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A fishing update from Brian

Spring has certainly taken its sweet time getting to the coastal bend this year, with cold front after cold front relentlessly pummeling the coast.  Water temperatures that should be consistently in the 80s by early May have been down in the mid-60s as recently this week.  Every time we think it’s safe to put up the knit cap and ski gloves, we have two mornings in a row where they become required gear.

Great fluctuations in tides associated with these cold fronts have had the fish all over the map, and often require changes in location and fishing tactics from one day to the next.  On the days when the winds are up, redfishing with shad, mullet, or pin perch has been consistently good.  When the winds back off a little, shrimp and popping corks have produced some great boxes of trout and drum on the mid-bay reefs from Copano to San Antonio bays.

Croaker fishing, which has usually hit its stride by the first week of May, is just now showing signs of life as the trout are only now beginning the first stages of their spawn.  The trout caught on croakers this week have been consistently good fish, with many in the 22-26 inch range.  The croakers are still small and frail as a result of the late spring, but the fish that want them don’t seem to mind.

A wetter weather pattern has also found its way to the coastal bend, so dusting off the rain jacket is a must some days.  This is great for the fishery, as it keeps water temperatures and salinity low.  It also promotes for the growth of sea grasses, shrimp and crab spawns, and will keep the game fish very active well into summer.  Historically wet years always correspond with monumentally good fishing, so this is looking to be one heck of a season.

Today’s Fishing Report

34 for Sherry

A 34 1/2″ redfish caught by favorite guest Sherry. Enough said!

Brian’s Latest Musings …

Back to back winters have come and gone in Rockport almost without notice. With 70 degrees and sunny being the norm rather than the exception, the fish spent the winter happy, healthy, and nearby. The new year has already provided us with a couple of prolific rains, even staining the water around the Mission, Aransas, and Guadalupe deltas the color of tea for a few weeks. With salinity down a bit, fish activity should increase in the coming weeks as trout prepare for the spawn and reds and drum gear up their metabolisms for a busy spring. It is hard to say “increase,” since they never really slowed down throughout the winter. (more…)

2012 In Retrospect

With the 2012 season in the books, I finally have a little time for retrospection into the year that was. If I had only one word to describe it, it would be BUSY. I guess that is why we call it a BUSIness, and we are fortunate to have been able to host so many guests during the year.

Here in the last few weeks of fishing, the trout that have not been cooperative for most of the fall have really showed up in force. They have been awaiting the cooler weather and water temperatures, which certainly took their sweet time getting here. Normal years see the bay water temperatures down into the 60s in early October, and 50s showing up in early November. This year I waded wet in the first week of November with a water temperature of 77. While this kept the trout shy and uncooperative most days, the redfish and black drum did not seem to mind at all. We saw great fishing for both redfish and drum beginning in July and staying consistent right up to now. Best of all, the fish have really showed up close to home with many boats never losing sight of the lodge or Goose Island State Park. This means less driving time and more fishing time. Shrimp under a popping cork have really been the ticket for all species, but on really windy days cut mullet and dead shrimp have been best for reds and drum. (more…)

Lower Water Temperatures and Salinity = Hungry Fish

A universal theme throughout all of my fishing forecasts is rain, and so far in 2012 it has been plentiful! This means lower water temperatures and salinity, and hungry fish. (more…)

Fishing in Rockport Remains Consistent

In spite of an unusually windy May and start to June, the fishing has remained relatively consistent here in Rockport.  The good redfishing we had up until mid-May has slowed significantly, but the trout fishing has picked up the slack and a lot of boxes of 19-21 inch fish have hit the dock.  It has been a while since we have had any meaningful rain, but we are still in a surplus situation for 2012 and expect some more later this week. (more…)

Looking Ahead to Fishing Season

With “winter” coming to an end, or never even starting as the case may be, it is time to start looking ahead to FISHING SEASON!  The relatively rainy start to 2012, combined with a nonexistent winter has really set up for a perfect spring fishing scenario.  Reds and drum have been plentiful in our bays all winter long, although a bit moody most days as is typical in winter.  And by moody I mean find a school of 500, throw everything but the kitchen sink at them, and catch three.  But with the water warming and the spring winds ramping up their appetites are about to kick into high gear. (more…)

We Fished Like It Was October!

While tropical storm Lee did not give us the rain we were hoping for in Rockport last weekend, it did give us a look at what fall has in store for fishing in the coastal bend. The tide surge brought us cooler water, and the northwest wind blew as if a front had arrived.

Since it looked and felt like October, we fished like it was October, and the fish acted like it was October! Shrimp, croakers, and piggy perch all met a quick end on the reefs of North Aransas, Mesquite, and Ayers bays thanks to some really hungry reds, trout, and drum. (more…)

Hurricane Force Winds Pounded the Texas Coast

In the last week, the near hurricane force winds that have pounded the Texas coast have subsided and a summer pattern has begun to emerge. We now have access to the windward shorelines and mid-bay reefs that high winds kept us away from for the entire spring. This has opened up new areas for us to explore, and what we have found has been nothing short of amazing. (more…)

Redfish Are Hungry And Angry

As is typical with spring on the Texas coast, the winds have been howling and the waters have been churned up.  As is typical with high winds and dirty waters, the redfish are hungry and angry.

Predators thrive in turmoil, and that’s what spring in Rockport is all about.  Shrimp, crabs, and mullet have all been very successful baits for reds over the last six weeks, and the newly arrived migrations of menhaden will add another weapon to the red fisherman’s arsenal.  On the few occasions that the wind has subsided, the trout and drum fishing on the mid-bay reefs of Copano, Aransas, and especially San Antonio bays has been outstanding. (more…)