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Winter warm-up gets trout bite going

Feb. 23, 2014 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 22, 2014 at 8:23 p.m.

Guide Charlie Paradoski poses with a 28-inch speck before releasing it back into East Matagorda Bay.

"Give me a call when you get on some fish."

I get that all the time from people threatening to book a charter. Truth is, I rarely make that call. That call is made to "regulars" when a hole appears on the calendar.

I get on fish because I go fishing even when the prediction tables indicate less than stellar forecasts.

Sure, I try to stack the wind, tides and moon phases in my favor, but I rarely overthink it and stay home if the magazines say it is going to be a poor day.

If you are going to catch winter speckled trout, you have to have the "just go with it" attitude. Some days, there is science involved in success and failure, but other days, even the most seasoned captains are left scratching their heads for answers.

Three days of prime conditions last week resulted in only a handful of trout over what had been a hotbed of scattered shell in East Matagorda Bay. We kept fishing, suspecting the fish were there but not cooperating, hoping the next day would be "the day."

The next morning was "the day," and so were the next two. Did the fish just decide to show up? They probably were there all along.

Did the fish just decide to eat?

Probably.

Lot of science involved, right?

That's why I rarely make that call I spoke about earlier.

"All you can do is work hard for your people," said guide Charlie Paradoski. "You are not going to catch 'em from the dock; you have to get up and go fishing."

Paradoski had a stellar week, with limits taken four consecutive days on 52M MirrOlures and a variety of Bass Assassins.

"There's a big trout out there with a MirrOlure in its throat," he said. "It's the biggest fish I have seen in a while - probably pushing 10 pounds."

Galveston Bay enjoyed consistent results this week with warmer water temperatures and stronger tides. Guide James Plaag of Silver King Adventures reported limits of trout to 26 inches while wading with Slammin Chicken Bass Assassins.

"It was good; those fish lit off over mud and shell," Plaag said. "The best bite was midmorning with the bright moon."

Baffin Bay anglers saw a solid bite early in the week with trout up to 8 pounds caught on red shad Bass Assassins. However, for some reason, the day I showed up, the fish were tough to find.

"You kind of shake your head trying to figure it out," guide Cliff Webb said. "About the time you think you figure it out, and fish are biting everywhere, the fish don't bite the next day, and you don't have an answer."

Such is life for even the best winter speckled trout fishermen.

Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain. Email him at (binkgrimes@sbcglobal.net).

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