While we wait for warmer weather to return, let's take a look at some of the winter fishing patterns that will be with us for a while.
During periods of frequent and strong cold fronts, trout and other fish are going to remain near their refuges of deeper water. The deeper water offers protection from the bitter cold temperatures. However, it does not necessarily provide the food fish need to survive the cold months.
At some point, and usually in the afternoon, fish will leave their refuge to seek food and, in particular, bait fish and crustaceans. Anglers experienced in winter fishing usually fish the afternoon time frame, and one of the first places they aim for are areas with mud or mud and shell bottoms.
The reason is that the dark bottom will absorb sunlight and warm more quickly. This warmer water tends to attract bait, and you know the rest of the story.
Often shallower waters, such as those found in the flats of West Bay and other bays, are where the fish go when searching for food. Reds in particular will roam those waters and often are easy to spot by sight.
Trout, especially the larger ones, tend to feed later in the day, and near sunset is a good time to find the “wall hangers” out after food.
In cold water, slow sinking baits retrieved slowly work best for both reds and trout.
We will have more on winter fishing around Galveston in future Reel Reports.