Tuesday was another beautiful but cool day around Galveston. Plenty of sunshine was enjoyed by all. A chilling wind, however, kept anglers and beach enthusiasts from fully enjoying the day.
With water temperatures in the 50s, we definitely are in our winter fishing patterns. Probably the most noticeable change from warm weather fishing is in how sluggish fish can be in cold water.
Winter, or I should say cold-weather, fishermen adjust their styles of fishing to have a better chance of catching fish. The biggest change is in the speed of the bait they are working. Artificial and live bait anglers use a much slower retrieve than in the warm months.
For those using artificial baits, slow sinking lures such as the old corky, which is now sold under the name of Paul Brown Originals, is one of the most popular. Several of the Mirrolures also are a top choice because of their slow sinking characteristics. The 52-M series has long been popular with wade fishermen during the cold months.
Soft plastics likewise need to be worked much slower. My first successful experience with soft plastics in the winter came in 1972 when fishing with a friend, El Campo resident Donald Ermis. We were fishing West Bay at the time, and he quickly pointed out when observing my retrieve that it was winter, not summer.
I asked what he meant by that, and he said, “Slow your reeling in of that trout.” On one of the next casts, I left the lure lying on the bottom anticipating beginning my retrieve after the count of 10. Before the count ended, a 3-pound red hit the bait. From that moment on, I had learned a valuable lesson.
We will have more tips for winter fishing in future Reel Reports addressing what part of the day to fish and some things to look for in the water.