Hardware Equals Quality Spec’s and Redfish

June 3rd, 2016

         Artificial Lures Provide for Quality Fishing

 

If your interest in fishing is solely about catching fish, then by all means, use natural bait. But, if your interest in fishing is centered around catching “quality “fish, you need to try mastering the art of using artificial lures. There are those who use the term, sport fishing………………

 

Warning: Successful lure fishing does not come easy. You can cast for hours and catch very little. Once you have confidence in the art, though, the size of your fish will be a treasure to everyone around you, and yourself, of course.

Over the past 35 years, I have done the majority of my fishing with artificial lures. When it comes to wade fishing, I fish with soft plastics and top waters. Also, that includes gold spoons. However, there have been times when anglers have stood toe-to-toe with me using live bait. I take a back seat to those anglers on those days, as live bait will out-catch my artificial lures.

 

As a young man growing up in Galveston, my grandfather and I always used live bait. The bait back then, some 50 years ago, consisted of live shrimp, live mullet or cut bait. Dixie spoons worked wonders on those sow trout.   We caught a lot of fish back then, but I really think it was because the fish were so plentiful. We were good fishermen, but there were a lot of fish to be caught.  In the early 50’ and 60’, we could sell our speckled trout @ the market for 12 to 15 cents a pound.

Regardless of the species we caught, most of the fish were school size. Remember that we had no size or bag limit. We caught and kept a lot of fish in the 12” to 15” range, There were times when we caught trophy-size fish, but there wasn’t a great deal of fanfare then as compared to today. Catching big fish was commonplace. We all knew the smaller fish were better tasting, and we could always find the trophy fish with little or no effort…………………

 

I became a serious lure fisherman 35 years ago while starting my guide service. There were many times when I contemplated switching back to natural bait. But, competition among myself and other guides along the Gulf Coast forced me to stick it out until my confidence with the artificials was strong enough and I had begun to consistently catch those fish with the artificial. Most agree that artificial colors are made to catch fishermen, not the fish you target. There are too many manufacturing lure companies, but will tell you the ones that this writer uses. Salt Water Assassins, Mirrolure, Stanley Jigs, Norton Sand Ells, and Johnson Sprite Spoons. Gulp by Berkley, has really been a key to saltwater catching when sometimes the above does not work.

 

In order to be successful with lures, you have to be persistent. Fish are in the water within casting distance around you, but don’t simply make a few casts and expect success. Fish will often trail a lure without striking until they see your shadow or that of your boat in the water.

Fishing out every cast means working and imparting action in the lure through the entire retrieve. A lure at rest on the bottom or floating on the surface won’t normally land you the strike desired.

The key to successful saltwater fishing with a lure is to thoroughly work all of the water within the casting range. If you only make a dozen or so casts and then move up or down the shoreline or surf, you just might be leaving the area about the time the fish pick up the lure vibrations in the water and start homing in on that area. I have been successful while, during the course of a morning, I have moved less than a mile from my original spot, all the while catching good fish.

Fish can only move in on lures when they have picked up the vibrations of the lures moving back and forth, or when the lures catch their attention. Remember, light colors in clear waters and dark colors in off-colored water. If you have patience and are persistent, then by all means, take a serious look at fishing artificial lures. But, if you have trouble paying attention to your fishing, then stick with natural baits. If you opt for the latter, keep in mind that you’re going to miss out on a lot of trophy-size fish.

 

It’s your game. You make the call.

As always good luck and have fun outdoors

See y’all on Galveston Bay.

 

Capt. Paul Marcaccio

BOI- USCG & TP&W License

Galveston East Bay

May 6th, 2016

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 north and east 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, spring and summer………………….
There is a few 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-70’s…………………..
Recent winds and rains from the upper watersheds have had a great effect on catching of speckled trout and redfish. Spring tides are up 2-3 feet at present. Fish are close to drains and bayous on the incoming and outgoing tide periods. Tropical systems will add additional water to our bays. We had several systems to date……………..
Always file a flight plan. That way, someone can start to look for your group should you break down or worse, or need medical assistance.

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