Here it is January and nice-sized flounder still are being taken from West Bay. New Year’s night Kallen Cram, his dad Kenny and grandfather Cleo Templet took advantage of the calm conditions and went flounder gigging in West Bay.
Their harvest for the evening was eight nice-sized flatfish typical for a trip in October. There is no doubt that not all flounder will leave the bays in the winter, especially if a food supply is available.
An explanation for this could be that the fish are returning earlier than usual from their Gulf spawn. Phil Ortiz, who most consider an expert on flounder fishing, once told me that he believes that there is a continuous return migration once the big females spawn.
If that is the case, it could explain why we are seeing more flounder in the bays this winter.
Bull reds still are roaming the surf and that certainly is not unusual. Corinna from the 61st Street Fishing Pier called in to report their first bull red landing for the New Year. Khyle Gibbs caught the fish Wednesday night while using cut mullet for bait. Also lots of whiting were being caught from the pier.
Wednesday night, there was a flurry of action on trout under the lights around several locations including the Crash Basin, Teichman Point, English Bayou and along Sportsman’s Road.
Connie Ralston and his son Conrad fished the Pelican Island Bridge area New Year’s Eve afternoon and landed 13 large sand trout and several small whiting using dead shrimp for bait.
The near term outlook for fishing is not promising due to cold, windy weather. The good news is that the forecasts do not call from any coastal freezes. Continuing temperatures in the 40s could move a lot of fish into Offatts Bayou and parts of Moses Lake. Both areas are known for their cold weather fishing.