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#12836766 - 07/21/18 03:31 PM Crystal beach/galveston bay guidance needed
zachary00 Offline

Registered: 01/05/07
Posts: 239
Loc: Stamford, tx
I am headed to crystal beach near galveston bay for a family vacation and need some fishing tips on where to go, what to fish for, and what to fish with. I will also have my 2 younger sons, 7 and 10, with me and would like to get something on the line for them. Im not picky and not looking for a trophy. Just want to try to get something on a line and give my kids a good time.

I rarely get to fish saltwater, so basics are appreciated. I do plan on trying some shrimp on a popping cork, but I just gave almost 100% of my saltwater fishing knowledge.

I would also like to try to fish the gulf side since we are staying at a house with direct beach access. only if it is worth it though and can be done with standard inshore gear.

Thanks in advance for any advice that can be given.

Should add that I won't have a boat.

Edited by zachary00 (07/21/18 03:36 PM)

#12839931 - 07/24/18 09:25 AM Re: Crystal beach/galveston bay guidance needed [Re: zachary00] Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/10
Posts: 1498
Loc: Entire Gulf and Atlantic Coast...
There is almost no access to fishing the bay side of Boliver Island. What access there is by foot is to the Intra Coastal Waterway. Sure, there are a few fish hanging around in it but it's just not all that fun to fish and you'd also have to worry about snakes and stuff.

Your biggest options are fishing the north jetty or the beach. Finding trout and reds in the surf is not an easy task.. those that do well have either fished it for many years or just happen to walk into some fish. There are ways to improve your odds but it's still hit or miss. The highest density of fish are going to be on the jetties and honestly, this time of year it's one of the better place to fish, especially with a 7 and 10 year old in tow. we'll talk more about the surf in a second.

Sounds like you've at least got some freshwater experience under your belt. Trout and Reds will hit about anything that a bass would hit. Small walk the dog tops that are minnow like.. a spook jr. in chrome or bone or some shad pattern, color really doesn't matter. I've caught plenty trout and reds on the leopard frog spook and skitter pup to know that it's fine. The bream, baby bass, and shad or minnow colorations are just fine. Jerk baits that are about 3 to 4 inches long and matching any of the colorations above will do some damage on the trout on the jetties since they look a lot like one of the species that speckled trout prefer... glass minnows (also small mullet as well). Flukes in 4 to 5 inch lengths also do well.. again, don't worry too much about color.. use anything that has a pearl belly or looks somewhat minnow colored and you'll be fine. Other good colors are the olives like Houdini, pumpkin seed, etc etc. rig these on an 1/8th ounce jig head and work the jetty rocks similar to how you'd work rock rip rap ... just try to keep the bait near, but not on the rocks.. those rocks like hooks and will take quite a bit of tackle. The fish.. both trout and reds will be anywhere along the rocks to about 30 feet out away from the rocks. If you get courages you can even rig up a fluke or one of my baits (TSL GrassWalker) weedless and really fish tight to the rocks. Thats' not a sales plug, you can use anything you want, but I'm not going to not mention it. It's killer on the rocks and solves a lot of trouble of getting hung up and breaking chit off constantly. Anyway... reds tend to hand at the base of the rocks on the beach side, trout tend to work pods of bait near the surface and midrange of the water column both along the rocks and 30' away from the rocks. Tops and flukes can bee fished all along in that area. Start with the top and start hunting to find fish.. there are usually plenty from the second, third, and 4 bar areas. Another decent lure is a gold or silver spoon and they cast well and catch any number of species...

The surf is made of guts and bars... 1st gut is from beach edge to 1st bar, 1st bar is the first ridge off the beach.. the rest is self explanatory. There are some good you tubes on reading the surf He's an east coast angler but just about all the features can be found on Texas beach albeit somewhat demur compared to the Atlantic beach he is on. I would start out fishing the jetties (there will be people and lines to contend with.. just be courteous and pick between people without cross lines or casting over people.. on weekdays there is enough room.. weekends it just depends.

On the beach you will need a light wind less than 10knots from the SE in order for the surf to be fishable.. it's not that the fish leave the surf, but those conditions or less will allow the surf to be fishable for anglers. The fish stay and feed on windy days in dirty water. A light north wind is fine as well. If you are going to fish the surf, fish near the jetties or near rollover, or find the features like pinch guts along the beach and try to find baitfish concentrations of small finder mullet.

The boys are the perfect age to watch Our Trout Limits instruction video on reading the water to find saltwater fish.. this is beyond 'reading the beach'. Being that you are new to the salt, it'd be perfect for you and would give you enough education to jump start your fishing in the salt.. there are methods you can apply to the beach and the jetty. Look for the Limits DVD there are you can get online streaming access to watch before your trip. I've been at this some 25 years and know what it is you need to focus on in salt to catch fish, and weed out unproductive water fast. That's what in the video and the graphics, and specific video will show you and the kids and give a mental picture what to look for. combine the information above with whats on the video and you're good to go.

holla if you have more questions about anything.. even if you just want to ask fishing questions
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#12841148 - 07/25/18 09:00 AM Re: Crystal beach/galveston bay guidance needed [Re: zachary00]
mickeytfc Offline

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 216
Loc: Little Elm
If you want some line pull for the boys, you can try a basic surf rig. Tie on a small swivel to your main line, the rig is going to roll in the surf and you don't want to twist up your main line, then a mono or even better flouro leader, about 4 feet long, then tie a 1 or 2 ounce pyramid weight on the end, or even a small surf spider weight if the current just won't let the pyramid hold. Then tie one or even two dropper loops into the leader, about 4 inches each, then put a small hook, like crappie sized but dark colored, on those. Then take fresh dead shrimp, keep it very cold, don't try to save it for more than a day, the difference between good fresh dead and old will make a huge difference in hookups, pinch off a piece about an inch long, peel the shell off, this also makes a big difference, hook it up.
This will catch whiting, croaker, catfish, maybe trout or redfish, and even small bonnethead sharks. My kids have been doing this since they were 2, at Crystal beach and elsewhere. You can size up this same rig as much as you want and have the chance at bigger fish, even up to 3-5 foot blacktip sharks and bull reds.

Often it is best to wade out to the first sandbar, it will be about waist deep, and cast out into the deeper part past it, or even past the breaking waves ahead past the second bar. But you can also cast from shore and maybe catch some fish in the first gut. A lot of times the whiting will hit as soon as the weight hits the bottom. It can take some experimentation to figure out how much to let them hit it before you set the hook, I feel like I do better letting them really get ahold of it, which can take some patience.

Anywhere on the beach can be okay, but finding any kind of difference in the waves where it indicates some funnel or pinch point is best. In Crystal beach I have done well by the slough that dumps out through the beach, it has a name but I can't remember. The city usually grades it out every day so people can more easily drive across it, but if you get there early you can see it. Its fun to wade with the kids and see baitfish and chase blue crabs. Also by Rollover Pass down the beach at Gilchrist can be good. But I usually just set up behind whatever house we rent. Its convenient and fun to catch some fish while the wife lounges in the hammock and the kids build sand castles.

There's probably lots more to it, and certainly others have more experience and expertise than me, that's just some stuff I have picked up playing with it over the years. Have a great trip and good luck!
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau

#12843587 - 07/26/18 10:35 PM Re: Crystal beach/galveston bay guidance needed [Re: zachary00]
V-Bottom Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/18/16
Posts: 2273
Loc: Hitchcock,Tx.
Sand bars, deep holes, rip tides,Bull sharks.....rays
PFD's please
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TPWD Official Weigh Station,77563
Coastal Bend Weigh Team, Cert. Weigh Master

#12844370 - 07/27/18 03:21 PM Re: Crystal beach/galveston bay guidance needed [Re: V-Bottom]
hautlynk Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 07/11/14
Posts: 7
For surf fishing:
Bait: Live shrimp, the piece of frozen shrimp described above, mullet, croaker, frozen squid, etc.
End of line:
Hook (small treble)
2-3ft leader
Spider weight or triangle weight ABOVE your swivel so line will slide through it when fish picks up bait.

Wade out and chunk it smile

You can either come back to the shore and watch or stand in the water and actively fish it. There is usually enough activity to keep you interested, your kids my drift back to the beach after a while.
Can also use the cork you mentioned. Pick any random location.
I've mostly caught hardhead cats and sharks this summer with this. Into October you can start picking up the bull reds.


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