October 18, 2005 — Holy Toledo
The NLCS and local conditions are apparently a symbiotic relationship: dramatic strikeouts and long long homeruns! Just like the serving of disappointment served up by the diminutive David Eckstein and goliath Fat Albert of the hated St Louis Cardinals, mother nature decided to throw us a mixed bag of disappointment and heart ache. We honestly have had the hardest bay and hunting week of all time. Sadly 16 shooters and 1 guide could only manage to wing 5 birds; oh yeah, not to mention dismal bay fishing conditions due to rough weather patterns and the remnants of the red tide. For an up date on current red tide conditions, please check on our web forum for a direct link to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department! HOWEVER, near shore fishing was the best fishing of all time.
Fishing with new buddies Brad, Kevin, and Jeff I was lucky to have shared THE best day of fishing in my entire life. A huge bait ball decided to camp out under our boat while being absolutely annihilated by bonito, jacks, tarpon, and kingfish. I have never experienced a day where fish would literally chase and skip bait across the deck of my boat. After landing a number of 30+ pound kings and a few great jacks, Brad decided to overcome the dread of Davey Jones Locker attacking his stomach and launch a topwater into a school of thrashing tarpon. Well, we now have a cure for seasickness, hook a 150 pound tarpon. Going from a green necked, holding on to every part of the boat, deck hand, Brad “Call me Ishmael ” Bright, was all grins and hand pumping as his bridled tarpon decided to launch into a number of grill rattling jumps.
Trip 2, I watched Brad, Kevin, and Jeff leave and Kevin, Greg, and John arrived. Not to be outdone, John “Baby Huey” Boatwright and I decided we wanted to catch a couple of very large fish. Landing a number of large kings on Fly and two 20 pound plus jacks we had another banner two days of fishing. Kevin tried and tried to land a big jack but everything the ocean could do to thwart him worked and left him high and dry. After sacrificing my favorite 10 weight, we came in to load up for the next round.
Inside the jetties could not surpass our successes outside. Fishing in the harbor turned out very dismal results. Not without a lack of trying, each boat had a horrible time trying to land quality fish. The keep ratio for trout has been a season low 15 to 1; moreover, finding those 15 fish to get the 1 keeper has been the problem. Weather conditions have not stabilized, water temperatures are still in the mid 80's with water temps fluctuating upward of 12 to 15 degrees a day driving fish crazy. With two cold fronts on the way and two mornings in the upper 60's, water temps are dropping and hopefully hitting that magical 68 degree mark quickly, we should see fishing turning on soon.
For red action, the jetties and surf have been the ticket. Cockroach flies and spoons have been the best results in these venues and cut mullet along the drops. Numbers of schooling snook and very large mangroves are very satisfying by catches hunting for reds.
Well, here is to seeing the Astro's righting their ship and Mother Nature returning our fishery back to normal. Let's keep our fingers crossed for both and count the days to Costa Rica! A final footnote; please note, we only want to report true hunting and fishing conditions and not mislead our friends. We strive to provide you with the most up to date information possible and are willing to answer any questions on fishing conditions before and after your trip. On the brighter side, as guide came in after I posted this report yesterday catches were slightly better and fish seemed to be more active on the flats.