Cold front could put damper on good fishing

Published May 17, 2009

Saturday was a great day for fishing and conditions were improving by the hour.

Along the beachfront, clear, green water was just outside the rock groins and headed toward the beach. Winds were light, and the Gulf was calming nicely for that first offshore trip of the year by a number of boats.

If conditions were to hold, we would be in for some outstanding fishing and the surf likely would be red-hot. Unfortunately, the weather folks are throwing a damper on our enthusiasm with a forecast of a frontal system to blow through today.

We should be receiving more fishing reports from Saturday; however, at press time, we had three. Ray Lord of Galveston Bait and Tackle called in to update us on action around the causeway. Fishing has been great, and most boats returning had full limits of trout. His only documented report came from Ruben Gonzales, who fished under the causeway with his son, Noah, and had one-half of their limits of specs in one hour.

Capt. Ben Wiley, Capt. Ben’s Coastal Guide Service, fished lower West Bay again Saturday. This time with Dr. Marty Ivey and his friend from California, John Keeler, as his guests. Using an assortment of baits, including live shrimp under popping corks, gulp jigs and live croaker fished on bottom, the anglers caught 28 trout with 14 measuring more than 20 inches and two red fish.

Cody Holman, an avid fly fishermen, used some of his recently tied flys to haul in some nice trout while fishing at night. Holman fished two consecutive nights this past week. He landed eight rat reds, 10 trout to 23 inches and a 24-inch red the first night and the next night landed two trout and, just before calling it quits, hooked up with a 28-inch trout weighing more than 7 pounds. All fish were released.


Just after sitting down to write today’s column, my cell phone rang, and it was a good friend, John McPherson, calling from his boat while heading back in from his first offshore trip of the year.

McPherson said ling were thick in the area around Mitchell Reef about 12 miles south/southwest of the jetties. Fishing with his son, Tom, and two business associates, the group caught seven, retaining two. Several were undersized, however the two retained appeared to weigh in the 40- to 50-pound range. Spanish sardines and squid were the baits.

Lots of other fish were caught during the short trip offshore, and McPherson said he would call and give a full report later.

Saturday’s annual birthday party for the old concrete ship, The Selma, was quite special as it was her 90th. The national landmark is a prominent and permanent fixture off Pelican Island and is one of the first sights observed by mariners entering Galveston Bay from the Gulf of Mexico. Pat Daniel of Houston, who at one time was a reporter for The Daily News, owns the vessel. Just recently, the ownership has been incorporated as a Texas Corporation.

The annual event is always a lot of fun as there is a salute by the Texas Army and live music to enjoy with all of the refreshments. The interesting history of the old ship has been the subject of a number of articles in The Daily News. It has been sitting in its current location for more than 85 years.

To get your catch in the Reel Report, phone Capt. Joe Kent at 409-683-5273, or send an e-mail to There’s no charge for this service.

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