East Bay Galveston

April 10th, 2015

East Bay- Anytime & Often

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 the 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. Drift anglers favor the deep reefs to the northeast of Hanna’s Reef and Intracoastal Waterway and those who like to fish the birds. Areas like deep or Whitehead come to this writer mine………
Recently, Mike Heidemann and I tested the waters in East Bay. With a stiff North wind we found protected shoreline. I knew fish were holding, especially on an outgoing tide, flushing the bait out on the flats, but to both our amazement, we had no idea what was to follow.
Using lime-truse Assassins and pearl chartreuse Mirrolure, Mike and I found a bonanza of fish. Mike limited on reds to 27 inches and I had only 1 redfish. Then Mike caught another fish, thinking it was another red. He made the statement, “I’ll work on your limit”. This time when the fish surfaced, it was a huge speckled trout. Later we weighed the fish on a certified scale at Eagle Point Camp; it was a healthy 8.7 pounds and 27-3/4 inches long. Mike and I scored numerous other big trout that day. Our total that afternoon was 13 trout and 5 reds.
Awesome Day……………
The boarders 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 behind the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Access is either by the refuge or near Smith’s Point.
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. Don’t bother to fish in the immediate vacinity of the oyster boats. Instead, fish the flats and along the saltgrass marshes on the Bolivar Peninsula side of the bay.
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 if the 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 (tackle and bait stands, boat-launching ramps, eating establishments) 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 are located near Smith’s Point.
Located near Rollover Pass in East Bay, is two very important Bayous’ (Yates and Big Pasture). Wade near the mouths of either on a falling tide, and you will be rewarded with good stringers of spec’s and redfish. The bottom is a little soft. Wear proper boots with ray guards. Move slowly, always keying on nervous mullets or shad. Use top waters in this area for those speckled trout or redfish. Best bait is Baby Spooks or She Pups. Colors should be light in clear water and dark colors when the water is off-colored.
Access to most of the south shoreline by boat is through String Ray Cut or Seivers Cut. Boat launching from the end of the Dike is by far the closest, unless you use the Bolivar Ferry and make use of a few ramps along the Intercoastal Waterway.

Look forward to seeing some of you wading or drifting East Bay.

Capt. Paul Marcaccio
BOI/ U.S.C.G & T.P. & W License

THE STEPHENSON’S – PAPPY & JUNIOR

March 4th, 2015

A Tribute to a Man and his Son

In life, only a hand full of people, including your parents, can forevermore have a lasting effect on your natural ability.
There was one who had a profound effect along with his son. That person was Bob Stephenson Sr. and Junior, as I knew him. Bob Jr. had a passion for the outdoors that his father gave him from the time his was just a little tot………………………….
Bob Sr. and his lovely wife Dottie have a wonderful family and shared everything about the outdoors with their sons and daughters.
The first I remember Bob Sr. was he doing the commercials for Friday Night Wrestling for Paul Bausch. Then later Bob Sr. was the weatherman for CBS, channel 11 here in Houston.
I’m not sure of the time frame next, but Johnny Valentino of Eagle Point tells me that his dad and Bob Sr. were close friends. Somehow, either Bubba or Johnny’s dad convinced Bob Sr. to do a fishing report on the radio for the Outdoor Farm Show.
Bam………Thus was born the re-nown show called The Bob Stephenson OUTDOORRRRRR Show. Sometime around 1968. You’ll do not hold me to all these dates and time.
The rest is history. Bob Sr. made a lasting effect on this guide and angler. The show played to a listening audience daily from 4am to 5am and on the weekends from 4-7am. Except Monday, when Bob Sr. would take a little time off, like maybe the barbers did as well. The format to this angler was simple. Tell it like it is. No exceptions. Wind direction, tide movement and general location of where you caught your fish. Bob Sr. expected no less than the truth. Lots of time, he would try to close the gap to where I was catching. All in good fun. Bob Sr. loved the outdoors like our Lord intented. He always had a smile, a look and a touch for everyone he came in contact with. His outdoor show was on the air for well over 30 years, heard on the AM radio side of 740,950 and finally settled down to the 610 spot where it played till our Lord called him home. This man knew more than about fishing and hunting than any I could remember in ten lifetimes. Forgive me while I dry my eyes a little……………………………..
His passion to help one and all was unique. From the advertising Boat Dealers, Professional Hunting and Fishing Guides, and especially the men and women that would call in to his show, He treated us all with the same passion and conviction for telling the truth above all else. He later tutored his son Bob Jr. to help so he could spend more time with his lovely wife Dottie and other members of his family.
Bob Jr. and I became very close friends during the 80′s. His passion mirrored his dad for the outdoors. Bob Jr. fished some of the fresh water tournament trails in the southwest.
At some point, Bob Sr. asked Junior to continue the family tradition. Bob Jr. took over for his dad, so dad could spend quality time with his family and friends. Bobby was a great friend, who knew the importance of family and how to get the most out of all of us, when it came to hunting and fishing reports. There were times, he could push my buttons………….Man, and He was awesome.
Bob Jr. maintained the airways all during the 80′s, 90′s and the 2000′s.
Everyone that came in contact with Bob Jr. loved and admired him as a person and a family man. His lovely wife Melba and daughters, Dana and Shelly are true grit to this writer. They all continue to live life to the fullest.
Bob Jr. lived life the way you should. To the fullest. One day at a time. He was a man’s man like his dad, Bob Sr.
Bobby passed away in 2002. I will truly miss them both…….
The show lives on in their memory. Capt Mickey Eastman and Benny Hatton are now the hosts daily. Tune in @ AM 610 Thurs-Sundays @ 4am. Great guys to listen to about the outdoors………….
I can still here them sometimes, while I drive toward the coast to go fishing. Bobby laughing out loud about someone’s funny story and the show always closed with Bob Sr. famous line. Folks, HAVE FUN OUTDOORSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS……………………..
God truly blessed these two great men.
Dottie, Melba, Dana and Shelly. Thank you for sharing your father and husbands.
Capt. Paul Marcaccio-BOI. (Born on the island)
With over 30 yrs. Fishing experiences the Texas Gulf Coast. U.S.C.G. & T. P. & W. license