Friday’s Reel Report about “big trout season” caught the attention of several newcomers to fishing the Galveston Bay Complex, and one of those readers, Joe Hemphill of Texas City, sent a note asking about waders.

In the column, I made a statement that you should “get the waders out, oil up the reels and hit the popular spots for holding the big sows.”

Hemphill said the statement was confusing because wade fishermen were restricted to shallow waters, and he understood that this time of year, fish were found in deep waters.

Since there is little doubt that others reading the article could have experienced the same confusion, let me shed some light on this.

Most of the trophy trout caught during the late winter and early spring period in the Galveston Bay Complex are caught in shallow waters. The big sows are there roaming for baitfish and spawning. The fish did not live to grow that large without a sense of where danger lurks.

Noise is likely the biggest obstacle to finding an elderly, overgrown fish. Specks, in particular, spook easily, and any foreign sound like an outboard motor or other unusual noise will send them swimming for safety.

Waders themselves have to be careful about making noise, especially sloshing through the water.

Experienced trophy trout fishermen will tell you that late afternoon, especially if there is an incoming tide, is the best time to hit the shorelines for a chance to hook the big one.

When the afternoon sun warms the water, dark bottoms, such as mud bottoms, will absorb the heat and offer warmer water that attracts bait fish.

A school of bait has an amazing ability to be detected by the big fish, and there is where potential action exists.

Pages of information could be written about techniques for finding and catching that once-in-a-lifetime trophy, and between now and the peak of the season, I will be sharing some tips from the pros on where, what and when as it applies to catching your wall hanger.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. To get your catch in the Reel Report, call 409-683-5273 or email

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