Bink Grimes writes a weekly fishing column for the Victoria Advocate.

Bink fish

Young Billy Ray Cedric Russell, of El Campo, is all smiles with this gorgeous East Matagorda Bay speckled trout.

It has been impressive to see the number of big trout showing in all of our bays. It’s a testament to conservation and the conscious effort of protecting our trophy stock of speckled trout. It’s taboo to bring a trout over five pounds to the cleaning table; and, there is a movement by many anglers to release all trout 20 inches or better.

I think that is a wonderful idea and have been pushing that on my boat for years now.

In Palacios, the upper reaches of the bay like Tres Palacios Bay and Caranchua Bay have been good along the shorelines holding shell. Guide Ray Sexton has been wading tight to those reefs and picking off solid trout early in the morning.When the winds blows from the south he has been hitting the south shoreline grass beds on the incoming tide.

For boaters, there have been birds working around Hotel and Palacios points, but most have been undersized fish. Better fish have been found at Half Moon Reef, Coon Island and the Barge.

Guide Caleb Rush reported trout up to 8 pounds in East Matagorda Bay this week. Lots of other big trout in the 7-pound range were caught and released while making long drifts over shell. Some of his better catches have come along the north shoreline on the incoming tide. With the ICW a few casts away, mud flats adjacent to the canal are great spots for big trout to fall on and off of the shallows.

Waders in East Bay have used small topwaters like She Pups to find fish on mid bay reefs like Half Moon, Long Reef and Three Beacon Reef. Plugs were crushed by many 5-pounders and those wading live bait released fish up to eight pounds.

Early-morning topwater action has been great in Port O’Connor and later in the morning captains have found trout in chest-deep channels on Bass Assassins and Lil’ Johns.

Reefs in Bastrop Bay have been holding good trout on live shrimp under a cork. Jetty anglers have found good trout on the rocks at the Freeport and Quintana jetties on live shrimp and mullet.

Redfish action has been fair at best in the bays. Anglers in Matagorda have had a tough time getting on a solid pattern since tides dumped last week. Seadrift guides have echoed the same sentiments.

If you want the big bulls, it’s a broken record every week but those oversized reds hang out at the jetties. There are some monster reds in Port O’Connor, Port Aransas and Freeport and a finger mullet or pogie gets the job done.

Slot reds have slicked up in East Matagorda Bay every other day on the west end. There drifters are duping scattered catches to go along with their boxes of trout.

Flounder action has been good in the bayous and guts along the south shoreline of West Matagorda Bay while wading with live shrimp and Gulps. Best action has been early in the morning as many flounder pull up really shallow during the night.

Giggers have found easy limits of flounder in Port O’Connor and West Matagorda Bay. Most of the fish are off the points of shell lying in wait to ambush. Muddy bottoms around Freeport and around bayous close to San Luis Pass are holding good numbers of flatfish as well.

The same holds true in Rockport as giggers have worked the outside of Traylor Island for easy limits.

The offshore game is been a tough one lately with seas running near six feet.

Weed lines are holding large tripletail and few anglers are targeting them. There are also lots of dorado with them which afforded steady action on light tackle.

Red snapper are over rocks and wrecks in 40-80 feet of water. Big water anglers are have had the brave angry seas lately, but pelagic are coming closer to the beach with water temps in the mid- 80s.

Follow Grimes’ reports on Facebook and Instagram @matagordasunriselodge.

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