Welcome to 2019, and our first Rockport fly fishing report of the year. We are putting a wrap on the first full week of the year, which has been a pretty interesting one. But things are still looking pretty good around the South Texas Coast these days. Hopefully the trend continues throughout January.
We had some pretty cold and crappy weather to kick off the new year around here. Overnight temps were in the low 40’s for a handful of nights in a row, with mostly cloudy skies during the days. This made for plenty of inside time and fly tying. But it also made for some very cold water temps out there on the Texas flats. Not quite ideal for us.
We were finally able to get back out on the water late this past week. We were blessed with very calm winds and plenty of sunshine. Overnight temps were still in the low 40’s when we woke up Friday morning, so we weren’t in much of a rush to get out on the water in the morning. We had the boats in the water by 9am and were in our spots a short run later. The fish clearly didn’t much care. With water temps in the 48 degree range that morning, the flats were pretty quiet right out of the gate. Very little moving around; bait, crab, redfish, etc.
By noon, we did finally start to see a few reds moving around. There wasn’t much for numbers really, but there were fish. And, of those few fish that were moving, they would easily eat a fly that was presented to them. So that much was pretty nice. We just lacked the numbers we would’ve liked.
As we got into the afternoon hours, things did pick up a bit more. Both boats did much better, but still weren’t seeing “tons” of fish. But enough to keep you busy out there. A few fish were tailing and a few schools of smaller fish were are welcome sights. Overall, a fair number of fish were caught. But far from what we had hoped on such a nice weather day. But chalk that one up to cold water we figured, as our daytime high water temp on the flats was right around 52-53 degrees. That’s still pretty darn cold!
For the weekend we again were happy to have exceptional weather. More calm winds, plenty of sun and a continued trend of warmer days, in the mid 70’s. We fished a little further South of Rockport on Saturday. Our water temps were still pretty chilly in the morning, but warmed up quickly with the sun. There weren’t tons of fish moving around throughout the day, but the fish that were there were big. Both boats ended up boating a big bull red, and seeing a few others spooking away. A few other nice fish were boated, but nearer the slot limit size. These big bulls were in shallow, looking for food and plenty willing to eat a fly. Definitely a fun thing to see out there.
Our tide is currently quite low out there. Lot’s of very skinny water out there right now. This isn’t helping water temps a whole lot on the flats. But it does make seeing those fish pretty easy. A lot of the fish we are seeing are in shallow enough that they are pushing water around. Or maybe tailing a bit in some of the grassy areas. Looking like this low water will stick with us here for a little while.
Our fly selection was pretty standard the past handful of days. Dark crab patterns are our favorite. With the cold water, the fish are moving pretty slowly. So a little on the heavier side helps that fly stick to the bottom, and allows the angler to move it very slowly in front of those fish. Very small crab took a couple of sheepshead this weekend, which is always fun. And we did have a little luck with a mullet fly too.
This colder water started bringing in a bunch of black drum as of late. Huge schools of them have been moving around in a couple feet of water. Also, some very large trout have been spooking out of the smaller sand potholes in some of our favorite back lakes. Tis the season. So hopefully we can get some shots at a huge trout here in the coming days.
It’s looking like we have a few cloudy days coming our way. In fact, most of the coming week. But winds remain low and chance of rain stays fairly low as well. Overnight temps are quite a bit warmer than last week, most around 60 degrees. So this will help the water temps a little bit. But with the lack of sun, we don’t expect them to jump up too much. But so long as they stay in the 50’s consistently, we should see more and more fish moving around the flats.
Overall, things are fishing fairly well. Can’t complain about seeing big bulls moving around. Even if that means a few less fish overall. But we do hope to see a bit better numbers of fish on the flats this week. If you are looking to get out on the water, you can always contact us any time if you would like to BOOK A TRIP or need any up to the minute Southwest Texas fly fishing or Rockport fishing type news. We continue to post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. Or perhaps SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel as well. We continually are trying to add more videos and stuff there. We try to keep stuff fresh for those of you that are wishing you were on the flats with us. So be sure to follow us on all our social media stuff. And don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter below.
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