Author: Robert Grimsley
Summer Fishing Galveston & Bolivar Coasts
The last couple weeks have been a bit slow and tough fishing along the Galveston and Bolivar coasts. We have spent several days on the beach and.........well.......haven't done really well. Now, we have caught a few sharks and even the occasional trout but we haven't seen the numbers that we usually do. On the good side, we are able to target the sharks and one of the Texas Shark Research Team's Junior Anglers has accumulated enough points to move into first in the Junior Angler Division of the Texas Shark Rodeo.
The slow fishing begs the question of "why?"
I have noticed a couple natural issues that cause this. First, the heat wave that has hit our coast in the last couple of weeks have really heated the water up and it is only getting hotter. The upper Texas coast is especially effected by this because of how shallow our near shore areas are. Last Friday we fished several spots along Bolivar and the water was "bath tub" warm, especially in the Bolivar Flats area on the west end of the peninsula. Even the Crystal Beach area where we can get into a little bit deeper water seemed warmer then usual. We tried several different baits from live mullet, dead squid, cut mullet, and even threw some artificial lures. All we came up with was one shark, one keeper trout, and rather large Gaftops, and several hardheads. A few days earlier at San Luis Pass wasn't much better.
The second natural occurrence that I noticed was that the tide was WAY out. This one is obvious for slow fishing. Low tides, and really low tides in particular, pull all of the bait fish out and the predators that we are fishing for go with them. We really noticed this when we were fishing on the point at San Luis Pass. Most of the sandbar was out of the water. We did see a few fisherman catching some trout on live shirmp, but not in the numbers that we usually see there (we were targeting shark that day).
What do you do when it is slow like this? Push through and keep fishing! At times like this, that's what I do. Just because it's slow, doesn't mean that the fish are completely gone and you won't catch anything. On one of the slowest days at San Luis, I hooked into something rather big and had a brief, really strong fight with something on the other end of my line. Unfortunately, as it sometimes happens, my leader broke and whatever was trying to pull me in the water, won. Another thing that I like to do when I'm on the water and it's slow is work on other aspects of my fishing ability. I practice throwing my cast nest and work with throwing lures that I know I am weak with. I'll also break out my fly fishing rod and practice (one I definitely need to work on) or make extra leaders to keep in the tackle bag. Make use of the down time on the water and don't give up on the fish. Also, hook on some live shrimp and you are almost guaranteed to catch something!
As I look at forecasts for the remainder of this week, it should start to pick back up and the tides are pushing the water (and bait fish) back into the bays. Best days should be Thursday and Friday, with a pretty good outlook for the weekend. Hopefully the heat subsides a bit too. If you are looking for sharks, remember that this time of year a lot of the Blacktips and Spinners (especially the larger, older ones) will be migrating to deeper water off the coast but the Bulls and Hammerheads will move in more frequently. Remember, we have seen a lot of larger sharks caught along Bolivar and Galveston so far this year and the clear water is still close to the shore.
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