Re: Traveling to Mansfield tomorrow, any help is appreciated!
I agree with putawaywet's reply, in fishing “the lights,” smaller, lighter lures have usually worked better for me–that's why flies work well. Another effective lure is the Yozuri Crystal Minnow in the clear version, or the 2″ Finesse jerkbait in Ice color rigged in tandem with small, unweighted hooks or 1/16 oz jigheads. Also, what I have experienced is that, sometimes, the fishing improves by taking breaks after you catch a few fish. For the offshore and inshore fishing, I would hire a guide just to show me the lay of the land if you can afford it. If not, get a good map–I don't know about offshore, inshore you should focus on depth changes, sand potholes and bars, in the grass flats that are anywhere from 3-6' of water as well as the cuts and dropoffs near the spoil banks adjacent to the intercoastal canal south of the harbor. Effective inshore lures are topwaters in bone, chrome/blk or blue, white/chartreuse and orange, stinky Berkley GULP platics in New Penny color (I like the 4″ shrimp) with or without the Cajun Thunder cork or Mansfield Mauler. Traditional plastics will probably work, but with the heat I think the GULP is more effective. A friend fished Port Isabel/Padre Island the week of July 4th and reported that the GULP saved their trip. You're going to a great fishing destination–good luck and I hope it's not too crowded.