Summer is not the only thing heating up as we have seen a great run of fishing offshore recently. The 2 weeks leading up to the 4th of July weekend were quite windy, but as the wind dropped, the number of boats out in the Gulf skyrocketed. Good news for the humans but bad news for the fish.
Catches of red snapper have been great from the Lone Star Reef all the way out to Baker Rock. Easy limits of big fish have been the norm. Most of these boats are also targeting kingfish as well and if they can find ribbonfish (which are in pretty short supply) and drift them or slow troll them from Hospital Rock all the way in to the end of the jetties.
As the wind has calmed down we have also seen some really good rips make up which are holding dolphin, wahoo, sailfish, white and blue marlin. There are some inshore rips which have been in the 120’ of water depth, but these have been pretty unproductive. The better rips have been out across the dumping grounds and out all the way to just inside HooverDiana, or 134 miles out. Most of the rips are made up north-south right now, but there have been some very strange currents that have brought in some off color water with them. Over the past weekend the water was better at 80 miles as opposed to 140 miles out.
There have been some blackfin tuna also showing up in what seems like staging for the reopening of Gulf Shrimping season. Once the shrimp boats are back out there, we expect the shark and blackfin tuna catches to really explode.
The forecast for the weekend of the 11th is looking really good right now with 2-3’ seas predicted for Saturday. We will be about ¾ through the Federal Snapper season so no time like the present to get out and fish. We also think that the crowds for the upcoming weekend on the water will be a little lighter than normal since this is the weekend the Deep Sea Roundup is normally held and since it has been canceled, that does take some wind out of people’s sails. Don’t let that be you. Go fish!
The middle of summer is upon us and it appears that things are finally starting to go into their full summer pattern. We have seen the winds in the past week back down from “very nautical” to “very nice” with calmer mornings and breezy afternoons. Catches have followed suit.
Early mornings up shallow in the back of some of the lakes and sloughs have been holding a lot of feeding redfish and drum. This has been helped by the fact that first light has corresponded with the high tides. The lighter morning conditions have also allowed for a few good days of fishing in the surf for trout. Over the 4th of July weekend there were some outstanding catches of good thick surf trout coming in from early bites on croaker.
The North Jetty has been producing a wide variety of fish. Trout early from the surf have been spotty, but the normal resident redfish have continued to want to play. As we get through July and into August the redfishing on both jetties is going to do nothing but get better. We are also getting into the heart of Tarpon Season here in Port A and have already had reports of some 20-40 lb tarpon landings coming off of the north jetty both by rock hoppers and by boaters. This too will continue to get better as we move from here into fall.
Trout fishing in the bays has been good, but not everywhere has been producing. The wells in Corpus Christi Bay have been a little slower than anticipated, but many of the bay shorelines in East Flats and Shamrock Cove have had great early morning trout bites with mixed in redfish. The normal big schools of drum have not been as pervasive as they usually are, but many think it is just due to the wind being up for so long over the past few weeks. With the settling of winds thing should fall into their normal summertime patterns.
As a bay fisherman here in Port Aransas we encourage you not to forget about taking a shot at some kingfish out of your bay boat. Not many times that you get to catch a 30 lb fish out of a boat you can put on a single axel trailer. When the tide is high in the mornings, the good water pushes into the ship channel. We have already had reports of kingfish as far up the channel as the ferry landing so if you can make it out of the harbor you can take a shot at some. A couple of tips for them if kingfish love things that are bright and things that are loud. Our favorite if we don’t want to go with something like ribbonfish for them is to troll a big spoon, a lure like a Russel Lure or King Getter (picture a big metal banana with big treble hooks) or a very large rattle trap.
Weather looks great this upcoming weekend so get out there and get some slime on the deck!!!