Earlier this spring, many anglers were lamenting Big Lake's slow start for speckled trout.

But action started picking up a couple of months ago, and Capt. Nick Poe with Big Lake Guide Service says it’s been rock solid ever since.

“Man, it’s unreal,” Poe said. “I can’t think of any time that we’ve caught better. It’s pretty easy, I’ll put it to you that way.

“I think I fished four or five times last week, and I was done with limits before noon every day. And a lot of those limits were before 10 a.m.”

Even with Big Lake’s 15-trout limit, Poe said it’s evident fish are plentiful in the estuary.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “We’re fishing four or five boats everyday, and four or five boats going in opposite directions and everybody is catching fish everywhere.”

The Ship Channel and the jetties are where he’s been focussing, with the Washout and Nine-Mile Cut also producing nice fish.

“We’re fishing the Ship Channel mostly,” Poe said. “That’s where the fish have gone in the hotter weather. They’ve seeked out a little deeper, cooler water.”

As usual for Poe, they’re being caught on 3 ¾-inch MirrOlure Lil Johns in opening night and golden bream on ¼-ounce jigheads.

“I’m still throwing a quarter-(ounce) unless the tide makes me throw a three-eighths,” he said. “It’s important to maintain contact with the bottom.”

Most of the trout in the Ship Channel are being caught in eight- to 10-feet of water, with some as deep as 16- to 18-feet, he said.

“I kind of think of them like bass when they’re in the channel,” he said. “It seems like if the tide is really moving hard, they’ll stage off the edge a little further. They’ll stage deeper if it’s really moving hard, and if it the tide slacks, they’ll move up more on the top of the flats. 

“And if the tide goes dead flat, they’ll be in there tight to the bank in a foot of water or so.”