W e like it when storms are brewing – it means the barometer is falling and easterly flow prevails – all recipes for a good speckled trout bite.
Middle coast anglers banged full boxes of trout last week in the surf, but that all ended with a return to bumpy 2-3 footers on the beach. Despite the conditions, multiple 7 - to 8 - pound trout have been released while drifting in East Matagorda Bay. Find a pile of shell in 5 feet of water and soak a shrimp and wait for the cork to get dunked. Raymond Shoals, Pipeline, Log and Tripod areas have produced even in dingy water. Waders have released the same size trout while working mid-bay reefs like Half Moon, Three Beacon and Drull’s Lump. The key has been to leave well before sunrise and make your first cast before the first sign of dawn.
West Matagorda Bay remains steady. The grass beds are holding good trout on the incoming tide on Bass Assassin and MirrOlure Soft Dines and She Pups. Again, it’s an early bite, so get out early. Many are hitting the reefs early for trout then jumping out along the channel after the sun gets high enough to target tripletail around bouys and wells.
Port O’Connor has been just as hot. Deep reefs in San Antonio Bay, much like East Matagorda Bay, are holding trout along the edges. There are hundreds of reefs in the middle of the bay and many captains hop from reef to reef.
Guide Lynn Smith has enjoyed wading for limits while fishing the incoming tide around Pass Cavallo. Lots of fish have been caught on topwaters as well for those willing to grind with dog-walkers. Spots like City Slickers, the Cedars and the Old Coast Guard Station are holding fish over sand and grass.
Rockport anglers have been teasing trout with MirrOlure Double D’s and Bass Assassins rigged with new Texas jig heads. Guts on the edges of sand and grass flats are holding most of the trout. Topwaters have been solid around Super Flats and Mud Island.
Redfish action improved this week with the higher tides. Lots of slot-sized reds have pulled off the shorelines and found refuge in the middle of East Matagorda Bay. The pattern has been to look for slicks and then drift behind the oily sheen. When you get in to a big herd, Power-Pole down and work the area. There have many days when all three rods are hooked up at the same time.
Guide Brett Sweeny reported good redfish action in West Matagorda Bay over mud flats and along grassy shorelines. Swelling tides allowed him to work back waters that had been dry from lower than normal tides when southwest winds dominated most of July.
There are loads of slot-sized reds at the Matagorda jetty. This time of year there are wads and wads of big menhaden coming ashore from the Gulf and all those redfish follow right behind with the tide.
The same scenario is playing out at the Freeport, Surfside and Port O’Connor jetty. Don’t be surprised if a big trout eats a pogey as well. Those jetty trout and redfish often run together and vie for the same meal.
The Gulf shrimp season opened this month and better action for kingfish has occurred behind shrimp boats and while trolling rigs.
Guide Michael Kubecka said weedlines have produced lots of dorado while trolling rigged ballyhoo and deep-diving crankbaits. There are lots of little chicken dolphin along the weeds as well. Those same weedlines are holding tripletail just off the beach and red snapper continue to be easy to find with tranquil seas.
As a bonus, rafts of menhaden are showing along the beach and flowing through the jetty, which should get the attention of migrating tarpon which show in force in Texas this time of year.