Best Bets for Fishing

The month of May marks the beginning of fishing fun in the sun. This is the time when numbers of speckled trout, redfish and flounder can be caught on the Texas Gulf Coast. The big question is where to go and how to catch them (see Texas Gulf Coast Fishing).

Laguna Madre Fishing - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

Starting with speckled trout, the best place is out of Port Mansfield in the middle of Laguna Madre. One reason this is a top spot is based on the last three trips to this Lower Coast Destination. The daily limits on trout were reduced from 10 to 5 so fishing has rebounded like nothing you've ever seen. Since the limits have been cut in half the fishing has rebounded. The next morning we loaded our gear into the boat and idled out of the harbor (see Saltwater Fishing Gear). The first stop was along the King Ranch shoreline. The water was emerald green and loaded with mullet. My friend is the lure designer for Egret Baits and was tying on his latest creation. It is called a Kick a Mullet and it's got a wedged tail with a big thump one reeled on a slow retrieve. You can fish it on the surface, swim it or let it sink and work it back at various steps.

For the next two hours we caught and released 4 to 7 pound trout with this lure and trout fishing doesn't get any better than this.

The second go to trout location is on Sabine Lake where Texas and Louisiana meet. For numbers of trout both big and small, Sabine is tough to beat. It's almost all drift fishing from a boat while chunking soft plastics, top water plugs and swim baits. May is the month of double-digit trout on Sabine. One of the most successful anglers there is Dr. Kelly Rising. He caught the lake record speckled trout at 11 lbs. 12 oz. The three best places is Lighthouse Cove in Sabine Pass. The second is along the north revetment wall and the third is at the jetties. May is the month when Sabine Jetties begin to load up with trout. One can use a soft plastic like an egret Wedgtail in black or chartreuse. At daylight you'll do best by fishing top water plugs close to the rocks. As the sun gets up, switch to a jig or live baits like shrimp, finger mullet or mud minnows.

East Galveston Bay is speckled trout central for Houston anglers. It is one of the most popular shorelines to wade fish along the entire Texas coast. The best lures will be swim baits early, along with top water plugs. Work the shell pads in 4 to 5 feet of water when the sun is high and hot. The reefs in the open water of East Bay attract and hold lots of 15 to 18 inch specs. One of the most consistent is Hannahs Reef. If all else fails, fish with a croaker.

One of the captains Charlie Paradoski has been putting fishermen into fishing with top water plugs and slow sinkers. But when they want to fill the cooler with trout he rigs them with Rattle flows and jigs. Will drift and fish the floats along the edge with the wind and a trolling motor. Fishing a rattle float and jig will catch big trout.

Redfish is abundant at Port O'Connor located in the middle Texas coast. This is some of the clearest water on the entire Texas coast. The best wade fishing can be found along the many islands between West Matagorda and Expuritu Santo bays. There is nothing better than site casting to Reds on gin clear flats. Blueberry Island is a particular stretch of water miles long and offers white sand flats with a mix of shell and grassy pockets of water that hold crabs and mullet. You have the option of easing along with trolling a motor, polling or wading.. Your best option is to move along in a deep-water while working lures up on the shallow flats. The best lawyer is a 5-inch Wedgetail Mullet rigged weed less on a 6/0 hook. Reds are not shy about whacking that type of lure. You can also catch red spy fly-fishing and it is one of the top destinations for fly fishermen looking to roam the flats for tailing reds. The many islands and backwater estuary lakes present some of the world's best action on tailing reds. The key is to have a boat that'll float in about 7 inches of water as they love skinny water flats. When fly-fishing for reds, you'll do best with a 6 to 7 weight rod that's about 9 feet long. My favorite is a six weight TFO rod and reel. The best fly is a number four bend back tied with copper and yellow material.

San Luis Pass - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

The big reds in the 15 to 25 pound class hang out at Port O'Connor, Galveston, Sabine or Port Mansfield jetties. You can fish for reds on the rocks or move along with the use of a trolling motor. Tie on a 1/4 ounces jig head and some sort of plastic tail. If the water is a little off color, go with a paddle tail jig. The best colors are gold, bone, chartreuse or red and white. Another good lure in the jetties is a silver or gold spoon with yellow, white or pink teaser on the tail. The best live baits are cracked blue crab or cut mullet.

San Luis Pass located between Galveston and Freeport is a redfish highway. You can fish it from a boat or the bank. You do not want to try to wait for sheer as the strong currents are dangerous. Trout and redfish are fun to catch and eat. But for flavor you can't beat a fresh-cut flounder. The best flounder spots are the Louisiana shoreline of Sabine Lake, Rollover Pass on Bolivar Peninsula, the marsh on the South Shore line of East Galveston Bay, Pass Cavallo at Port O'Connor in the deep-water guts on the Lower Laguna Madre. The number one spot for flounder fishing from the bank is Rollover pass. It connects the Gulf of Mexico to East Galveston Bay. This particular pass is a bank fisherman's dream. The best two times to fish this areas may in October.