Charter fishing agencies are looking to stay busy as Spring Break goes into full swing this week. Anglers can look forward to some good fishing, whether skies are sunny or cloudy.
Jerry Montalvo at Deep Sea Headquarters said their eight-hour trips have been harvesting mostly Atlantic sharpnose shark, a few kingfish and vermillion snapper. The hardy folks going on the 24-hour trips are getting their money’s worth with lots of blackfin tuna, limits of amberjack and a few grouper. That trip also brought in a scalloped hammerhead shark weighing in at about 150 pounds. Friday’s weather convinced some young men to go out and they returned from a state water trip with limits of red snapper.
Bay water temperature at about 55 is making fishing tough, Montalvo said. “They’re there, but they’re not biting,” he said. Your best bet is to find a guide who can find live shrimp “which is hard to find, or sea lice, which is also hard to find” or go out to the beach and get some ghost shrimp. Anglers are catching sheepshead off the rocks.
Montalvo said they’ll be taking out groups of Spring Breakers and families this week. “If the weather’s cloudy, I’ll have better business. If it’s really good weather, they’ll go to the beach,” he said.
At Fisherman’s Wharf, George Beaver said offshore anglers have been catching limits of vermillion snapper and a few lane snapper. On the north jetty, fishermen are getting into a “bunch of sheepshead” and a couple of black drum, Beaver said. He also said they are booking a lot of trips for Spring Break and are looking for more limits of snapper to be weighed in.
Surf anglers are bringing in pompano and sheepshead, according to Sandra Fudge at Woody’s Sports Center. Sheepshead and redfish are the catches of the day for anglers on the jetties, and those dropping lines at Roberts Point Park are bagging redfish and sheepshead. In the bays, guides are bringing anglers back with redfish, black drum and sheepshead. On the Island Queen, whiting, sand trout and sheepshead are taking the bait. Weather has kept most of the offshore boats at the dock. Fudge said they are anticipating good crowds for Spring Break.
Choice of bait may be a factor in anglers not having much luck at Horace Caldwell Pier, according to Blake Wallingsford, who works at Keepers, a shop on the pier. Most anglers are catching whiting, he said, and “I’ve had a lot of older cats with dead shrimp” for bait, and that’s not going to be as effective as other, hardier baits, he said.
Crystal Oestrich at Dolphin Dock reports that anglers have been reeling in a lot of red snapper and vermillion snapper as well as some nice amberjack and grouper. Tuna trips are coming back to the dock with lots of blackfin tuna as well as some snapper. A highlight of one tuna trip was a 140-pound mako. Day trips are returning with vermillion snapper and shark. In the bays, anglers are mainly catching whiting, gafftop and a few reds. State water snapper trips have been good, Oestrich said. They’ll catch their limit of snapper, then fish for other things, like black drum, redfish and whiting, she said.
The weather’s looking good this weekend, and so is the fishing.
Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the high 60s, with chances of rain at only 20 percent on Saturday and Sunday in the Port Aransas area.
Dolphin Dock is planning a red snapper trip in federal waters, and folks likely will limit out, according to employee Eric Peschke. (It’s not red snapper season in federal waters, but Dolphin Dock and some other headboat businesses in Port Aransas have special permits to catch and keep the fish because they’re taking part in a government-sponsored fish population count.)
A recent state water trip nabbed black drum, oversized redfish and limits of red snapper, Peschke said.
At Deep Sea Headquarters, Art Purcell said recent offshore excursions have meant lots of blackfin tuna, amberjack, big grouper, some nice vermilion snapper and Atlantic sharpnose shark.
Bay anglers have been catching redfish and trout, Purcell said.
At Fisherman’s Wharf, Bob Roberts said he’s been seeing the south jetty produce sheepshead and redfish.
Anglers hauled in limits of red snapper, some weighing up to 14 pounds, during a recent trip into federal waters, Roberts said. They also scored vermilion snapper, he said.
Bay boats have been finding black drum and some redfish, Roberts said.
At Horace Caldwell Pier, Jeff Miller said whiting has been hot.
“Man, they’ve been filling up five-gallon buckets with whiting,” said Miller, who works at Keepers, a shop on the pier.
Folks at Fisherman’s Wharf couldn’t be reached late this afternoon.
We went on the Whooping Crane boat tour on the Wharf Cat during the Whooping Crane festival and we had a blast! First, we were delayed by about 45 minutes due to extremely dense fog and I was appreciative for this because (1) the captain and crew made a smart, safe decision to stay docked in the marina until some of the fog has...
Redfish have been showing up more and more in Port Aransas waters lately, say some folks who work along the waterfront.
“All the guides have been catching redfish,” said Dan Hilburn of Deep Sea Headquarters.
In other fishing news, a recent eight-hour offshore trip produced catches of Atlantic sharpnose shark, vermilion snapper, amber jack, a 30-pound grouper, ambaco jack and African pompano, Hilburn said.
A 24- hour expedition meant amberjack, kingfish, grouper, lots of blackfin tuna and a spinner shark that weighed in at about 150 pounds, he said.
At Fisherman’s Wharf, Bob Roberts said redfish indeed have been biting more. They can be found along the north jetty, along with quite a bit of sheepshead and some big trout.
Folks on a recent 56-hour trip offshore reeled in a bunch of yellowfin and blackfin tuna, plus some wahoo and dorado, Roberts said. Anglers on a nine-hour trip hooked vermilion and lane snapper and a few kingfish, he said.
A 12-hour trip produced catches of vermilion and lane snapper, amberjack, kingfish and a hammerhead shark that weighed about 100 pounds, Roberts said.
At Dolphin Dock, Eric Peschke said customers continue to limit out on red snapper with the special permit that the business has to fish for that species in federal waters right now. Some lucky folks also nabbed a couple of ling on that trip, he said.
A 12-hour trip returned with catches of Atlantic sharpnose shark, beeliners, grouper, amberjack, kingfish and dog snapper, Peschke said.
Blake Wallingsford, who works at Keepers, a shop on Horace Caldwell Pier, said pier anglers have been catching a lot of hardhead and whiting lately.
Folks at Woody’s Sports Center couldn’t be reached for comment at press time.