Winter Bay Action-Galveston Bay
When winter cloud cover prevails, fish the deep holes located on your Hook & Line maps. Should the sun come out, simply move to the flats adjacent to these holes. You should focus on the edges of all deep water. Try and work the lure on or near the sides of the ledges.
A bit later, we will discuss how to fish the flats, but first, we will work on those deep holes.
Each day, the fish will move to different parts of the deep structure. Always take the time to check out the entire hole and don’t just fish blind in deep water. Your catch will no doubt reflect the efforts of your search.
Once you have located schools of fish, mark the location with bouys or your man overboard on your GPS. While drifting over the area, bounce the bait off the bottom as if you were jigging in freshwater. Always cover the entire area around your boat, and if the prevailing winds move you along too fast, simply use your drift anchor or your Minn- Koda trolling motor. Of course, you must not forget to check out those favorite spots you have developed from previous experiences in deep water.
Each time you cast, allow the bait to reach the bottom. Point your rod tip toward the water and jig up or twitch it side-to-side. Usually a trout or red will strike as the bait begins to fall. Always keep the bait moving in the area in which you are fishing since the fish are not considered aggressive and may need enticement to assume they have located a wounded fish. Fishing during January and February does require significant patience and dedication, bur generally, fish caught this time of year will put up a better fight and can weigh 3-to-5 pounds each. Use tails that have a good action, such as paddle or split.
Fish feed differently and less frequently during the winter and tend to nip or peck similar to some perch. Simply, wait for your line to become tight or a simple peck. Set it and continue to retrieve till you see the fish. Then work him slowly into the net……………Wow, done it.
Live bait is often difficult to find during the winter months, due to the shrimp moving to the marsh and mud, so you might want to try soft plastic shrimp tails, shad imitations and jerk worms. Colors like plum, pearl with chartreuse tail, smoke, grape, or pumpkin seed.
The use of ¾-to-1 ounce spoons are excellent, Try gold with teaser. The fish can feel the vibration with their lateral lines.
Generally, you can cover more water with soft plastic and spoons, both vertically and horizontally.
Now its time to discuss fishin’ those flats after the sun has come out and begun to heat those mud flats and shorelines in East or Trinity bay.
You might try a top water lures (Mirro lure She Dog, or Baby Spooks. Bomber Saltwater is great hard bait……………..when water temp reaches 60 degrees. Remember, work the entire water column, both mud and shell, looking for a few nervous flippin' mullet with those soft baits like Assassins, Norton or Chicken Boy.
Smaller bait is absent in the winter. You should look for slicks or nervous water. Last, always dress in layers both in and out of the boat. File a flight plan on which bay you are going to work that day. It will aid those who may need to search for you should you have motor issues or other problems.
Always remember to relax and have fun outdoors and the best time to go fishin’ is anytime you can.
See you’ll on Galveston Bay.
Capt Paul Marcaccio
T.P.W. & USCG License