May 22, 2005 — Even Speckled Trout Get the Blues

2005 has so far proved to be a very unique, frustrating, unpredictable, and mind-numbingly indecisive year.  Trout have seemingly been mourning our slight case of brown tide and refusing to bite.  However, with our ever increasing water clarity, we have returned almost fully back to the beautiful water we have grown accustom to in the lower Laguna, we have witnessed an increase in the number and quality of the specs we are catching accordingly.  Trout have finally began staging where they should this time of year with some monsters spotted on grass and sand patches in skinny water.  As for the tide runners, they appear to be holding the most frequently in water depths of 3 to 4 feet along heavy grass edges and slight drops.

If one way Mother Nature has smiled upon us this year, 2005 has been the great year of the Red.  Our network of guides up and down the Texas coast have reported a better than average early and late spring pattern on reds.  The management program set forth by Texas Parks & Wildlife to revive the redfish population has been an overwhelming success and we must continue to conserve and moderate catch rates of this great fish.  With that said, lobby your local CCA Chapter and Congressman to do something for our beleaguered trout population before it is too late.  Just keep five as the saying goes. 

Redfish continue to stay extremely shallow and we have taken a number of very impressive fish on fly.  Reds are spotty on large flats; however, they are staging delightfully along alee shorelines in the morning and windward shorelines in the afternoon in ankle to knee deep water!  Any fly pattern in chartreuse or red is the way to go and dark bodied plastics and gold spoons are the ticket on artificial lines.

Offshore, in a word, has been absolutely World Class!  I have fished the North Carolina false Alby run a dozen times and I have to admit  the numbers, size, and willingness of these Texas Bonito rival the North Carolina run.  Kingfish have migrated inland and are being taken daily as are huge Jack Crevalle.  Snapper fishing on the rocks continues to be the best in the world as we still await the mighty return of the Silver King.

On a personal note, Everett Johnson of Gulf Coast Connections has been kind enough to invite me to write a monthly column for his magazine.  What Everett and Pam have done with Gulf Coast Connections in the short time they have owned it is nothing short of an overwhelming success.  I welcome the challenge and opportunity and ask each of you to support the Johnson's and read this wonderful magazine.  Until next time: