Fish choose to eat when they are hungry

March 17, 2012 at 7:03 p.m.
Updated March 16, 2012 at 10:17 p.m.

Soft plastic swim baits have taken solid trout while  wading and drifting.

Soft plastic swim baits have taken solid trout while wading and drifting.

I can't remember a spring break when wind, weather and temperatures were so conducive to fishing.

Moderate southeast winds, an incoming tide all day and trout-green water made for perfect fishing weather, but someone forgot to tell the fish.

Sure, they bit, but at inopportune times for the everyday vacationing angler.

"It was a real early bite," said guide James Plaag of Silver King Adventures in Galveston. "We caught some big fish, but if you were not there early, it didn't happen."

The same held true in Matagorda. Those who frowned at the early alarm from daylight-saving time hangovers missed the best bite of the day. Those who slept late and opted for an afternoon trek, however, found a good bite during the last three hours of daylight.

Several good catches were reported from afternoon anglers, including multiple trout over six pounds. The midday bite wasn't too shabby either as water temperatures warmed to the low 70s with air temperatures busting 80 most afternoons.

"The fish were there all the time, you just had to wait for them to eat," said guide Charlie Paradoski. "We stuck it out and fished hard for respectable boxes of fish."

Moral of the story: Know your tides and moon phases.

These simple but vital pieces of info often determine if and when fish feed.


Last year's unexpected huge turnout during the inaugural Matagorda Seafood Fest sent organizers scurrying for more fried shrimp as volunteers saw their supply dwindle late in the day with the hungry crowd. No problem: Fill the plate with more fried oysters. The event is set for March 24.

Committee chair and founder of the event, Buddy Treybig, donator of most of the fresh crustaceans and shellfish, promises that won't happen again.

"Me and 39 others spend a Saturday peeling, de-veining, butter-flying and breading 18,262 shrimp," said Treybig. "That's why the food is so good - it is fresh Matagorda seafood."

Treybig estimates 3,500 people attended last year's event and expects that number to at least double March 24.

"Of course we have the oyster-eating and oyster-shucking contests," he said. "And, we have the top three oyster-shuckers in the world here in little ole' Matagorda."

Texas musician Larry Joe Taylor takes the stage at 5 p.m. before a flip-flop wearing, lawn-chair wielding crowd. Local vendors will be on hand to show their coastal wares.

Proceeds from the event benefit Matagorda ISD, Matagorda VFD, Matagorda Community Latch Key, Matagorda Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry and Matagorda Historical Society.

Gates open at 10 a.m. and food will be served starting at 11 a.m. Admission is $5 or free with the purchase of a $15 seafood plate. For info, call 979-241-1534.

Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain. Contact him at



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