Head west for great bay fishing

Head west for great bay fishing

For whatever reason over the years, most of the local outdoor writers including present company have spent little ink about East and Trinity bays. Both of those waterways have nearly direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. Both Rollover Pass and the Galveston Ship Channel serve as access points for saltwater fish to move in and out of the bays with little effort. Add to that, there are numerous shell reefs in both bays as well as the north and south jetties as stopover points for the fish. Some of the more productive speckled trout, redfish and flounder action happens in those bays.

There are, however, actually three bays that all intersect. The reason that Galveston Bay gets little activity from our area is that it’s more difficult to reach by boat than the other two. The fact is that the Galveston Bay, the East Bay and the Trinity Bay together cover 384,000 acres. That’s 600 square miles of mostly fishable water. Unlike some of the other popular inland lakes and bays, both East and Trinity Bays are rich in shell reefs. Some of the reefs contain natural oyster reefs, while other reefs are manmade and leased from the state for oyster harvesting. The reefs are all places that game fish choose to utilize for feeding. The small baitfish and shrimp frequent the shell reefs, thus the predator fish show up to feed on them. The average depth of the bays is about 7 feet.

Since many of the natural reefs in East Bay are named, anglers can acquire a fishing map to help locate them. French’s Reef and Hanna’s Reef are a couple of the larger reefs in the bay. Moody’s is one of the smaller reefs, but there are several more unnamed shell reefs that are East Bay fishing hot spots. There are several bayous that are also fish yielding places in East Bay. On the south shorelines and Rollover Bay, Little Pasture Bayou and Big Pasture Bayou, the Shell Cut, Elmgrove Point, Seiver’s Cove and Baffle Point are a few of the key spots. On the north shoreline are Frozen Point, Robinson Bayou, Stevenson Point and several other shell pods. Add to those the many live commercial reefs, and you have a saltwater fishing mecca.

There are a good number of boat launch areas on the south shoreline. The north side has the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge Boat Ramp.

Smith Point is actually Trinity Bay, but it is only a short distance from East Bay. Other easy accesses to Trinity Bay are at Double Bayou and in Anahuac. All of these boat launch spots allow quick access to the fishing in the two bays. Live bait is available.

Trinity Bay is a sleeper when it comes to our own local anglers heading out that way. It is a fairly shallow bay with many shell-covered areas that are fish havens. There are drilling rig sites that the oil companies reinforce with many barge loads of shell. Over the years, other aquatic life has attached itself to that shell. Besides that, these reefs offer good hiding places for the small baitfish and shrimp

Here again the predator fish enjoy easy meals near the reefs. There are a number of bayous and canals emptying into Trinity Bay that make it one of the better flounder catching bays. Add to those areas the power plant discharge canal to the west and the Trinity River to the north and you have a highly productive fishing mecca.

The Trinity Bay is not only a super saltwater fishing area, but during heavy rain in the Trinity River, flood plain freshwater catfishing is second to none.

Most of the boat launch spots are also marinas that offer live bait. Live shrimp are by far the more popular bait in all of these bays. Speckled trout fishermen abound and live shrimp are popular because the fish strike them readily. The redfish anglers and flounder fishermen will many times prefer mud minnows or small croakers.

Over the past number of years, the use of artificial lures has come to the forefront with sports anglers. There are also folks that locate the fish with live bait and then switch to lures when they are located.

Cut bait and dead shrimp are the choice of bait for scoring well with the big croakers and sand trout. There are also huge schools of gaftopsails in the bays.

Don’t overlook the areas to the west for some super fishing action.


Billy Halfin can be reached by e-mail at bhalfinoutdoors [at] aol [dot] com.