The surf finally “got right” last week and there were plenty of hungry trout willing to eat topwaters, soft plastics and live bait.
It wasn’t the quickest bite due to weak tides, however, when the moon said the fish were suppose to eat, they ate.
Waders found fish on the edge of the second gut on She Pups and She Dogs, while boaters tossed live shrimp under a popping cork. Great catches were posted from Surfside to Port O’Connor.
Sand and grass shorelines along West Matagorda Bay has held scattered catches of trout on topwaters and soft plastics. Live croakers have afforded a more consistent bite, which is normally the case this time of year. Deep reefs near Palacios have been consistent on live shrimp under a cork. Spots like Coon Island and the Sunken Barge have been popular.
The east end of East Matagorda Bay has coughed up some good trout. It’s a muddy wade on the east end of the bay, but that mud is a few degrees cooler in the heat of the summer and trout like it. Waders have found good trout on the edge of the ICW around the Chinquapin Reefs on the incoming tide. You can actually feel the cooler water from the deep channel as it flows in to the bay.
In Port O’Connor the topwater bite has been good early, but live bait has been the best bet with the heat. Waders are working flats next to Pass Cavallo where the best tidal flow occurs. Sand and grass flats in San Antonio and Espiritu Santo bays are holding good trout, too. Fish slicking on the shorelines has helped waders locate schools of trout as pods of pogies and mullet flow from the Gulf.
In Rockport, flats around Mud Island have been solid on topwaters and live bait. Allyn’s Bight and Super Flats are holding good trout on the incoming tide. Wading sand and grass and casting to visible pockets in the grass is always a summertime pattern.
Lots of bull redfish are being caught at the Port O jetty on finger mullet and crabs while drifting baits in 35 feet of water around Bird Island. The same holds true at the Freeport and Surfside jetty.
Matagorda tides dropped a bit with high pressure, pushing redfish off the shorelines. Tides will gradually drop as we inch closer to July and that sends loads of redfish to the deep shell of East Matagorda Bay on the same reefs we drift for trout. You can find them behind slicks as these large schools of reds gorge menhaden, ballyhoo, ribbonfish and finger mullet and leave an oily sheen behind. Don’t be surprised if every rod is bowed when you finally find the big schools of reds. After you drift through them, gingerly swing wide with your boat and do it again.
In West Matagorda Bay, the north shoreline has held good schools of redfish as small brown shrimp pour out of the marsh and flood the grassy shorelines. Many of the fish have been in the 6-9 pound range and best on a live shrimp under a Mid-Coast popping cork.
Recent heavy rains near Matagorda has pushed freshwater out of the marshes and with it all the shrimp and shad. Redfish have followed the bait and been found on the north shoreline around Boggy Cut.
Until they close red snapper season, snapper will be the target of offshore anglers.
The Gulf was so tranquil last week, those light tackle trout anglers working the beach took those same small boats offshore and caught limits of red snapper on top of their trout limit.
The sheer number of large snapper being caught is encouraging with lots of 20-plus pounders found near Freeport, Matagorda, Port O’Connor and Port Aransas.
Weedlines and trash lines offshore are holding lots of tripletail. Many have been duped on live shrimp under a cork, including fish to 25 pounds. Those same fish are making their way through the Port O’Connor jetty and hanging around buoys in West Matagorda Bay.