Along the seawall in Galveston are located multiple rock groins in the surf and of course there are many piers. However, the number one destination to catch quality fish in my opinion for families fishing out of their car is Rollover Pass. More trout, redfish and flounder have been caught in that little pass than probably anywhere along the Texas coast. Of course this list is not complete without mentioning the longest rock groin in the world, the Texas City Dike. The dike has a lot to offer from wadefishing Mosquito island to hanging out on the man made beach or fishing the rocks along the channel side. Lots of places to go with a variety of ways to fish.


Lots of specks this size!!


Patterns are beginning to change as spring arrives early this year. The incoming tide is definitely where the best bite is and the bite has been much more aggressive late afternoons and on the higher end of the tide. Low tide has been tough to fish for the past few weeks. The redfish are beginning to show up more and more on the rocks and along structure. While the oversized black drum are starting to show up in their usual areas. Expect big changes to come soon on the flats. A major migration from muddy flats to sandy flats will most likely occur near the end of the month or the first week of April. So patterns will start to change soon.


What a catch and what a smile!


March is the beginning of the windier months of spring. Don't let the wind scare you off the water. Learn to use the wind to your advantage this month and expand your fishing knowledge. Wind blown shorelines can be excellent drifting venues especially for redfish. I am still amazed at how many people think calm sunny days are good fishing days. Yes this is true in the hotter months but not in Winter or Spring when the wind prevails and you either learn to fish the wind or you just don't catch fish. The advantage of the wind is being able to cover ground and find them quicker. Stirred up waters will not cause them to shut down but the opposite is in fact true. The wind will generate more feeding activities for you to take advantage of. Different wind directions will obviously affect their mood in different ways. My favorite wind is SE at 15-20 and it is about as good as it gets so don't park the boat in those conditions get out there and hammer them. I find these conditions produce actively feeding fish and if you can coincide your trip with the incoming tide then you will definitely put a few in the box. This rule is especially true for wadefishermen. It is always nice to start on a calm clean shoreline protected from the wind and sometimes they are there but if they aren't you had better revamp your thinking and start hitting some wind blown areas and see how you do. I bet you will be surprised.


Awesome redfish!!!


Take a kid fishing for Spring Break!!

May 18, 2012

May Days

by Capt Mullet

Summer is definitely on the way. The Galveston Bay system has transitioned over to a late spring/early summer pattern and the brown shrimp are invading our bays in full force which has increased bird activity in all areas of the lower complex. There are not a lot of birds in West bay but when you do find them they usually have decent trout underneath them. Lower Galveston Bay (Causeway to Dike) is the most consistent area for birds but you may have to catch 30 or more before you can get a keeper out of them. Look for schools of Jack Crevalle in that same bay system.


DOUBLED UP ON JACKS!!!!!


They are hanging around the causeway/intracoastal area and can be found by sighting them boiling the surface or by watching the birds. Usually the birds will hover high above the jacks and just follow the school around without diving. Jacks will cause a huge boil when they corral bait to the surface so look for those boils and get over to them quickly with any type of artificial bait from a mirrloure to a topwater or even a plastic.


35 MINUTE FIGHT ON A TROUT ROD!


The calm winds have finally allowed East Bay to clean up. Trout green water can be found everywhere and artificials are preferred when you have water like this. Limetreuse or glo is the hot color for specks right now and I have been using Hackberry Hustlers almost exclusively.


GOOD DAY!


East bay is crowded so if you plan on going you will not be alone. The trout are on most of the major reefs along with tons of bait and boats. Reds are good on pockets of grass and small bayous just off the intracoastal waterway. Popping cork and shrimp is king for those reds but a gulp will work also.


NICE RED!


West Bay has been holding some nice redfish along the north and south shorelines. Grasslines points and shell humps have been holding reds and windier days have produced best. The trout are shallow so wadefishing is best for targeting specks in West bay. Water clarity has been excellent in lower West bay for the last few weeks. Keying in on pelicans and terns can produce good results if you dont mind catching a few gafftop as by-catch.


FAT RED!


This latest rain is not helping salinity levels or water clarity in upper Galveston Bay. Seems like the North side of the bay just can't get a break. I havent heard any good reports from up there but hopefully soon it will pick up. Trout fishing was fair to good in early May and like clockwork at the end of May every year the specks really turn on when we get the first few calm days and the water greens up. These last few days we have seen phenomenal speckled trout fishing in every portion of the lower bay system including the surf.


5 POUNDER!


When hitting the surf you should be making your first cast by 5:45 AM or at first light. Popping cork and live shrimp is king in the surf but mirrolures and topwaters are hard to beat for the hard core lure chunker. Light winds and green water are the 2 key factors so pay attention the galveston surf cam for the latest water conditions. The surf would be my number one spot for the walk in wader with Mosquito island being my second choice for windier conditions.


NICE FISH MAX!!!


The bay is crowded and with Memorial weekend coming up it is going to get busier. Everybody stay safe, be courteous and just have fun being in the great state of Texas.

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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