Brown tide seen in Upper Laguna Madre

aabuddyLSON received a call this week from our friend Billy Gerke, owner of ForEverlast and an avid coastal fisherman.

What he told us wasn’t the best news.

He and a friend ran down to the coast earlier this week for a quick fishing trip and they reported some tough fishing, along with a scattering of brown tide — a microscopic alga bloom that normally occurs in warm water.

“One mile past the Pure Oil Channel we started to see it,” Gerke said. “Around the Bird Island Basin, the water turned to chocolate milk. And it is moving up with the strong south winds.

“It is not good.”

Gerke said he spoke with several guides that were worried they might have to move out of the area and into the Corpus Christi Bay complex or head south through the Land Cut to find fishable waters.

Gerke said he had to use live bait to catch any fish because of the poor visibility.

“We fished near Marker 37 and the bite was very sporadic,” he said. “We did pretty well from sunup to about 8:30 a.m., then it shut off. There was minimal tide movement and the moon phase wasn’t perfect, but we saw lot of bait. The fish just weren’t biting.”

Gerke added that the water clarity from the bridge to Pure Oil Channel was good, but south of the channel was terrible.

“Hopefully they get some rain to flush these bays out a little,” he said. “The cool water temperatures are helping. We didn’t see any fish kills.”