Artificial Baits-Fool ‘Em

August 6th, 2015

Live bait best, but don’t ignore plastic alternative

For some saltwater anglers, the recent shortage of live shrimp in Galveston Bay has put their weekends on hold. Others do not seem to notice.
Keep in mind there are times and places in which live shrimp is a must, but summertime along the Texas coast is not one of them. Hatching of the South Texas brownies along with their migration ,the whites are here…………….
Sometimes is slowed by Mother Nature.
Fishermen who like to fish for the fun of it, shouldn’t let the absence of the white flag alter their fishing trips.
With a little persistence and some well placed luck, the use of plastic can be every bit as productive as the real thing on speckled trout, redfish, flounder, and maybe almost as good for gafftop and sandtrout.
Live shrimp is a fisherman’s tool, just like his rod and reel or his outboard motor and boat. But sometimes, this tool can be a crutch. Often times, some fishermen are too dependent on live shrimp. Typically, diehard live bait fishermen try the plastic route once or twice. If they are not successful, back to the live well igloo.
There are no guarantees even with a live well full of bugs or hoppers. And don’t give this writer the old adage, the family will go without, unless I bring home the bacon, if that were the scenario, the $18 or more it takes to buy a quart of bait would go much further in a discount food store.
Fishing is fun and part of that fun is being able to fool’em. Time, place and water conditions still matters as much, but you can do so choosing the correct lure and making it wiggle just so.
Granted, this is not easy, but the skills needed for most salt-water applications, come with patience and presentation.
Fishing with plastics is not like open-heart surgery. Experience is the best teacher and your classroom is always open. Soft plastic shrimp and shad imitations are for the most part productive and most users friendly along the Texas Gulf coast. Give me a hand full of jigheads and tails, and this writer will surely have fun fooling a few of the Texas big three. These lures can be worked both horizontally and vertically to cover all the necessary water to attract a surprising variety of fish. Texas big three are the prime targets (trout, redfish and flounder).
The Rat-L-Trap seldom sees salt water action in Texas. If you don’t like this lure and its kin. Ask Texas bass fishermen for a recommendation. They are available in many colors and finished with corrosion-resistant hardware and they work on any fish that eats piggy perch or menhaden.
Spoons are a must to carry on the bays of Galveston, but this writer has noticed a real downturn in the numbers anglers throw these days. Man, they can cut through a howling southeast wind like a sharp paring knife. Use ¼ oz-3/4 oz depending on the depth and distance you are trying to cover. A wide body spoon wobbles near the surface, while a narrow body plows more deeply through the water. Many a redfish have been landed with a gold spoon as well as other types of plastic imitation shrimp and shad bodies. You can chunk and wind all day with a spoon.
Mirro-lures, Spooks ,She Dog’s and Corky’s are among a family of somewhat advanced lures, but there is no single, magic way to work any of them.
Start with a slow steady retrieve and have a fishin’ friend begin with a quick erratic pull. Keep it moving? Let it sit. Try anything. And when a fish hits the plug, try and remember to retrieve it the same way the next time.
The length or weight of my stringer does not measure the success of my personal fishing trips any more. More so, the uncanny ability to fool one speckled trout or redfish on fake bait is all one needs.
Remember, have fun outdoors. Good luck and god fishing.
See Y’all on Galveston Bay.
Capt. Paul Marcaccio
BOI USCG & TP &W License

Galveston East Bay

July 3rd, 2015

East Galveston Bay-Best kept Secret.

You don’t need a huge bay for good fishing. A small bay with great structure plus marsh embossed borders can fill the bill.
That’s the case of East Bay, the smallest of the major bays in the Galveston Estuary. For years it was the best redfish bay on the upper Texas Coast, but back in those years it was also a best kept secret. East Bay is still the best upper coast redfish bay, but that’s no longer a secret, and the bay now gets heavy play from boaters and waders alike.
Starting with Hanna’s Reef on the southwest end, East Bay is rich with structure: scores of deep oyster reefs and pipe stands, Hanna’s Reef is a favorite of anglers who like to anchor their boats to fish cuts and drop-offs along the reef. The deep reefs to the northeast of Hanna’s Reef and extending back to the bay’s connection with the mouth of the Intracoastal Waterway are favored by drift anglers and those who like to fish the birds.
The borders of East Bay offer excellent wade fishing, especially the stretch along the Bolivar Peninsula side. This stretch from Goat Island, the bay’s junction with Lower Galveston Bay, back to Elm Grove offers excellent fishing for speckled trout, redfish and flounder. When the wind is light and parallel to the length of Bolivar Peninsula some of the bigger coves can be fished by drifting. Whether you drift or wade, a boat is needed to reach these waters because you have to cross the Intracoastal Waterway that runs the length of Bolivar Peninsula.
The whole of Chambers County side of East Bay can be waded, with the best action generally on the flats near the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Access is either by the Refuge or near Smith’s Point. Reefs like Stephenson Pt., Deep, and Robinson Bayou, just to name a few good ones.
Some of the best redfish action in this bay is during the oyster season. Working oyster boats make the bay quite sandy and at times downright muddy. This isn’t conducive to decent fishing for speckled trout. The working oyster boats, however, stir up a lot of marine life upon which redfish feed. Fish in the immediate vacinity of the oyster boats. Fish the flats and along the saltgrass marshes on the Bolivar Peninsula side of the bay. As a rule of thumb, let the tidal movement move the sediment toward where you are drifting. Great production will results in following the oyster boats at times………………….
East Bay is like West Bay in that it is a Galveston Estuary body of water little affected by fresh water runoff from heavy rains. This bay has two close connections with the Gulf of Mexico. Consequently the salinity level in this bay remains fairly constant. The connection with the Gulf of Mexico is Rollover Pass about 20 miles from the tip of Bolivar Peninsula. The other connection is the Lower Galveston Bay at the mouth of the entrance to the seaway between the North and South Jetties.
Rollover Pass deserves special attention. It offers boatless anglers excellent flounder and golden croaker fishing every fall and spring.
There is no lack of fishing facilities on Bolivar Peninsula. They are located all along the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s a different story on the Chambers County side of the bay. There are launching facilities on the roads leading to the bay, but all the concession stands selling bait, tackle, ice and food supplies are located near Smith’s Point at the far northwest corner of the bay.
Take advantage of the north shoreline, reefs like Deep, Whitehead and Richards, are excellent reefs to drift and find good solid speckled trout and redfish. Make use of the Salt Water Bass Assassins or Mirrolures baits in soft or hard plastics. Colors include bone-diamond, limetruse, Texas roach and pearl-chartreuse. Top water products like the She Pup or the Baby Super Spook are great tools for those elusive fish over 25 inches. Colors should be light in clear water and dark in off-colored water. Present temps are in the mid-80?
Recent winds and rains from the upper watersheds have had a great effect on catching of speckled trout and redfish. Spring tides are up 1-2 feet at present. Fish are close to drains and bayous on the incoming and out some on the outgoing tide periods. Tropical system today will add additional water to our bays.
Always file a flight plan. That way, someone can start to look for your group should you break down or worse, need medical assistance.

God bless you and your families.
Capt Paul Marcaccio
BOI, U.S.C.G & T.P.&W