It has been an early to fish early to the dock pattern to beat the heat lately.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Don’t be surprised if a Gulf trout shows in the same locales. They are hearty fighters and excellent tablefare with their white meat. A large Gulf trout is two pounds, but don’t be surprised by a three-pounder. They bite best on live shrimp and glow soft plastics.
The Gulf shrimp season opened this week 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. Lots of little chicken dolphin along the weeds as well. Those same weedlines are holding tripletail just off the beach.
Red snapper continue to be easy to find with tranquil seas. Most captains are not getting excited unless they find snapper in the 20 pound range.
Tarpon should begin to show in the coming days as rafts of menhaden come in through the passes and jetties.