There are not many places in Texas you can shoot a limit of ducks in the morning and catch of limit of speckled trout and redfish before sunset.
You can in Matagorda Bay — often.
I don’t get much sleep this time of year, but it’s hard for me to sit down when ducks are decoying and hearty Matagorda trout are gobbling topwaters.
W aders find good fish in West Matagorda Bay while wading the south shoreline and casting to points of shell. Topwaters and soft plastics are the ticket.
As always, this time of year encourages slot-sized redfish to school in bunches of two dozen or more along the grass line.
Sight-casting to redfish along a muddy grass line is always fun. Watch for ripples, wakes and jumping shrimp near the grass and wait for the freight train to pass. Then toss a spoon, shrimp or soft plastic in front of the school and loosen your drag. Listen for crunching jaws when a large school of reds works through the grass. Small crabs do not have a chance.
Obviously, the mouths of bayous and marshes on a falling tide are fall hotspots. Places like Oyster Lake and Crab Lake are good choices, while back lakes like Lake Austin and Boggy are also players. Live shrimp under a popping cork, plum Bass Assassins, Gulps or small topwaters worked across points are choice offerings. Don’t be surprised if birds work in the back lakes, especially on a s trong falling tide.
Birds have worked for most November. Our bays have plenty of shrimp, and the first trickle of bird action actually occurred in late August and early September. We like to toss topwaters under the birds as well as Bass Assassins and Down South Lures on heavy jig heads. Don’t be surprised to find 1-2 pound Gulf trout in the mix as well. They are great bonus fish for ceviche or fish tacos.
Waders should work the same terrains, but more methodically. In East Matagorda Bay, Boiler Bayou, Kain Cove, Hog Island, Catch-All Basin and Brown Cedar Flats hold solid trout since all of these spots have a mud bottom. Super Spooks, She Pups, SkitterWalks, Corkies and your favorite soft plastic gets the job done.
The Colo rado River is clearing and greening up, which normally spells good catches of trout under lights at night from the piers. Good numbers of fish will be in the Diversion Channel this month. It’s a lot like bass fishing — pitching baits to timber and fallen logs from previous river rises.
Don’t be afraid to toss a topwater along the bank. Solid trout hang on the edge in 5 to 8 feet of water and will bang a Super Spook, Skitterwalk or She Pups. It’s a great place to get out of the wind as November cold fronts blow through the region.
Don’t wait for Thanksgiving Day to sit down and give thanks for our blessed outdoor lifestyle. Continue to be good stewards of the land and water and take it personally when you see others abusing our natural resources.