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.