WOODS, WINGS & WATER: Better weather a boon for salty anglers
It was a windy May to say the least. The blusters tested our patience and fishing prowess.
The first week of June has been anything but windy; rather, balmy and calm, too calm at times to direct drifting boats over scattered shell.
You'll never hear me complain about it being too calm - I'll adapt - that's why they make wading boots, belts and stringers.
Such was the case this week. Winds were almost nothing for most of the morning, then kicked up enough to drift around midday. So, our recipe for success in Matagorda this week was wading mid-bay reefs early, then drifting later in the morning.
"We are catching just as many big trout drifting than wading, maybe more," said guide Tommy Alexander. "East Matagorda Bay is full of fish, and we have been taking advantage of the great weather."
Speckled trout, some pushing 8 pounds, have been caught on live shrimp and Gulps under a Midcoast Nexus cork while drifting. However, waders have fared best with soft plastics and topwaters while wading shell in the middle of the bay.
Redfish have shown about every other day, shadowing balls of shad migrating through the bay. More redfish have been found over shallow shell in West Matagorda Bay while on anchor with live shrimp and finger mullet.
In Port O'Connor, reefs in San Antonio and Espiritu Santo bays have been full of trout. Most anglers have tossed live croakers along shell dropoffs and edges, while artificial aficionados have found their best bite over sand and grass.
The Port O surf and jetty has held solid fish as well, with the odd tarpon showing in low light conditions around the rocks. Waders have caught trout in the first gut on soft plastics and live croakers.
Galveston Bay has been just as hot. Light winds have allowed the bays to green, giving anglers an opportunity to work deep structures like wells and scattered shell.
"Limits of trout were caught throughout the bay," said Johnny Valentino of Eagle Point Bait Camp in San Leon. "Live bait was best, but soft plastics caught good fish as well."
Surf anglers from High Island to Surfside saw mixed result, with best catches on live bait. Many reported lots of seaweed on the incoming tide.
Guide James Plaag of Silver King Adventures found easy limits on Bass Assassins and Top Dogs. Deep reefs in East Galveston Bay held trout under pods of shad and slicks.
"It was pretty good all week," said Plaag. "We had trout to six pounds, and the topwater bite was good early."
The start of red snapper season could not have come at a better time. Big water boats have relished the slick seas and taken advantage of heavy snapper over wrecks, rigs and rocks. Kingfish, dorado and ling have also been a mainstay on the big pond. Red snapper season was tentatively scheduled to run through June 17, but this week federal regulators extended the season to run through June 28.
That's great news.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (firstname.lastname@example.org).