We are experiencing an unusually warm winter so far. It is true that December was the opposite but since December's 4 day freezing temperatures, we have been experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures. My first 2 weeks in Port Mansfield saw record daytime temperatures and water temperature's that jumped into the mid 70's on more than one occasion. When I left on Wednesday, we had 74-degree water and the air temperature was 85 degrees. Corpus Christi broke an all-time record high that week as well with air temperature bumping 85 degrees. All that said, fishing has been really good in Port Mansfield so far. Only a handful of fish over 6 to 6 1/2 pounds but decent numbers of 4-to-5-pound fish when I put my guys on them. Red fish continue to thrive in this fishery, and many are the days that we actually become frustrated with their presence. Sounds crazy to not want to catch 7-to-10-pound fish but that we are on some days. I am focused on fishing in areas where I am finding consistent amounts of mullet. The December freeze killed tons of mullet in the Port Mansfield harbor, but I saw zero game fish when I arrived, and I have yet to see a dead trout or red fish out in the bay itself. I am sure there were a few here and there, I just did not see them. Same was true in Rockport for the most part, very few if any dead trout and reds that we saw. POC was a different thing, shallow back lake trout took a hit once again but to be honest this is not uncommon for lakes in that area that harbor slightly deeper water than those lakes to the South of POC. I saw very few photos but had good intel that supported the reports.
We are hoping fo0r cooler and even colder water temperatures over the next 45 to 50 days. Lower water temperatures and lower tides help concentrate both game fish and bait fish which makes it easier to locate. Catching is always dependent on weather conditions and skill set of anglers but at least we feel confident in the locations we are in. I have been throwing CUSTOM CORKY'S and CUSTOM CORKY SOFTDINES and TEXAS CUSTOM'S DOUBLE D'S in the early morning or very late afternoon hours and then throwing MIRROLURE LIL JOHN XL'S during the mid-day hours. My best fat boy colors have been PEARL HARBOR, GRINGO, OS PEARL HARBOR, PLUM NASTY, BAY MISTRESS and SEA GRASS. Custom Corky FL or (FLOATER SERIES) are great choices as well and will be productive in shallow and slightly deeper water depths just like the original Custom Corky Fat Boy series. When it comes to the MIRROLURE LIL JOHN XL series of SOFT PLASTICS, I usually have WATERMELON/RED GLITTER/ MOULTON, GOLDEN BREAM or RED /GOLD GLITTER in my box when fishing clear to sandy green water. JUNE BUG will shine in the dirty stuff for us when we have to fish it. I still trust the TEXAS CUSTOM'S 1/16TH OZ. JIG HEADS in SILVER, black/gold glitter or my favorite, Watermelon/red glitter. The 2/0 short shank hook is an absolute beast in fish are hooked in the hinge of their mouths. Low damage rate and extremely high success rate when landing big trout. I have been using the 2/0 short shank hooks for more years than I can remember and seldom have they let me down.
I hope this blog update finds all of you doing well and feeling happy. Hope you are getting some fishing time with family and friends as well. If you can see your way to continue to release the trout, the numbers will continue to rise, and good fishing will once again return to great fishing. Below is my response to my Trip Request clients when I confirm their request.
I have added you to the date requested online. Thanks a bunch, for your continued support of my business and passion. Email me a few days prior to the day to get TIME/PLACE for DEPARTURE. We are still practicing CATCH and RELEASE due to the freeze of 2021 but we are detecting a faster recovery because of this unselfish act. We appreciate your support in aiding in the recovery of our/your fishery.
Jay Watkins Sr and Jay Ray Watkins Jr.