Posted By: 45er
It's been over four months since the big freeze - 07/13/21 01:14 PM
I couldn't find anything on this forum regarding the extent of the damage or recovery to the trout/redfish/flounder populations. If there has been some discussion, could you please post the link? If not, could some of you folks who fish the coast regularly weigh in with your opinions on the impact? Of course, the unseasonably high rainfall this year has had some negative impact and must be accounted for.
I personally have made only one trip to the Matagorda surf this year and the water was chocolate brown. Shark infested too! I even caught a bonnethead in a 5 foot cast net and you could see little blacktips swimming right on the surface.
data from TPWD has not been released from gill net surveys as they have asked for a few extensions on their surveys. that should tell you something, the gill net surveys started in April. As for being out there on a regular bases in the Seadrift/POC, TX. area, I will say our trout catches are down 60-70 percent. redfish comes and goes with the tides, but pre freeze years wading we would routinely see 5-9 reds caught per day. while sight casting we would see 50-70 reds per day. Post freeze we see 1-4 reds per day on wades, and while sight casting 15-30 reds per day. the tough part is most folks in the area have taken to red/drum fishing, and very few of any species is being released, in a year where it is most critical. simply prolonging the recovery time. my predictions to see what we called normal fishing in this area will be 4-6 years.
Posted By: Jerry713
Re: It's been over four months since the big freeze - 07/13/21 05:58 PM
The freeze impact on Aransas/Redfish bays is very noticeable to me. Between me and my friends our numbers are way down and we mostly fish for reds but do catch trout and flounder too. Trout numbers are really down and reds are down considerably. To the point we've cut our trips this year probably by 2/3.
I'm not sure TPWD will put out results of their gill net surveys. Even if they do based on the post freeze numbers they were throwing out I wouldn't trust gill net survey numbers one bit. I think TPWD does a great job most of the time but I think they have completely botched the way they've handled this freeze event.
Capt I hope you're right on 4-6 years. With the number of boats being sold now and the amount of increased fishing pressure I'm not sure we'll ever see it return to "normal fishing" or post freeze fishing. Hope that's not the case.