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Old 06-12-2018, 12:40 AM   #1
ttaxidermy
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Default Amazing Speckled Trout stories

From "The Speckled Truth"

And other fish stories as well. Incredible stuff..

I ran across this and it piqued my interest. I love this type of stuff! People wonder why they don't see reports like this now...

"Ecological Survey of the Upper Laguna Madre, 1957"

Here are pictures of a 37'' trout that was caught in 1937 by a guy in Corpus Christi.. the weight is not known. His son sent the mount to a taxidermist to be redone. It's a hell of a fish... Also here is an interesting article about the UpperLagunaMadre. This was actually printed in the Houston Paper in 1999. it speaks of the executive director of the texas outdoors whose job was working with TPWD imformation Branch. the picture will follow as soon as i get it. it was printed by Shannon Tompkins 12-13-1999 in the sports section on page 13.

So it was earlier this week as I picked through a box of what kindly could be called "junk" collected by my friend and hopeless pack rat, Paul Hope. Paul passed away a little more than a year ago, leaving a hole in the heart of everyone who knew him and a storage shed filled with items reflecting some of his greatest loves - the printed word, mesquite and the detritus of his 30-plus years as mostly unpaid executive director of the Texas Outdoor Writers Association.

Paul's real job was in the information branch of the TexasParks and Wildlife department, having gone to work for TPWD's precursor, the Texas Game and Fish Commission, in the late 1940s. So much of the storage shed's collection was somehow related to the agency. Those of us who knew him were encouraged to take whatever we found of interest. In the box I collected, among the pieces of hand-worked mesquite and the old TPWD magazines and other agency trivia were a bunch of yellowing scientific reports. This week, I got around to picking through them.

There was a 1958 report on the Texas shrimp fishery, complete with photos, illustrations and explanations of what then were the relatively new otter trawls. There was a 1962 digest of Texas hunting and fishing laws. Anyone who thinks regulations are complicated today needs to try wading through that sea of confusion. But perhaps the most fascinating piece was a 50-page report titled "An Ecological Survey of the UpperLagunaMadre", published in 1957. The thing was hypnotizing.

The UpperLagunaMadre is today considered the state's premier fishery for large speckled trout. The two most recent state-record trout, a 13.5-pounder caught in the 1970s and the current record, a 13.69-pounder caught in 1996, were taken in Baffin Bay, a lobe of the UpperLagunaMadre.

But those fish can't match what anglers and biologists saw there in the 1950s. More on that in a minute. The report gave a brief history of the UpperLagunaMadre, then considered the Texas bay least affected by man, isolated as it was by huge ranches on the mainland and the uninhabited wilderness of Padre Island on the Gulf side. It long remained a seldom-visited spot because of the distances involved. The west side of Baffin Bay was more than 20 miles from the closest access point. And until after World War II, when nominally reliable outboards became available, few anglers were willing to risk traveling that distance into such an isolated and wild place.

The document also indicated the Upper and Lower LagunaMadre had been one continuous bay until a 1919 hurricane shoved a portion of Padre Island into the bay, effectively dividing it into two parts - Upper and Lower Laguna. I'd never heard that. The bays remained separated until 1948, when the last link of the Intracoastal Waterway was completed. That barge canal, 125 feet wide and 12 feet deep, cut through the sand flats and dunes left by the 1919 hurricane, creating what Laguna anglers have ever since called "The Landcut."

There was more intriguing information. The UpperLaguna had suffered bouts of "red water" or "bad water" from time to time prior to the 1950s. So the "brown tide" that has been hassling the UpperLaguna for most of this decade is nothing new, although most think it is. But it was the information about the Upper Laguna's fisheries that was most
spellbinding.

In 1956, the report said, the UpperLaguna produced a full 60 percent of all the bay fish taken from Texas waters, commercial and recreational. And often they were both. Recreational anglers were commercial anglers in disguise. The report estimated 38 percent of the total commercial catch of redfish and speckled trout taken from the UpperLaguna in 1953 was made by "sport" anglers who sold their catch.

Despite the growing fishing pressure and the drastic changes in hydrology caused by the Intracoastal and the building of a landfill causeway connecting Padre Island with the mainland, the bay remained an incredibly rich and diverse ecosystem. The nets and trawls and other sampling devices used by the biologists showed fisheries that disappeared soon after.

They caught sawfish - two huge ones weighing more than 100 pounds. Sawfish have been gone from all Texas bays for more than 30 years. There were heaps of tripletail in the Landcut. There were hordes of pompano everywhere in the bay each autumn. Neither are there now. There were tarpon and pipefish and other species now seldom seen in the Laguna. But what jumps out is the speckled trout. The huge speckled trout!

"Trout to 8 and 9 pounds are abundant, and individuals to 12 pounds are not rare," the researchers reported. They backed that up with the yields from their gill nets. One net set along the Kenedy County shoreline near the Landcut in 1954 produced three speckled trout weighing 15 pounds or more!

There were several other trout taken by researchers that topped anything on record today. But the most monstrous - the most absolutely incredible speckled trout - was one they picked up in the wake of a killer freeze in 1951. That trout, found floating near Point of Rocks at the mouth of Baffin Bay, measured an unimaginable 48 inches and weighed an estimated 25 pounds! That's almost 15 inches longer and more than 11 pounds heavier than the current state-record speck.
The last photo is the skull of a speckled trout that Mike McBride found in the Lower Laguna Madre and the other two are from a 26 and 28" trout...wow!







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Old 06-12-2018, 01:11 AM   #2
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Default Amazing Speckled Trout stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by ttaxidermy View Post
From "The Speckled Truth"

And other fish stories as well. Incredible stuff..

I ran across this and it piqued my interest. I love this type of stuff! People wonder why they don't see reports like this now...

"Ecological Survey of the Upper Laguna Madre, 1957"

Here are pictures of a 37'' trout that was caught in 1937 by a guy in Corpus Christi.. the weight is not known. His son sent the mount to a taxidermist to be redone. It's a hell of a fish... Also here is an interesting article about the UpperLagunaMadre. This was actually printed in the Houston Paper in 1999. it speaks of the executive director of the texas outdoors whose job was working with TPWD imformation Branch. the picture will follow as soon as i get it. it was printed by Shannon Tompkins 12-13-1999 in the sports section on page 13.

So it was earlier this week as I picked through a box of what kindly could be called "junk" collected by my friend and hopeless pack rat, Paul Hope. Paul passed away a little more than a year ago, leaving a hole in the heart of everyone who knew him and a storage shed filled with items reflecting some of his greatest loves - the printed word, mesquite and the detritus of his 30-plus years as mostly unpaid executive director of the Texas Outdoor Writers Association.

Paul's real job was in the information branch of the TexasParks and Wildlife department, having gone to work for TPWD's precursor, the Texas Game and Fish Commission, in the late 1940s. So much of the storage shed's collection was somehow related to the agency. Those of us who knew him were encouraged to take whatever we found of interest. In the box I collected, among the pieces of hand-worked mesquite and the old TPWD magazines and other agency trivia were a bunch of yellowing scientific reports. This week, I got around to picking through them.

There was a 1958 report on the Texas shrimp fishery, complete with photos, illustrations and explanations of what then were the relatively new otter trawls. There was a 1962 digest of Texas hunting and fishing laws. Anyone who thinks regulations are complicated today needs to try wading through that sea of confusion. But perhaps the most fascinating piece was a 50-page report titled "An Ecological Survey of the UpperLagunaMadre", published in 1957. The thing was hypnotizing.

The UpperLagunaMadre is today considered the state's premier fishery for large speckled trout. The two most recent state-record trout, a 13.5-pounder caught in the 1970s and the current record, a 13.69-pounder caught in 1996, were taken in Baffin Bay, a lobe of the UpperLagunaMadre.

But those fish can't match what anglers and biologists saw there in the 1950s. More on that in a minute. The report gave a brief history of the UpperLagunaMadre, then considered the Texas bay least affected by man, isolated as it was by huge ranches on the mainland and the uninhabited wilderness of Padre Island on the Gulf side. It long remained a seldom-visited spot because of the distances involved. The west side of Baffin Bay was more than 20 miles from the closest access point. And until after World War II, when nominally reliable outboards became available, few anglers were willing to risk traveling that distance into such an isolated and wild place.

The document also indicated the Upper and Lower LagunaMadre had been one continuous bay until a 1919 hurricane shoved a portion of Padre Island into the bay, effectively dividing it into two parts - Upper and Lower Laguna. I'd never heard that. The bays remained separated until 1948, when the last link of the Intracoastal Waterway was completed. That barge canal, 125 feet wide and 12 feet deep, cut through the sand flats and dunes left by the 1919 hurricane, creating what Laguna anglers have ever since called "The Landcut."

There was more intriguing information. The UpperLaguna had suffered bouts of "red water" or "bad water" from time to time prior to the 1950s. So the "brown tide" that has been hassling the UpperLaguna for most of this decade is nothing new, although most think it is. But it was the information about the Upper Laguna's fisheries that was most
spellbinding.

In 1956, the report said, the UpperLaguna produced a full 60 percent of all the bay fish taken from Texas waters, commercial and recreational. And often they were both. Recreational anglers were commercial anglers in disguise. The report estimated 38 percent of the total commercial catch of redfish and speckled trout taken from the UpperLaguna in 1953 was made by "sport" anglers who sold their catch.

Despite the growing fishing pressure and the drastic changes in hydrology caused by the Intracoastal and the building of a landfill causeway connecting Padre Island with the mainland, the bay remained an incredibly rich and diverse ecosystem. The nets and trawls and other sampling devices used by the biologists showed fisheries that disappeared soon after.

They caught sawfish - two huge ones weighing more than 100 pounds. Sawfish have been gone from all Texas bays for more than 30 years. There were heaps of tripletail in the Landcut. There were hordes of pompano everywhere in the bay each autumn. Neither are there now. There were tarpon and pipefish and other species now seldom seen in the Laguna. But what jumps out is the speckled trout. The huge speckled trout!

"Trout to 8 and 9 pounds are abundant, and individuals to 12 pounds are not rare," the researchers reported. They backed that up with the yields from their gill nets. One net set along the Kenedy County shoreline near the Landcut in 1954 produced three speckled trout weighing 15 pounds or more!

There were several other trout taken by researchers that topped anything on record today. But the most monstrous - the most absolutely incredible speckled trout - was one they picked up in the wake of a killer freeze in 1951. That trout, found floating near Point of Rocks at the mouth of Baffin Bay, measured an unimaginable 48 inches and weighed an estimated 25 pounds! That's almost 15 inches longer and more than 11 pounds heavier than the current state-record speck.
The last photo is the skull of a speckled trout that Mike McBride found in the Lower Laguna Madre and the other two are from a 26 and 28" trout...wow!







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Ive caught a pile of big reds and specs but nothing like that. Back in 1999 to 2002 I worked WC Delta for BP(valstar) and I got tired of pulling in 40 inch reds on a quantum iron reel with an Allstar rod. I was catching reds so big that they broke my rod several times to the point I was fishing with a reel and one eye on the rod. Once the flood lights turned on every night I would walk over and look over the hand rail to see if the reds were in. They looked like 4 foot sharks facing the platforms and I would go down to the boat landing and hit them in the head with a bait and could see them take it and the fight was on! They were so heavy I would cut my fingers with the line trying to pull them up so I broke a mop and took the stick and made a gaff out of stainless tubing.


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Last edited by Black Ice; 06-12-2018 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:48 AM   #3
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Thanks for the share. That’s incredible to think speckled troutthat size were around
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:41 AM   #4
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Crazy what once was, and we'll never have or see it again. Gracias for sharing amigo!
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:51 AM   #5
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If someone ever made a time machine Id give anything to load my tackle and head down there circa 1950.

Ive fished there a few times. On one trip I caught 4 fish over 25" with two being over 30.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:00 AM   #6
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:06 AM   #7
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Good read, thanks
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:07 AM   #8
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Ive heard stories of when the Ingleside area froze in the 80s. Lots of 35+ inch trout around dagger island all dead from the freeze.


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Old 06-12-2018, 07:12 AM   #9
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Thats some cool stuff, thanks for sharing
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:22 AM   #10
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Awesome fish

The Speckled truth, ran by Chris Bush is a phenomenal source of information when it comes to fishing for trophy speckled trout.


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Old 06-12-2018, 07:26 AM   #11
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That's really interesting. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:35 AM   #12
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Big old trout. Thanks for sharing
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:45 AM   #13
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That's really cool story a report, thx for sharing! My brother, dad and I in probably 1990 ish, took our 17' center console bay boat off the point of seawolf park. Using live shrimp under a popping cork we limited out on specs and 3 were over 30" those 3 were monsters with the largest at 33" i believe. We have pictures somewhere, if i can find em, ill post them up here. I'm sure it was a Polaroid.. lol

We caught a lot more specs since then but none big like that. I'm sure you guys that are consistent salt water guys have but we were jr high weekend warriors in those days with school, baseball and track going on. My dad was a very experienced bay fisherman and he could always put us on fish when we pulled the boat down from Houston.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:47 AM   #14
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That's really cool. Sounds like the great Mule Deer migrations of the 50's and 60's, over use of some of our incredible natural resources the Lord provided us with.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:58 AM   #15
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Very interesting love reading information like this. Anyone looking for a good read should check out the book 'pluggers wade fishing the texas coast'.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:35 AM   #16
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tag
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttaxidermy View Post
From "The Speckled Truth"

People wonder why they don't see reports like this now...

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Until they check to see their Facebook feed lined with pics of dead 16 trout fallen victim to a drowned croaker..
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastxhunter View Post
Until they check to see their Facebook feed lined with pics of dead 16 trout fallen victim to a drowned croaker..
I do agree with you to an extent. I don't understand the "have to get my limit for a tacky stringer or dead fish on the boat picture" mentality.

But here is something I've always noticed. People always talk about how good the "old days when their granpappy/father fished" were. Yet, all i see from those olden days are pictures of dead monster trout (example in the OP). Often times stringers full of them. Makes one wonder who really depleted the resource.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay C View Post
I do agree with you to an extent. I don't understand the "have to get my limit for a tacky stringer or dead fish on the boat picture" mentality.

But here is something I've always noticed. People always talk about how good the "old days when their granpappy/father fished" were. Yet, all i see from those olden days are pictures of dead monster trout (example in the OP). Often times stringers full of them. Makes one wonder who really depleted the resource.
Im with ya. I think the first part is social medias doing.

I mean ya everyones had a hand in it. Upper bays are overdue for a 5 limit IMO
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:26 AM   #20
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The 5 fish limit down south is helping a ton. The bays last year were as healthy as I've ever seen. This year I have just had bad timing and can't get the wind to blow less than 20mph on my weekends off. But I'd say that fishing is as good as I've ever seen it on the bay I fish. The big girls are still there
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:30 AM   #21
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I've been fishing the cut for 15 years now. I'm by no means an expert fisherman and many on here could probably out fish me. My observation is that the fishing has declined in that area. Lots of little fish but it is increasingly harder to find solid fish. Maybe I'm just not doing it right but that seems to be the trend.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:58 AM   #22
ttaxidermy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay C View Post
I do agree with you to an extent. I don't understand the "have to get my limit for a tacky stringer or dead fish on the boat picture" mentality.

But here is something I've always noticed. People always talk about how good the "old days when their granpappy/father fished" were. Yet, all i see from those olden days are pictures of dead monster trout (example in the OP). Often times stringers full of them. Makes one wonder who really depleted the resource.
Oh the resource was depleted years and years ago.. It isn't recent.. Back then the limits were much higher, if any, and commercial fishing was totally out of control.. I can remember sawfish when I was very young. It's sad that they are no more..

I do remember some phenomenal trout fishing in the 80's though.. My most memorable trip happened in 83 at Cold Pass free shrimping on a in coming tide of green water.. I caught 9 trout that day between 27"-29" one was 30". I've never caught any trout that big since.. It is a great memory..

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Old 06-12-2018, 10:16 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastxhunter View Post
Until they check to see their Facebook feed lined with pics of dead 16 trout fallen victim to a drowned croaker..
Is this Cpt. Mickey Eastman??

I've never used a croaker. Not once. But I would if I ever needed to.
Back in "the day" we used piggy perch.. I never even hear them mentioned these days.. A live piggy helped win the STAR twice that I know of years ago.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:23 AM   #24
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amazing history down there, and the fishery has been up and down. Back in the 60's, redfish were all but gone from over fishing, primarily gill nets. When they banned gill nets 30 years ago, the redfish have made an incredible recovery. in addition to what CCA has done with the hatchery.

I fish the landcut a lot, we have a cabin that's been in the family since 1961. I will say that some of the fish that are supposedly gone are still there, or coming back in small numbers. mainly triple tail and tarpon.


these old reports are pretty cool though, taking a walk back in time before everyone had a 60 MPH boat with a 70 gallon gas tank, making a trip to ANYWHERE in the laguna an easy ordeal.

I wish texas parks and wildlife would reevaluate their constant practice of gill netting in the bays, killing a lot of big fish in the process. With modern technology, reporting can be done without unnecessarily killing big trout... tons of big trout are turned in every year for CCA and stuck in the freezers, that would provide a lot of data in itself.

But maybe they're hoping to kill another huge 40"+ fish they can document in a paper.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:25 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttaxidermy View Post
Is this Cpt. Mickey Eastman??
Lmao no but Id love to go and chunk Le Les with him
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:43 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastxhunter View Post
Lmao no but Id love to go and chunk Le Les with him
Le le's and little John's brother!!
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:44 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by eastxhunter View Post
Lmao no but Id love to go and chunk Le Les with him
Yea he must own LeLe stock.. Wow..
I love to hear him tell stories from his childhood of his momma setting on a bucket, on the bank, and catching 30"'trout.. He has some great stories.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:53 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttaxidermy View Post
Yea he must own LeLe stock.. Wow..
I love to hear him tell stories from his childhood of his momma setting on a bucket, on the bank, and catching 30"'trout.. He has some great stories.
Word
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:08 AM   #29
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Great thread and read, thank your for posting.

By my observation this year, I would have to disagree. Living here and fishing the ULM and Baffin consistently, myself as well as many people I know struggled to find big fish this winter and spring. I think I can safely say the same thing about Port Mansfield. The regular reports of large trout didn't start until the croaker fisherman showed up down there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaker_cc View Post
The 5 fish limit down south is helping a ton. The bays last year were as healthy as I've ever seen. This year I have just had bad timing and can't get the wind to blow less than 20mph on my weekends off. But I'd say that fishing is as good as I've ever seen it on the bay I fish. The big girls are still there
This, I would agree with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elhefe View Post
I've been fishing the cut for 15 years now. I'm by no means an expert fisherman and many on here could probably out fish me. My observation is that the fishing has declined in that area. Lots of little fish but it is increasingly harder to find solid fish. Maybe I'm just not doing it right but that seems to be the trend.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:28 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rack Ranch View Post
Great thread and read, thank your for posting.

By my observation this year, I would have to disagree. Living here and fishing the ULM and Baffin consistently, myself as well as many people I know struggled to find big fish this winter and spring. I think I can safely say the same thing about Port Mansfield. The regular reports of large trout didn't start until the croaker fisherman showed up down there.

This, I would agree with.
I fished Port A for 3 days, from daylight till dark, 2 years ago, chunked every plug and soft plastic I had and then swapped to live shrimp and never caught a keeper sized trout.. Caught a ton of dinks..
Now that was a little alarming.... And I've never seen so many bay boats and guides in my life. I won't go back!!!
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:51 AM   #31
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nice
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Old 06-12-2018, 01:48 PM   #32
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Really cool post. Only thing I have to add to this is when the limit was 10 fish I caught more and bigger trout. Doesn't make sense to me but that is in my experience. I will continue to guide but will also be changing tactics and fishing new water to avoid crowds/find bigger fish. Night time lure fishing is still very productive for solid and big trout.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:23 PM   #33
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Really cool post. Only thing I have to add to this is when the limit was 10 fish I caught more and bigger trout. Doesn't make sense to me but that is in my experience. I will continue to guide but will also be changing tactics and fishing new water to avoid crowds/find bigger fish. Night time lure fishing is still very productive for solid and big trout.
I've got to try this night time lure fishing thing... I've never done it in salt water, I have for BASS, but I know guys that are dead serious about it for trout..
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:42 PM   #34
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Really cool post. Only thing I have to add to this is when the limit was 10 fish I caught more and bigger trout. Doesn't make sense to me but that is in my experience. I will continue to guide but will also be changing tactics and fishing new water to avoid crowds/find bigger fish. Night time lure fishing is still very productive for solid and big trout.


I love topwater fishing under a full moon. Listen for the slurp and hang on
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:49 PM   #35
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The 5 fish limit down south is helping a ton. The bays last year were as healthy as I've ever seen. This year I have just had bad timing and can't get the wind to blow less than 20mph on my weekends off. But I'd say that fishing is as good as I've ever seen it on the bay I fish. The big girls are still there
I just got back from POC, and the trout we caught there, and it was a lot of them, were easily 3-4 inches shorter than the average trout that I catch in Galveston and Freeport. Say what you want, the gill net surveys prove that Galveston and Sabine have a thriving trout population. I don't see a need for reducing the limit.
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:54 PM   #36
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I just got back from POC, and the trout we caught there, and it was a lot of them, were easily 3-4 inches shorter than the average trout that I catch in Galveston and Freeport. Say what you want, the gill net surveys prove that Galveston and Sabine have a thriving trout population. I don't see a need for reducing the limit.


I don't consider POC south, I'm talking Mansfield and Baffin up to corpus. Again I'm just going off my experience, about 25 or so trips a year. I've never fished north of the JFK causeway though.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:16 PM   #37
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Whats the difference with the trout population between texas coast and louisiana coast besides the Mississippi river? I grew up in south louisiana with a 25 trout limit minimum 12. The numbers are unreal. In a typical afternoon, we can catch 150-200 trout using artificial. However, in spring and early fall, we would wait for the right tide and wind and end up with limits of 20+ inch fish. And the population does not diminish from year to year. Why are they so slow to grow and populate on the texas coast?


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Old 06-12-2018, 04:24 PM   #38
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What about the sheer volume of food the shrimpers take out of the bay every year?


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Old 06-12-2018, 04:27 PM   #39
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Whats the difference with the trout population between texas coast and louisiana coast besides the Mississippi river? I grew up in south louisiana with a 25 trout limit minimum 12. The numbers are unreal. In a typical afternoon, we can catch 150-200 trout using artificial. However, in spring and early fall, we would wait for the right tide and wind and end up with limits of 20+ inch fish. And the population does not diminish from year to year. Why are they so slow to grow and populate on the texas coast?


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The Mississippi River is the big difference. It fuels the greatest estuary system in North America with fresh water and sediment. This makes the Mississippi Delta the greatest fish hatchery in the US by far and one of the greatest in the world.

In drought, there are rivers in Texas that have negative inflows into the bay systems after every city, industry, and farmer sticks his straw in.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:32 PM   #40
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What about the sheer volume of food the shrimpers take out of the bay every year?


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There aren't very many bay shrimpers left in Texas. Licenses were frozen in 1995 and about 2/3 have been bought back since then. Something like 1000 licenses left.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:50 PM   #41
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I love topwater fishing under a full moon. Listen for the slurp and hang on
Yup, and when they won't eat a topwater we just throw paddle tails at them.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:59 PM   #42
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The Mississippi River is the big difference. It fuels the greatest estuary system in North America with fresh water and sediment. This makes the Mississippi Delta the greatest fish hatchery in the US by far and one of the greatest in the world.

In drought, there are rivers in Texas that have negative inflows into the bay systems after every city, industry, and farmer sticks his straw in.
This is exactly the reason..
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:05 PM   #43
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There aren't very many bay shrimpers left in Texas. Licenses were frozen in 1995 and about 2/3 have been bought back since then. Something like 1000 licenses left.
Yep back in the 70's and 80's bay shrimpers were everywhere.. They were part of the landscape out there much like the many reefs and bay houses..
The lack of bay houses and shrimp boats seems strange to me.. I grew up with them..
When we ride down the bayous and through the bay's now I'm always telling my kids and wife were the bayhouses and bait camps used to be.. Nothing there now. Not even pilings.. All just a memory..
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:06 PM   #44
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Really cool post. Only thing I have to add to this is when the limit was 10 fish I caught more and bigger trout. Doesn't make sense to me but that is in my experience. I will continue to guide but will also be changing tactics and fishing new water to avoid crowds/find bigger fish. Night time lure fishing is still very productive for solid and big trout.
X2. Saw alot better size when we were allowed 10 instead of 5 in the laguna. We have to wade through the dinks now to catch our limit. You would think it would be the opposite especially now that you can only keep one over 25.... there is also more catch and release now than there ever was.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:35 PM   #45
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Thanks for the share. Thats incredible to think speckled troutthat size were around
Big trout are still in the bays, but you're not gonna catch em when there are 6,457 boats running around 24/7 keeping them spooked
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:43 PM   #46
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Interesting article.

I grew up fishing the beachfront between Sabine Pass and Gilchrist in the 50's and 60's. Let me clarify fishing.

My Granny and Great Aunt made a 250 ft. seine with a shrimp pocket in the 50's. A few times a year, when the beachfront got right, the whole family and friends would load up and head to the beach. There might be 15-25 folks on a trip.

We would make drags and load up ice chest with everything that we caught except turdhead catfish. I can recall many huge specs and reds coming out of the water trying to escape that seine.

It was fun when I was too little to drag the seine. As my brothers and I grew up it turned into hard work. We would drag that seine all day, get home then have to clean several ice chest full of fish and crabs then clean the seine and cars. Back then it was truly subsistence fishing. Everyone would go home with fish and shrimp. We usually had a big fish fry on Sundays.

It got to where when the family would say we're going seining this weekend we would try anything to get out of it. When we were tall enough we would get stuck dragging on the deep end. It was hard work.

My brothers and I were relieved when the state changed the regulations and no longer allowed seining the beachfront. I think the law changed in the early 70's. Looking back now, I realize seining was not good for the fishery.

Made lots of memories on that beach.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:11 PM   #47
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There aren't very many bay shrimpers left in Texas. Licenses were frozen in 1995 and about 2/3 have been bought back since then. Something like 1000 licenses left.
Please get your numbers correct!
Crab 165
Fin fish 214
Oyster 519
Bay 361
Bait 348
These numbers include nonresident

Last edited by Leemo; 06-12-2018 at 06:11 PM. Reason: Correct spelling
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:39 PM   #48
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Big trout are still in the bays, but you're not gonna catch em when there are 6,457 boats running around 24/7 keeping them spooked
You just have to go where they are and the boats are not.

I think the entire Texas coast should be at a 5 trout per person per day and that reds should be back at 5 per day.

But then I've seen a great fishery before the freezes in 83 and 89 and brother there were no where near the boats out there running around like they are now with a good number of them being operated by people who have no clue or who just don't care.

Over 1,100,000 fishing licenses were sold in Texas in 2017; it's not going to get any better either.

I think Mike McBride said it the best. "I pity those who consider a fishing trip a success or a failure by the number of fish in the cooler."
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:55 PM   #49
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X2. Saw alot better size when we were allowed 10 instead of 5 in the laguna. We have to wade through the dinks now to catch our limit. You would think it would be the opposite especially now that you can only keep one over 25.... there is also more catch and release now than there ever was.
There's just more people fishing now. How many threads a week during the summer are there about people heading down to the salt for their first time? It's more accessible now, people that can't afford a boat have a kayak, and there's a guide on every street corner. The word is out on croaker, just so many factors leading to declining fishing. There's X amount of fish and an ever increasing amount of fisherman. There's a reason half the state has a 5 fish limit.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:55 PM   #50
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You just have to go where they are and the boats are not.

I think the entire Texas coast should be at a 5 trout per person per day and that reds should be back at 5 per day.

But then I've seen a great fishery before the freezes in 83 and 89 and brother there were no where near the boats out there running around like they are now with a good number of them being operated by people who have no clue or who just don't care.

Over 1,100,000 fishing licenses were sold in Texas in 2017; it's not going to get any better either.

I think Mike McBride said it the best. "I pity those who consider a fishing trip a success or a failure by the number of fish in the cooler."
I don't know who Mike McBride is but I like the way he thinks...
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