Houston Fishing

FISHING REPORT – Galveston Surf

East-southeast wind at 15-20 knots kept the surf choppy and sandy close to shore and sandy-green under the end of the piers.

The rough conditions produced good catches of bull redfish along with a few stingrays for those using heavy tackle and baiting with cut menhaden or mullet, reported Samantha Hallman of the Galveston Fishing Pier.

Those aiming for smaller quarry decked decent numbers of “keeper” reds, whiting , sand trout, gafftop and drum, she said.

Port O’Connor

Onset of autumn has fish moving around as water temperatures and levels fall and forage shuffles to new locations from summer homes in the back-bay estuaries.

Some of the best recent catches of speckled trout and redfish have come from shallow flats holding scattered shell, mud and sand patches, said guide Chris Martin of Bay Flats Lodge.

On cooler mornings, sand and grass bottoms have warmed quicker and produced the best catches.

A few anglers have found decent topwater action, particularly late in the afternoon. But most fish have been caught on jigs tipped with soft-plastic bodies. Norton Bull Minnows in “Mardi gras” pattern have been one of the best soft-plastic choices, Martin said.

Offshore

The 2005 season for recreational catch of red snapper from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico ends at midnight. Anglers trying to get in their final licks over the weekend found fair conditions on Saturday but increased wind jacked seas to 4-5 feet on Sunday, making for rough conditions.

Snapper fishing has been improved over the past couple of weeks, with some offshore anglers supposing Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused a lot of fish to relocate, putting many of them closer to shore.

Saturday, Galveston-based partyboat Capt. John hauled 60 folks about 30 miles into the Gulf where they fished rocks and a wreck in about 80 feet of water.

The party decked 240 red snapper, a 22-pound ling, a king mackerel and an assortment of triggerfish and spadefish. Most of the fish hit Carolina-rigged Spanish sardines or large (3-4 ounce) jigs tipped with sardines or squid.

The 2006 red snapper season is set to open April 21, 2006. Red snapper remain legal to catch and retain in Gulf water under Texas jurisdiction, inside nine nautical miles.

Gibbons Creek

Cooler temperatures seem to have triggered largemouth bass to move out of deeper summer quarters and roam the shallows. Over the weekend, several good catches of largemouths were reported caught from the lake, said Johnny Rizzo of the lake check station.

Shallow water produced some of the best bass, he said. One angler landed more than a dozen bass, including fish weighing 8 and 6 pounds, from less than 5 feet of water. Plastic worms have been the best artificial baits.

Fair catches of crappie continued being taken from brush piles, flooded timber and submerged humps in 12-16 feet of water, Rizzo said.

Catfishing has been good in the creeks. Cut shad or perch fished on bottom accounted for several good catches over the weekend. Best cats weighed Sunday were a pair of blue cats weighing 16 and 12 pounds, Rizzo said.

Weather

Upper and lower Texas coast

Winds south-southeast to south 10 to 17 mph through this afternoon, increasing and shifting north 20 to 30 mph in the evening. Winds Tuesday 25 to 35 mph in the morning, north 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon, north 15 to 25 mph in the evening and night. Seas in deep water 4 to 6 feet this morning and afternoon, 4 to 7 feet in the evening. Seas in deep water building 7 to 10 feet Tuesday morning, 8 to 12 feet Tuesday afternoon, 6 to 9 feet Tuesday evening and 5 to 8 feet Tuesday night.

Sunday’s Galveston beach water temperature was 70 degrees.

Today’s tides

Galveston

Highs 1:59 a.m., 3:47 p.m.;
lows 8:33 a.m., 9:01 p.m.

Freeport

Highs 12:42 a.m., 2:30 p.m.;
lows 7:25 a.m., 7:53 p.m.

Tuesday’s tides

Galveston

Highs 2:02 a.m., 4:44 p.m.;
lows 9:01 a.m., 9:41 p.m.

Freeport

Highs 12:45 a.m., 3:27 p.m.;
lows 7:53 a.m., 8:33 p.m
By SHANNON TOMPKINS

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