Placid bays this week were perfect for tossing a topwater at summer speckled trout.
CONTRIBUTED BY BINK GRIMES
As of Sunday, June 10, 2012
It's a good feeling as a charter captain to look at the long-term forecast for the week and see nothing but "southeast wind 5-10 knots, seas 1-2 feet."
That was not entirely the case this week. A few days winds were less than 5 knots.
"We caught good numbers of speckled trout on topwaters," said guide Lynn Smith of Port O'Connor. "Sand and grass on the incoming tide was best."
Middle coast waders traditionally focus on the grass beds during the summer. Most of this terrain can be found on the lee of southerly winds and stay fishably clean even with gusty winds. However, with persistent light winds, the entire bay is in play, including mid-bay reefs.
"Most of the trout were off the end of the reefs in East Matagorda Bay," said guide Tommy Alexander. "To fish it right, you need to wade."
Alexander said the topwater bite was sporadic, but Bass Assassins on 1/8-ounce jig heads were the ticket.
"Chicken on a Chain and Morning Glory Sea Shad worked best for us," he said. "Though winds were light, because of low tides, East Bay was still a bit off-colored."
That was not the case in West Matagorda Bay, as many waders reported a solid topwater bite and beautiful green water. With an incoming tide and water heating up to the mid 80s, the bite was early.
"I left the dock at 4:30 a.m. and was fishing an hour before the sun came up," said guide Bill Pustejovsky. "The bite really shut down after sunrise."
Light winds were also a boon in Galveston Bay.
"It was lock and load in about eight feet of water," said guide James Plaag of Silver King Adventures. "Trout ate good ole' strawberry/white Bass Assassins on the tail end of the incoming tide."
Plaag said the topwater bite was solid as well.
"The smaller Top Dogs have worked best for us," he said. "Of course, the better fish have come on topwaters."
Though consistent tarpon action does not get going off the beach in Galveston until late July and early August, guide Mike Williams of Tarpon Express has been working the area off Galveston Island he calls Tarpon Alley.
"Water was in outstanding shape out there this week," said Williams. "We caught good numbers of blacktips, spinner sharks and kingfish."
Though winds were conducive for surf fishing, the beachfront never really got "right" this week.
Green water was within eyesight, but never crept close enough for pluggers to work the first gut.
Offshore anglers have enjoyed relaxed seas, especially with the June 1 opening of red snapper season. Many fish over 20 pounds have been taken during the first week, but what's really impressive is the average poundage from partyboats.
"Fish have been averaging 12-15 pounds," reported Patrick Lemire aboard the Capt. John out of Galveston. "We have been running over 80 anglers a trip and on most days we have had a full boat limit of red snapper."
The usual suspects have shown as well, like spadefish, kingfish dolphin and a few ling, but the main attraction has been the sweet tablefare of snapper. The year's season lasts only 40 days.
Here's hoping for more days of 5-10.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (firstname.lastname@example.org).