Role of the Winds
Make no mistake about it, the wind can make or break your upcoming fishing trips. Obviously, the stronger the wind, the rougher the water will have on your trips.
For general sport fishing, anything over 15 to 20 knots will make for an uncomfortable day.
The story of Texan saltwater fishing and the wind, however, is more than one of velocity. Direction too, plays a very important role. Then, there is the duration of the wind out of the same direction.
Start by looking at a map of the Gulf Coast. Beginning at Sabine and moving toward Corpus Christi, the coast runs northeast to southwest. However, from Corpus Christi to Mansfield and further south becomes almost due north to south.
What would you say are the best fishing winds? As a rule, the best winds are east to southeast along the coast, less than 12-15 knots. These winds blow in from the sea to bring in clearer and sometimes cooler water. That, folks are the ideal winds for our coastline. Even stronger east to southeast winds may make your fishing a bit unpleasant, but will have little effect on water clarity. East winds will cause the tide to rise from 1to 3feet above normal.
Now look what happens when the blow comes from the land to the sea? Meaning from the dreaded northwest or west. These winds are not conducive to fun fishing, because they drop tides below normal and water clarity becomes non-existent. There is an interesting note about northwest winds in the winter from mid-November to April. These “blue northers” generally cross the coast in excess of 25-40 mph. Old and seasoned fishermen call it “blowing the water out of the bay”.
Look for areas that hold land structure to give you some protection, such as Clear Lake, Moses Lake, Taylor Lake, Offats Bayou and numerous other bodies of water you can find on your Gulf Coast maps.
In addition, it is an ideal time to survey areas normally covered by normal tides. Bottom structure such as reefs or wrecks will hold bait. Remember, finding active bait; will most often result in finding game fish.
Strong and sustained winds from off shore, especially, those from the east, can be a fishing bonanza, making tides run higher than predicted. These winds flood the salt grasses and generally on a falling tide, can result in excellent catching of speckled trout and redfish along with the 3rd member and sometimes over looked flounder.
And last but not least, dead calm wind is generally slow to poor for fishing. There are no ripples on the bay to offset the noise a wader or someone drifting might make. Make no mistake, sound underwater travels 5 times that of what you hear on top, or so the experts say.
Next time you and yours plan a trip, keep this information and use it to make a wise decision for your outdoor adventure on Galveston or any area along the Gulf Coast.
Enjoy the out doors.
See ya’ll on Galveston Bay.
Merry Christmas to you and yours. Have a safe time boating during the upcoming time we celebrate the birth of our Lord.
Capt. Paul Marcaccio-USCG & TWP License
BOI-40 years experience on the Gulf Coast