The weekend is over and we are back with another Rockport fishing report to close out this first week of May. We have enjoyed some pretty great weather here the past few days. So this is one of our better Rockport fishing reports in a while. Hopefully the coming week brings more of the same.
After our last report, on the first of the month, we saw a few decent days on the water. Much of the later week brought partial clouds and plenty of wind. Not too bad, as most afternoons cleared off some. But the wind came along with that sunshine. Many days topping out in the 20-25 mph range. Not that fun, but it did fish just fine.
This past weekend, here on the Southwest Texas Coast, was outstanding. After enduring some tough winds the days before, we were blessed with calm winds and plenty of sunshine. This made for some outstanding fishing all weekend long, and carried over into today (Monday) as well. A much needed break from the winds the week prior.
Tails are the name of the game lately. Seeing 30-40 schools of tailing fish during the day has been pretty common place the past few days. Many of the schools have been pretty large in size as well. Not unusual to see 25+ fish tailing together across a flat. This has made for some outstanding action that has been lasting into the early afternoon hours.
We have seen the best tailing action fishing the waters just North of downtown Rockport. Thick grass has been the key. If you find the right grass, you will have no problem finding the fish. Again, most schools have been good sized. 15 or more fish is the norm, with many schools being twice that size and then some. All are rooting through the grass aggressively.
We’ve been throwing a variety of patterns at them. We typically will start with a topwater. The Tube Top in Black/Chartreuse or White/Red are our favorites. Most of the time, there is a fish in the bunch willing to chase it down. But we definitely have had a few instances where they fish acted totally oblivious to the topwater. Even to the point where they wouldn’t spook at all and gave us time to grab a different rod and pull one out of the feeding school. But, most have been plenty cooperative.
If the topwater isn’t your game, then plenty of other flies have been working. We are fishing over very shallow, thick grass. So something light in weight is usually a good idea. Or it can at least make it a little easier for some to fish it above the grass level. The Tube Sock, Rocket Pop and Reducers have been working well. Or, a lightly weighted Rockport Reaper or Crabcake are our favorites most days.
We are still favoring the early mornings. Most days, we have our boats in the water at 6am. Tailing fish are there to greet us when we get to your spots. The morning fishing from 6 to 8 or 9am has been outstanding. Of course it has remained very very good as the goes on, but early morning hours are by far outfishing the remainder of the day. So we are out early most days.
While we have had tailing fish throughout most of our days lately, in the right locations, there can be a bit of a drawback. We have chosen to leave or avoid the schooling fish, in efforts to find larger cruisers. Many of these schooling fish are a bit on the smaller end. So as the sun gets higher and vision improves, another good option is to adjust your location in hopes of finding single cruising fish. Most we are seeing are a bit larger. Not all bad, but certainly something worth looking at, if you are done unhooking a ton of 18-20″ redfish all morning. Just sayin’.
We did spend all day Saturday fishing South of Port Aransas a bit. We had a few schools in the morning, but most were done by 9am. After that, cruising fish were the game. But there were a decent number boated in the upper slot range, or larger. We were fishing grass that was a bit more sparse or over more open sand and mud. Of course there are large fish throughout all of the bay systems. But with as many schools as we’ve been seeing, there is certainly an option to avoid the little guys in hopes of larger fish.
The black drum (pictured above) and sheepshead have also been out in force. Plenty of shots at each are available throughout the day. The drum are very willing to pick up our favorite black crab patterns (Black Crabcake Special pictured above). Sheepshead, per the usual, are a bit trickier. But JJ’s Grass Shrimp is a good bet, in small sizes. 4’s and 6’s are our favorite. But always worth playing with, as we are seeing them in strong numbers out there lately.
The weather for the remainder of this week, and upcoming Mothers Day weekend, looks very good. Plenty of sun and manageable Southeast winds each day are on tap. Perfect for all those looking to get out on the Texas flats in the coming week. We have boats out every day and will again update our Rockport fishing report towards the end of the week.
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