The end of the week is almost here. So we figured a Rockport fishing report would be a good idea. Hopefully we can fill you in with what to expect leading into this coming weekend, and the days beyond. So for those looking to head towards the Texas Coast to do a little fly fishing, read on as we’ve got you covered.
First and foremost, you must know what weekend it is in Rockport. It’s pretty much the worst weekend of the entire year around here. And by that we mean, crowded. It is Babes on the Bay weekend coming up. That means the largest fishing tournament of the entire year. It’s pretty much a huge a junk show, with boats and people EVERYWHERE! Friday is really busy, with everyone pre-fishing. Saturday is the actual day of the tournament. Typically, they are open to fish from sun up to 4pm or so. So all the marinas from Rockport towards Corpus will be a mess Saturday morning. Then, if it’s anything like the last one, there will be idiots running into sandbars and junk all over the place. So be sure to keep that in mind, before you decide to head down this way. You’ve been warned!
Now that we have that part out of the way… We are still putting boats out tomorrow and through the weekend. But you better believe that we will be trying to run as far away from that mess as we can. And of course, everyone in the tournament is dunking bait anyway. So they are rarely in the water we really want to fish anyway. But the traffic is certainly a thing. But it happens every year and it is pretty much business as usual.
Now, about the fishing.
It has actually been fishing pretty well around Rockport, Port Aransas and beyond. We have been seeing and catching plenty of fish every day. But as you would expect, every day is an adventure. Lately, it’s the weather that has been the biggest battle, not the fish. We just can’t seem to get much in the way of sunshine around here. Instead, we have had grey, cloudy, windy, muggy days for as long as we can remember. Of course there are the exceptions to the rule here and there. But it hasn’t really been as nice as you might expect our May weather to be.
All that being said, aside from a couple rainouts, the weather has still been plenty good enough to get boats out on the water pretty much every day. So we have been out there doing our thing. And again, the fishing is just fine for the most part. It’s Spring time on the flats. So we are seeing schools and tails most every day out there. Some days are better than others, but they have been common place. Most of the time, you can expect to see anywhere from a handful to a couple dozens schools in a day. They have ranged in size, but 5-10 fish is the most common. Seeing a few with upwards of 25 fish is not out of the question though.
The mornings are the key for these fish. Not that we haven’t seen the occasional school later. But usually they have pretty much tapered off by 11am or noon. After that, solo or paired up cruisers are far more common. So the morning game is strong right now. Afternoons are for snocones or sneaking in 18 holes at the club.
We are finding these schools and tails in the same type spots every day. Same grass, depth, bays, everything. They have remained in those spots very predictably every day. While they may move around a bit here or there with the tides or wind, they are still there. You may just have to search around a bit to get their program for the morning. But trust us, they are still there.
While we have been finding these fish in their spots every day, that doesn’t mean we haven’t been able to do so in a pretty wide ranging area. But definitely some areas are fishing better than others. The North side of Rockport certainly hasn’t been fishing as well as some other spots. We are seeing and catching fish up North, but are seeing far fewer redfish. Copano Bay, St. Charles Bay, Mesquite Bay and San Antonio Bays have all been quite a bit slower in the action. Again, not terrible by any stretch. But they just aren’t fishing as well as we wished they were. It’s just a lot tougher to get out there and see 100 or more fish in a day. So we haven’t been spending as much time up there. But we will continue to fish those bays, and catch fish in them. Hopefully we will be able to report back soon that we are seeing the same numbers of fish that we are in other areas. But that is the honest report on those zones up North of Rockport and up towards, but short of Port O’Connor.
Instead, we have been spending much more time in Aransas Bay and South. We are seeing very good numbers of fish each day, and of course the schools and tailed mentioned earlier. But the water has looked great and the fish have been plentiful. Redfish and black drum are moving around all over the place. Sheepshead too, if you enjoy watching them follow and not eat your fly a bunch. The drum have been swimming around in large schools throughout the region. Usually there will be a red or two following the school around as well, if they are in shallow. So keep an eye out for that. Also, the number of rays moving around is pretty impressive as well. So be watching for a redfish, riding the back of a ray that is roughly the same size they are. Those are easy shots most of the time.
There are some migratory fish around as well. We’ve had shots at tarpon and jacks, but not a ton. This is more of a weather issue than a fish issue. We just haven’t had a lot of good weather days to get out into some bigger water and chase these guys around. But they are here, as well as the kingfish, Spanish mackerel and a ton of sharks. When we get the weather, you can bet we are out there looking for them. But we need a few more nice days to really start dialing it in. So stay tuned, as this is in process and will only get better as we work further towards our warmer Summer months.
The flies we are tossing these days are fairly normal. Darker (black/purple) crab or toad patterns are always a favorite. And, they just freakin’ work! But these have been preferred when not fishing some of the heavier grass that has now grown over many of our flats. When fishing these schools in the super thick grass, a topwater is always a great choice. The Tube Top is one of our favorites. But any gurgler style topwater fly will work. If the topwater game is not for you, or its too damn windy to get a good cast to them, then we have been going lighter in weight, and color. G’s Marsh Minnow in chartreuse is a good option. This lighter tan and chartreuse fly shows up well both to the angler, and the fish in the crazy thick grass. Those redfish have been tripping over each other to chase it towards the surface. Also, with the bigger bull reds moving around, we have kept a larger rod ready to go at all times as well. A larger dark Toad style fly seemed to work just fine the other day (picture above). And another large rod with a tarpon fly isn’t a bad idea either. If jacks swim by… they will eat anything that moves. So don’t try too hard.
We have good weather tomorrow (Friday). But the weekend is looking a bit suspect. Back to the cloudy, windy and 60% chance of thundershower program. This has become far too routine lately. Most days, the storms never show and everything is just fine. But we are still left with the wind, clouds and super muggy air. We would rather see the sunshine quite honestly. But, it is what it is. We have boats out on the water every day for the remainder of the month, weather permitting.
We, and we means Captain Jeff, will try to do a bit better about keeping the Rockport fishing reports coming. It had been far too long since the last update. Sorry for that! But on the upside, Captain Jeff is playing some great golf these days. There’s only so many hours in the day you know! But the reports will start coming on a weekly basis again. As well as many other new projects we have going; videos, website updates, webstore items, blog posts, etc. So keep checking back and we will do our best to keep the info coming.
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 report 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.