Written by Captain Greg Verm
Current Water Temperatures:
USCG Station Freeport: 61.2F
Galveston Causeway: 59.5F
Eagle Point: 59.4F
Galveston North Jetty: 60.1F
San Luis Pass: 60.1F
With the Holiday’s over, the hunting season’s coming to an end, and a brand-new year for setting goals and dreams… there isn’t a better month to get in on some incredible fishing on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast. Anyone that has spent much time here in the Lone Star State knows the weather we experience here can be quite amazing. There is a very good reason folks from our Northern regions of the country find refuge here along the Texas Coast during January and February. RV parks from Galveston to South Padre are loaded with motorhomes and rv’s with license plates from all over the Northern United States. January weather along the Texas Coastline can be quite amazing, and the fishing can be second to none. We primarily stay in the inland waters during the winter months. Our main targets are speckled trout, redfish, flounder, sheepshead and night-time flounder gigging. The past couple of weeks we have had very successful trips for all of these.
The back lakes and bays from the Galveston Causeway stretching west all the way to the Brazos River are holding good numbers of specks, reds, flounder, sheepshead and drum. The key to this time of year is “Hurry Up and Slow Down”. Many may think that statement makes zero sense… So, let me explain. During the cooler months of the year, there may be miles and miles of shoreline or acres and acres of dead water. Subtle changes in bottom contour, mostly relating to deeper water along with structure can be the key to holding lots of fish. When I say “hurry up” that means you must cover allot of water to eliminate the dead zones. At the same time, you must slow down your presentation many times so the fish will strike. When you find the fish… most times they will be stacked. This is especially true for speckled trout. Another give away to where the fish are is bait activity. Seeing bait along the surface is clear. The other way to find the bait is with your electronics. The past couple of weeks we have found our specks stacked in a 40-yard stretch of water. On our Freeport Texas Fishing Charters, we have the luxury of being on the water virtually every day which allows us to track their movements and patterns. Moving water is key as well. Tides play a big role in moving the baitfish which gets the fish actively feeding. Depending on the skill level of our clients, we will use natural baits or soft plastics when we locate these stacked zones.
January and February are also a great time of year for redfish. We pattern these fish a little different. I like the water surface to heat up a bit, and I have found some of my best trips for redfish are mid-day and afternoon during winter months. Mud absorbs the heat from the sun. The shallow mud flats adjacent to deeper water are the areas that I have found to heat up quickest and baitfish get active. Not far behind the baitfish are the redfish. Using live natural baits such as finger mullet, shrimp or mudfish is a great way to catch these fish. For our more skilled anglers, soft plastics and topwaters are a sure bet.
January also marks a very special time along the Galveston and Freeport Jetties and San Luis Pass Bridge. We begin seeing one of our favorite fish to both catch and eat showing up in BIG numbers – the Bay Snapper…aka Sheepshead. Most likely the most un-noticed, under targeted fish that so many people miss out on is the Sheepshead. These fish not only are a blast to catch with their fierce fighting abilities… the white, flaky flesh can be argued the best table fare our bay system has to offer. Properly cleaned and filleted – this fish can be mistaken as red snapper, no doubt. From now thru the Spring these fish will stack along our jetties and passes keying on structure for their annual spawn. Live shrimp is the best way to target the Bay Snapper, and we have seen many during this time in the double digit weight category.
The past couple of weeks, our Freeport Flounder Gigging Charters are seeing great results. Water clarity in the bay is excellent, and there are plenty of flounder to hunt. Combine an afternoon fishing trip for reds and specks until dusk with a flounder gigging trip and you have yourself the best of both worlds. Our Freeport Texas Fish-Gig Combos are a very popular charter during January and February.
Lots of great things are happening here along the upper Texas Gulf Coast, and if you would like to get out on the water and enjoy a day of fishing or an evening of gigging flounder, our Freeport Texas Fishing Charters has a trip for you. We also have waterfront lodging at Bay’s Landing in Oyster Creek where our boats will pick you up from the dock for a fun filled day or evening on the water. Give me a call and get your trip booked. 409-739-8526