Jay Watkins Journal Blog

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Each of the 19 Volumes contains the original DVD content and is appoximately 60 minutes in length.

Blog Date: 2024-03-17

I am working down on my last two weeks here in Port Mansfield. I will be returning to my home waters of Rockport at the end of the month. Looking forward to getting back to the Aransas Bay Complex. The NEW trout regulations should go into effect on March the 26th. This is a good thing guys trust Trout slot limits will be 15 to 20 inches and bag limit will be 3 trout. By September 2024 we should see a tag on our license for a 1 trout over 30 inches per year.

Blog Date: 2024-03-07

"There's a new sheriff in town". Mercury Marine and the SALTWATER LEGEND'S TOURNAMENT SERIES setting up this afternoon for this week's PORT MANSFIELD EVENT. Weather will prove to be interesting for sur Good luck to all the anglers and as always, be safe and courteous on the water.

Blog Date: 2024-03-06

Nice week along the Texas Coast so far but things will be changing on Friday with another cool front pushing into the coastal bend. 20 TO 25 MPH NE WINDS are forecast with even higher gusts throughout the day on Friday and Saturday so good weekend to work in the yard. I will be back in Rockport on the 27th of March. Ryan, my youngest is moving to Conroe and taking a job with 6TH SENSE FISHING. I want to be able to help move him and the grandkids on the 28th and 29th.

Looking forward to seeing how our trout bite will be in the SAN ANTONIO and ARANSAS BAY. NEW TROUT LIMITS are going to be set in place sometime in March I am told. A 3 trout limit will definitely help our population of trout bounce back. I will continue to support the CATCH and RELEASE of trout until the TP&W tells us that our net surveys are showing signs of growth.

It's been a great year in PORT MANSFIELD so far and we still have 3 weeks left. I will be taking a few 2-day trips throughout the year in Port Mansfield for those wanting to try and catch a really special trout and maybe even a snook or two. I am moving our NEW RV to PORT on the 15th of April.

Hope to see some of you on my boat and others around the docks this spring..

Blog Date: 2024-02-29

February has come to an end and with it a nice front that has cooled water and air temperatures nicely for us. Water dropped 15 degrees over the past 36 hours and tides once again returned to super low. March of 2024 will be a new experience for me in Mansfield since I have not stayed through March in the past. Winds promise to become strong by the week out of the SSE or SSW. Seems to me that I experience more South winds or South westerly winds here in Mansfield verses what I see in the Rockport area. Tides will increase to seasonal highs around mid-March as the Spring equinox comes into play. Warming waters will promote an early trout spawn here than what we experience in Rockport due to warmer waters. Texas Customs Top Waters and Double Ds will be at the top of the lure menu for me, even though I don't throw top water very much. The NEW DUKE DOG should be a very good choice for me as I love the shape and the small tight rattle chamber and the sound it makes. She Dogs will still be great as well, especially BLACK, WHITE and PINK/GOLD/PINK. Soft plastic will always be in the wading box and there will be periods where they won't want anything else so always keep Mirrolure Lil Johns or Lil John XLs or your favorite soft plastic in the box. We have had a very good year in Port Mansfield so far. Will be interested to see what March brings.

I will be moving our new RV to Port Mansfield so that I can take groups interested in drive a few hours farther south for 2-to-3-day trips in waters where truly big trout reside. IF you're interested give me a call or text to 361_463-1074. I can also put together multi boat trips if you have groups that require more than one of two boats.

Have a great weekend and as always, release what you can and take only what you need. KEEP LESS, FISH MORE!!!!!

Blog Date: 2024-02-23

Finished up another, here in Port Mansfield today. Winter is over in the South Texas. High today was 85 and winds out of the SE cranked to over 30 mph most of the morning before a weak front pushed in and calmed our winds. Water temperature at the end of the day was 74 degrees so spring is upon us. Tides are still very low and waters very dirty due to the high winds and we still seem to have some type of algae bloom that is making the water remain stained even when winds are calm. Boat traffic is pretty bad due to the upcoming Legend's tournament the first week of March. We could very well start to see some spawning activity on the FULL MOON in March here in PORT MANSFIELD.

Trout fishing has slowed a little for me this week. I still managed to get Ford on 3 fish over 6 1/2 pounds, one right at 7 so good week for him. I enjoy seeing my older guys get pumped about lifetime best trout and it is certainly better that they catch them verses yours truly. All his fish were caught on DOUBLE D's in truth. crown royal and or copper Black dog Mirrolure Lil John XL's in Watermelon or June Bug. We are still seeing a very early morning bite that last not too long and then a better and longer feed very late in the day. Dirty water does not seem to affect the bite when the bite is on that is for sure so don't be afraid to fish the dirty stuff.

I have one more month here in Port Mansfield and then I will be returning back to Rockport to fish out the rest of the year. I still have a few days open in June and July but do not have August through December on the online calendar just yet. Trying to keep from forcing people into booking so far out but it seems to be where I am at these days.

New trout regulations should help ARANSAS BAY and SAN ANTONIO BAY rebound over the next 2 years. Keeping less will never equate to actually having less as long as Mother Nature cooperates.

Oyster boat in Aransas Bay is frustrating to see. Guess the law needs to be completely changed in order to effectively protect more of the natural oyster reefs. Aquaculture is the answer, but I know this type of oystering is more time consuming and more work on a daily basis. Just my two cents worth.

Blog Date: 2024-02-11

Super Bowl Sunday. Chiefs or 49's. I have to go for the Chiefs just because I like Andy Reed and number 15. 49's probably have the better over-all team. The chiefs have more Super Bowl experience and seem to always rise to the occasion. Hope it is a close game.

In my busy self-absorbed world, I forget at times that SO MANY of you are responsible for my successes. I am sorry for that. My dad always told me to never believe my own press and here lately I have been guilty of that. Fishing is not a hobby, a pass time or a sport to me, nor is it a just a way to earn a living. Ex-wives all across the state would testify to the fact that it is an illness. Fishing many times causes me to neglect the few that actually love me. I wish I could change but I cannot. In between groups I lay awake in the early morning hours thinking about what I did wrong and what I did that was right. I still wonder at times if I am worth what I charge you guys. At this late stage in my career, I often think about how I stack up against the rest of the guides out there. If you think I am ready to give up any ground, I have gained you would be mistaken. My competitive nature just does not allow for that. I think sometimes I put the successes in the past too quickly and then forget about them.

I just want all of you to know that I am never stopping. I won't let the old man in if I can help it.

The trout fishing in PORT MANSFIELD has been really go so far. I definitely believe that the trout fishery from the KENNEDY CAUSEWAY all the way to the Brownsville ship channel is some of the best in the world. The weather patterns definitely allow for more days on the water. It is critical that we all do everything within our power to help conserve and preserve the last true trout fishing mecca. I plan on fishing more and more in Port Mansfield in 2024 and especially 2025 and beyond.

I think during the cooler months of the year this area will be an excellent area to continue to teach anglers the finer points of trout fishing and the importance of conservation of the species.

This past week our trout bite was slow in the morning but picked up during the afternoon hours when the SE winds would crank up. Water temperature today was 69 degrees. That is warmer by a large margin than what I like for February, but we have no control over the weather patterns. Custom Corky Fat Boy and Fat Boy Floaters, Custom Corky Soft Dines, TEXAS CUSTOM DOUBLE D's and the MIRROLURE LIL JOHN XLs were the hot tickets for my guys. Reds killed us a few days but that is not uncommon for many of the areas we fish.

The waters here are stained with some type of algae, I think. You can see the grass beds and some of the potholes but definitely can't see your feet in many of the areas. I personally prefer this over the clear water that we often have in Rockport in the winter months. With that said, I am using darker colored baits or baits with GOLD INSERTS or GOLD GLITTER.

I think the biggest thing that I have had luck doing with my clients is getting them to stay in small areas for long periods of time if we are seeing signs that larger trout might be present or if I believe that the trout are there despite maybe not catching them. On may occasions I have been able to stay in small areas on large shallow flats and just wait them out. These are the days when someone catches or gets a shot a true fish of a lifetime. Jay Anderson caught one this week, A 31-inch fish that broke the 9-pound mark easily.

I am here in Port Mansfield until April the 1st, when I will return home to Rockport to continue my year.

WATKINS LANDING, our boat storage facility continues to stay full, and we continue to add new people to our waiting list weekly. Please do not hesitate to give our name to your friends that might be interested in storing a boat. Maybe the economy will give us a break and we can build some more.

In closing remember that I know how important so many of you have been and continue to be to my success.

Blog Date: 2024-02-01

It is hard for me to believe that it is the 1st of February 2024. January flew by this year for me. They say that as we age the time really flies by and I guess maybe whoever said that is correct. I am having fun and fishing is great but, I am tired after 3 to 4 long days on the water. Late afternoon bites are causing us to fish until dark at times. Many times, the best trout of the day are coming between 4pm and sundown for us. The past two days we have released close to 100 fish in the last few hours of each of these days. Lots of red fish in the mix with the trout due to extremely low tides that have persisted for over a week. I do not like pro-longed periods of low tide for trout fishing. I feel it the lower water levels take away the primary feeding zones for the larger trout and when forced to live and feed deeper they react and act differently. My "A" game is the shallow water game based on where I fish and what I am comfortable doing. At times it certainly cost me some bites and some good fish.

We have had a great season so far throwing CUSTOM CORKY'S FAT BOYS ,SOFT DINES and the TEXAS CUSTOM'S DOUBLE D SERIES. Boogey Man, Gringo, Bay Mistress, Toxic Tide and Double Bubble in the FAT BOY and SOFT DINE series. Early on, before the waters became so stained, PISTACHIO, PEARL HARBOR and SEA GRASS were go to baits but since the stained water has shown up we are using darker colors and baits with GOLD HOLOGRAM/FLASH. The MIRROLURE LIL JOHN XL'S in WATERMELON, JUNE BUG,PURPLE DEMON and GOLDEN BREAM are still my starting line up in the soft plastic line.

Really pleased with the NEW OSPREY PREMIUM LEADER MATERIAL. The past two days we were on some serious reds. When throwing lures with 2 treble hooks it is very common to have your leader fowl the line front time to time. This can be a problem and anglers must continually inspect the leader from wear and tear. I use tight drag and put a lot of heat on the fish I catch. I am so glad we did the extensive testing on the product and ultimately chose the proper material. Very impressed with the product and I love the small spools and the plastic line keeper that keeps the line from coming off the spool when in your pocket.

I will be posting my JUNE 2024 on-line calendar today so if you are wanting days, you can see what is available.

Blog Date: 2024-01-20

FREEZE REPORT! We did some isolated areas of fish killed by the freeze event last week in the P.O.C. and Rockport area. We will know more in a few days as the water temperatures warm. The truth be told, we did not have a huge population of trout in many of the areas that we typically see the first signs of a kill in the freeze so who knows. I do know this; this should get the PT&W off their asses and start trying to rebuild the trout stocks in our bays. I personally am of the belief that they have totally screwed to pouch since the 2012 freeze in the Aransas Bay and San Antonio Bay complexes. Not a fan.