WOODS, WINGS & WATER: Surf and jetties could get hot again
My first cast bounced off the granite and surfaced in a school of mullet staging against the outgoing tide. I gave it a twitch, walked it about five paces and then saw a spray and felt the weight of a 24-inch speckled trout.
That was 15 years ago, but that morning session remains one of my most memorable topwater affairs since I began plugging as a kid.
If you haven't checked water temperatures lately, most all beach water readings are in the 80s, setting off a fire of fishing along the entire Texas coast.
"There are some good trout to be caught on live bait at the jetty," said guide Lynn Smith, of Port O'Connor. "Early in the morning and late in the evening is best for lures."
The jetty is the lifeblood for tides entering and exiting bay estuaries.
Guide Mike Williams, arguably the most profound jetty captain on the coast, said live bait like piggy perch, croakers and live shrimp are the best remedies for coaxing trout this time of year but expect other species to bite as well. Free-lined shrimp against the rocks is hard to beat.
"You can compare the jetty to an aorta," said Williams. "Its waters supply life with fresh tidal exchanges, and its granite attracts all types of fish."
Of course, tides play a role in success. The first two hours of the low tide and the last two hours of the incoming are best, according to Williams.
Guide Robert Sloan said tarpon to 140 pounds have been showing at the Port O'Connor jetty lately.
"There have been some good trout as well," said Sloan. "Live bait free-lined against the rocks have scored bigger fish."
Guide Danny Poffenberger trailers from Rockport just to fish the Port O'Connor jetty.
"We fish for sharks, and if the tarpon show, we adjust," said Poffenberger. "The sharks will keep you busy all of the time."
For smaller species like bull redfish and jack crevalle, Poffenberger likes to concentrate in 30 feet of water near Bird Island, especially on the incoming tide. On the outgoing, he might anchor closer to the rocks, nearer the navigational buoys.
"If I am not finding fish on anchor, I will drift with the tide until I do," he said.
Matagorda anglers got their first taste of good fishing at the jetty in early May. Trout to 7 pounds were caught on free-lined shrimp against the granite. Since then, winds and waves have been too rough, but forecasts this weekend may offer another opportunity.
"We hammered the fish when we had the chance," said guide Charlie Paradoski. "If it ever gets calm and green out there again, we will get 'em again."
Of course, what every angler is really waiting for is the surf to go green and flat. That could happen early next week with a weak cold front expected to pass along the coast.
Keep a spare rod and a small box of lures in the back seat.
I think I am coming down with a cough.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.