Woods, Wings & Water: Birds foretell fantastic fall fishing in area bays

Sept. 29, 2013 at 4:29 a.m.

Although not a full-blown fall pattern, trickles of birds worked this week in many Texas bays.

Although not a full-blown fall pattern, trickles of birds worked this week in many Texas bays.

If the first week of fall is a barometer of what Texas anglers can expect for the remainder of the season, spool up new line and check your drag - it could be an awesome autumn.

"Birds have been working on the north end of the bay," said guide Mike Cacciotti, of Galveston. "Specks and reds were good on live shrimp and plastics."

Indeed, the cooler temps early this week dropped water temperatures to the mid 70s while lowering tides. By doing so, the first crop of shrimp in the marsh were dumped in the bay, and, consequently, trout and redfish found them.

"Birds worked early in the week then kind of shut down when it got hot again," said guide Charlie Paradoski, of Matagorda. "There were some good fish under birds early, then it turned to smaller fish later in the week."

If history is indicative, when birds have begun to work in late Septembers past, October and November were phenomenal fishing months.

"The bite on Bass Assassins and other plastics picked up this week," said Tommy Alexander, fresh off his second-consecutive Matagorda Guide's Cup Championship. "The bay was a beautiful green, and we caught solid trout on a variety of colors."

Teal season perplexing

With all the hype of a bigger bag limit, waterfowlers are scratching their heads, wondering what went wrong this teal season. Sure, there were some stellar hunts; however, most seasoned shotgunners admit this teal season was well below expectations.

Some blame it on the weather; some blame it on late nesting. Whatever the reason, the shooting was far less than the normal "fast-and-furious" so many are accustomed to enjoying.

The good news is the birds saved the best for last, as a new crop moved through Texas the last weekend of the season, leaving a sweeter taste in the mouths of hunters.

With their late arrival, don't be surprised if there are lots of blue-winged teal hanging around when regular duck season opens Nov. 2.

Matagorda Days Boil Blast set for Saturday

Those same shrimp boiling to the surface under birds in our bays will be boiling with a hint spice when the Matagorda Seafood Fest hosts its fall Boil Blast on Saturday.

Beginning at 11:30 a.m., a delicious lunch of boiled shrimp (donated by Buddy's Seafood), sausage, potatoes and corn will be served for just $10. Always generous with their servings, organizers say to expect at least 75 shrimp per plate.

There will be a men's and women's shrimp eating contest, a horseshoe tournament, corn hole and washer tournament and a live auction including a chance at "mayor" of Matagorda for a year and Houston Texans tickets.

Live music by Larry Joe Taylor, Deryl Dodd and the Tejas Brothers highlight the event, with all proceeds going to the Matagorda ISD, Matagorda Fire Department, Matagorda Heritage Society and the local Latch Key program.

Local vendors will be on hand to display their wares.

Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (binkgrimes@sbcglobal.net).



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