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

Photo of a Lifetime

March 23rd, 2016

Memorable fish catches don’t come along on every fishing trip, but when they do, you certainly want a permanent record of the occasion.
You could, of course, take your catch to the taxidermist and have a real fine wall mount made. I’ve gone that route, and it is satisfactory to a point.
The problem is this can become quite expensive. I’ve been sport fishing since 1965 and if I had a wall mount made of every big fish I’ve caught or especially admired, I would be trophy rich and money poor.
No, not every fish I’ve caught was a record at the time. Other points figure in, like the circumstances under which the fish was caught, the tackle or special lure used, etc., etc.
There is an inexpensive way you can make permanent those memorable catches. Photograph the catch. If it’s to be a record of the catch, you need to do some planning in taking the photo. Simply pointing the camera and pressing the shutter release is not enough.
First off, consider the background. Don’t clutter it up with objects and whatnots totally unrelated to fishing.
Use a marine background. You can shoot from a low angle and have clouds in the background or shoot for a high angle and get the water in the background. Or you can take the photo in the boat with tackle, motor, and etc. in the background.
The main object in the picture is going to be the fish. Present its best side to the camera and wet the body before taking the photo. This will give it a more lifelike appearance. If the fish has been cleaned, don’t turn the cavity to the camera.
And forget all about holding the fish out in front of you so it will look better. A photo like that will stamp you as a real hayseed and make you the butt of a lot of jokes.
When there is a person in the photo, the first thing viewers look at is the eyes. The viewers will then normally look at what the eyes of the photographed person are viewing.
Thus hold the fish at shoulder level off to one side and look at the fish. Similar “blunder” photos crop up many times daily at the Grand Canyon. The photo is of someone looking right at the camera with the Grand Canyon in the background.
Make the photo a lasting one by having the person stand off to one side and then look toward or point at something in the Grand Canyon.
Let’s say you come in with a 9-pound speckled trout and you want a photo of it. Hold the fish with both hands, one supporting the head with a boga grip and the other grasping the tail to extend the fish to full length. Hold the catch to one side with the head of the fish at eye level, but a little to the front.
Then look at the fish’s head. The resulting photo will show you with your head partially turned toward the fish and with your eye on the fish. The fish is what you want people to see when viewing the photo.
Have the photographer move in close to snap the picture. You want the full length of the fish to show, but there is no reason for you to appear full length in the photo. After all, the important subject is the fish, not you’re fishing pants and old shoes.
The poorest light for a daytime photo is during the time period between 10a.m. and 2p.m.
Sure, the light may be strongest, but the sun will be overhead. A hat or cap will cast shadows on faces. Use a flash to eliminate those shadows. Avoid taking photos with the sun directly behind the photographer or behind the person in the photo.
In one case, you end up with the photographer’s shadow on the person in the photo. In the other case, the result is a bright background behind a darkened subject.
Record fish come along only a time or two in a lifetime. Trophy size fish may be caught only slightly more often.
With this in mind, never take just one photo. Use your phone (camera) to take as many shots from different angles
You may never, ever catch a fish so large again.
And take the photos from various backgrounds. Very often what you feel is the best pose may turn out to be the fourth or fifth, etc.
If the fish is to be taken to the taxidermist for mounting, make sure to take a number of color photos of the catch. It will enable the technician to better match the colors on the fish when he has to touch up the final mount.
God bless your families and good fishing.
See y’all on GALVESTON BAY…………………….

The fisherman
Capt Paul Marcaccio, T.P. & W. & U.S.C.G. license