Fly Fishing the Texas Coast
Flyfishers will encounter a variety of conditions as well as a variety of gamefish species around the many gas wells and platforms in offshore waters. Sometimes the current will be running so fast that it will be impossible to use chum effectively. In addition to prospecting around wells and platforms, look for floating weedlines, which attract dolphin and tripletail. Galveston fly-fishing guide Chris Phillips recommends throwing Clouser Deep Minnow patterns as close to the weedline as possible, then letting them sink to draw strikes from fish holding under the weeds.
Offshore Fly Patterns
Red on white or green on white Deceivers with a streak of Flashabou or Krystal Flash tied on hook sizes from #2 to #3 are killer patterns for ling, king mackerel, amberjack, and jack crevalle found around offshore platforms, buoys, and anchored shrimp boats. Clouser Deep Minnows and other glass minnow style patterns on #2 hooks and smaller work well on school-size dorado and tripletail found along offshore weedlines.
Jumping-off Points for Offshore Fly Fishing
Production platforms, anchored shrimp boats, and weedlines off Sabine Pass attract dorado, ling, tripletail, blackfin tuna, and barracuda. Veteran Houston flyfisher Frank Budd also has taken amberjack, blue runners, and red snapper on fly around production platforms 30 or 40 miles off Sabine Pass during the summer months. Budd says that many offshore captains locate fish around offshore structures by using GPS/Fish Finder electronics and then begin chumming. "At first you see the spadefish and the trigger fish, and a few minutes later you would see the reflections of the red snapper. They come right to the top, and you can pick a fish to cast to, in some cases."
Houston angler Shannon Tompkins, who frequently fishes the offshore waters off Sabine Pass, says ling start showing up off that area as early as March and hang around through August. The bigger ones come in early. There are numerous production platforms and pipe stands within 10 to 15 miles of the Sabine jetties. The buoys that mark shipping lanes also attract ling. From late spring through midsummer, Tompkins says, ling hang around almost every one of those buoys, and the line of buoys extends 25 miles. Ling are more prevalent in this area of the upper coast due to the many offshore structures available and the low level of recreational boating activity. Ling also seem to have a preference for offshore water in the relatively shallow 30- to 70-foot range, another feature of the Sabine Pass area.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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