What had been a blustery two weeks quickly turned tranquil and gave captains relief from southerly gales in the 25-knot range.
It’s finally July and with that boasts low-tide southwest winds, but also no-wind, blistering, surf-ready sunrises that have provided decades of summer memories.
West Matagorda Bay has been good for waders working sand and grass on the south shorelines around Pass Cavallo. Half Moon Reef has been hot with light winds on live shrimp under a popping cork.
Closer to Palacios, boaters anchoring on the Barge and sunken shrimp boat have scored easy limits on live shrimp rigged about 4 feet under a cork. Reefs off Palacios Point and Hotel Point are good for trout as well.
Near Freeport, reefs off the ICW have held trout on live shrimp while anchored. Those walking the nearby rocks and tossing a topwater early and late in the day have caught fish tight to the granite.
East Matagorda Bay has been good while drifting. It’s a much tougher bite with soft plastics but those tossing live shrimp under a Mid-Coast popping cork are catching plenty of fish. Waders have worked on the mud flats on the east end and found fish on Super Spooks and She Dogs. Reefs in the middle of the bay like Long Reef, Three Beacon, Half Moon and Barefoot have produced for waders on live bait, She Dogs and Bass Assassins
In Port O’Connor, Guide Lynn Smith said the back lakes have been on fire for trout on topwaters and soft plastics. He said deep reefs in the middle of the bay have been good on live bait while fishing out of the boat. Waders around Pass Cavallo have caught early limits of topwaters and swim baits like Bass Assassin Sea Shad while wading sand and grass.
Guide Rhett Price in Rockport said the sand and grass pattern in Aransas Bay has been good on live bait while out of the boat. Waders have worked Mud Island with small topwaters and soft plastics.
Points and bayous dumping around Oyster Lake, Crab Lake and Mad Island Reef have held good reds around Matagorda. Boggy Lake just off the ICW near East Matagorda Bay has been good, as have nearby Lake Austin and the muddy shorelines of Brown Cedar Flats.
Reefs in Bastrop Bayou and Chocolate Bayou are good for reds on live shrimp and finger mullet. San Luis Pass is holding bull redfish on crabs and croakers and the Freeport and Surfside jetties are holding reds on pogies and table shrimp.
Best action for reds in Port O’Connor has been in the back lakes. Tides will begin to drop in July, so work the mouths of those lakes as reds exit on the falling tide. The jetty is holding both slot and bull redfish. Work the channel side on the outgoing tide and the beach side on the incoming. Look for surface action later in the morning as the sun gets higher.
In Matagorda, Guide Michael Kubecka said kingfish are everywhere around structure or just trolling. The Gulf shrimp season opens July 15, and many kings will be behind shrimp boats while they are culling.
Red snapper are everywhere from Freeport to Port O’Connor. Drop a squid down in 40 feet of water and you are probably going to get bit. Light winds over the weekend allowed big boats to haul in good catches in the 15 pound range.
Best bites for cobia have come around wrecks and weed line with lots of dorado and chicken dolphin on the weed lines.