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Yes, off-color water can be good - The Galveston County Daily News : Fishing Report

November 27, 2014

Yes, off-color water can be good

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Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2014 12:00 am

Fog continues to hamper fishermen along the Upper Texas Coast and that, along with the few fishermen and shrimpers on the water, is taking its toll on inventories of live shrimp.

If you are planning a fishing trip during the next few days and desire live shrimp for bait, call ahead to your favorite bait camp and check on their supply.

Live shrimp should be available; however, probably not at every bait camp.

Several readers have commented on a statement in Wednesday’s Reel Report about off-color water attracting fish. Joe Domm of Texas City noted that in the past, I have referred to such water as being poor for fishing.

Off-color water can mean several things and, generally, it is not the best for fishing. Lately, much of the Galveston Bay Complex has held clear, if not gin-clear, water and the latter tends to make fish skittish as visibility is much farther than in “trout-green” water, the best for fishing in our area.

Off-color water, especially water more stained than dirty, is a positive as it usually is warmer and tends to hold more fish than the really clear version. Trout and other fish, including bait fish, like to have protection, and that along with the warmer temperature contributes to its attracting marine life.

During the summer, especially when a sustained southwest wind is blowing, the sandy, dirty water we refer to as off-color is not good for fishing.

Experienced fishermen know what to look for in water clarity and depending upon the season, murky water may or may not be where the fish are.

Mud streaks this time of year also attract fish and fishermen for much of the same reason.

Now, mud balls in the water are a different story. Mud balls are mud stirred up from the bottom, most of the time by reds and black drum feeding on crustaceans and shellfish embedded in the mud. Finding active mud balls, like fresh feeding slicks, is the objective of every angler. While the water clarity might not be desirable, the fish are there.