I recall a tiny pocket of muddy and shell-pocked water just off the Intracoastal Waterway south of Aransas Pass. It’s so nondescript that hundreds of boats zip past each day. The bottom is mostly too boggy to wade, and the wind seldom provides an adequate drift. But schools of reds love it. And if you can find the few hard spots of bottom to wade, or get a favorable wind that allows a decent drift, reds ready to slam a gold spoon or a broken-back plug are always ready for action.
If you want to learn more about fishing success in different bays along the Texas Coast, there’s an intriguing new online tool available from the TPWD that provides detailed catch rates for most popular species on every Texas bay system. Called the “Catch Rate by Minor Bay Web Application,” it was created by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Coastal Fisheries Division and Geographic Information Systems lab with funding from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service State Wildlife Grant. It’s online at a href=“http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/land/maps/gis/ris/catch_rate.phtml” target=“_blank”>TPWD.State.TX.US.
According to a TPWD release, the application covers every bay system in Texas, and it shows some of the most popular boat ramps and access points on each of the bays. The application allows users to query by fish species and year to see what bays have high, medium, and low catch rates. Catch rates are based on gill net surveys conducted seasonally since 1981 by the Coastal Fisheries Division.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
For more information on fishing the Middle Coast, contact: Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, 404 Broadway, Rockport, TX 78382, (361) 729-6445, or 1-800-242-0071, www.rockport-fulton.org; Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce Tourist & Convention Bureau, 403 W. Cotter, Port Aransas, TX 78373, (361) 749-5919 or 1-800-45-COAST, PortAransas.org