Ronnie Byrd

Ronnie Byrd of Sweeny smiles with the heavy trout he caught in East Matagorda Bay.

It’s the end of September and we are still waiting for summer to disappear.

Trout continue to be in a summer pattern, though they have more real estate to cover with higher tides.

West Matagorda Bay has been hot for limits of trout over shell while wading. When tides are high he likes to work right against the grass and on top of shell-laden points. Tres Palacios Bay and Coon Island have also paid off with the higher tides.

This year has really been a boon for big trout in East Bay, and there’s no reason the trend should not continue since many believe freshwater and balancing the brine is one key to a healthy trophy trout population. Texas has been wet now for the past five years after enduring seven years of trout, and with Matagorda receiving over 12 inches of rain during the past three weeks, we should look for more great days to come.

It remains to be seen how the recent rains will affect the shrimp migration this fall. Sargent received 21 inches of rain, which swelled Caney Creek with freshwater. The past few floods have pushed the juvenile shrimp crop to the north shoreline of East Bay, with birds working in front of drains and cuts leading to back lakes and creeks.

The jetties along the middle coast have been good for trout on live shrimp and live shad. Some have waded the backside of the jetty with calm winds. So many people forget about the surf and jetty when summer is over, but those fish are right there on the next green tide.

In Rockport the high tides have pushed fish to the shallow flats. Topwaters have coaxed trout to 5 pounds on Super Flats and tight to the shoreline around St. Joe Island. The flats around Pelican Island have paid off as well.

Guides Brett Sweeny and Keith Phillips said they have been finding redfish in West Matagorda Bay while fishing with fresh mullet. Schooling fish are beginning to show right along the grass line, and that trend should only get better as days get shorter and the temperatures begin to drop.

Higher tides have pushed reds along the Estes Flats in Rockport. Nearby East Flats and Pelican Island in Port Aransas always produce this time of year. Redfish Bay is holding good numbers for kayaker tossing Gulps and DOA Shrimp.

Bull redfish have been found along the beachfront from Surfside to Port O’Connor. All the jetties are players as well. The Surfside, Freeport and Matagorda jetties are holding lots of redfish on cracked blue crabs, mullet and fresh table shrimp. The Port O’Connor and Port Aransas jetty is full of big reds while drifting in front of Bird Island and soaking menhaden, large table shrimp and mullet on the moving tide.

Silver Kings are showing in the Gulf from Sargent to Port O’Connor. There have been some really big schools showing up in about 30 feet of water. Those fish should hang around through October.

Best bites have come on shad and live finger mullet, but lure-chunkers have rigged curly-tailed jigs on circle hooks and connected with poons.

The Port O’Connor and Port Aransas jetties consistently hold good numbers of poons this time of year. Port Aransas was so popular for tarpon in the 1930s the town was actually named “Tarpon.”

President Frankin D. Roosevelt fished for silver kings there and was said to have landed a 5-footer.

Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain. Contact him at, follow him on Instagram or Facebook, and watch him weekly on the Texas Insider Fishing Report on Fox Sports Southwest.

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