Don't be afraid to fish dirty water
April 16, 2017 at 11:15 p.m.
The wind blows in all directions this time of year. If you enjoy fishing, you deal with it. You find new areas, new patterns and protected locales; or, you continue to spend your days fishing on the multitude of internet forums.
"Trout green" water doesn't happen every day.
Monday, forecasts called for south winds at 5-10 knots - it blew 20-25 knots from the east. Wednesday, forecasts called for east winds at 15 knots - it blew light from the northeast.
So how do you catch fish in the ever-changing spring blows?
"I like to find those shorelines that are the roughest," said guide Ray Sexton, of Palacios. "The redfish seem to go nuts on the south shoreline when the wind is pumping from the north."
Though his theory is unorthodox, he tested it against traditional wisdom Thursday and headed for the south shoreline in a howling northwest wind. What he found was off-colored water and waves crashing against his back while wading. What he found in that off-colored water was limits of redfish and black drum working the edges of reefs.
"It is not a one-time thing," said Sexton. "It's pretty consistent in the nastiest of weather. The good thing is you don't have to worry about anyone else fishing your spot because very few people will fish in those conditions."
Capt. Tommy Alexander tried to fish the deep reefs in East Matagorda Bay in what turned out to be a big tub of chocolate milk for most of the week. Enter the Mid-Coast Products Nexus cork. He rigged our clients' rods with a Gulp under the cork then told them to pop it as hard and as often as they could.
The frequency and popping of the cork allows fish to locate the bait in the mud-stained water; and, the aroma of the scented Gulp shrimp didn't hurt matters either.
"I have won a few tournaments fishing the same pattern," said Alexander. "There is something about that cork that has really turned on trout in East Bay over the past 7-8 years."
Guide Michael Rolf's prowess is best served in West Matagorda Bay. There, he works the shallowest of reefs, even when the wind howls.
"Work all that shell and know when the water is moving in and moving out," said Rolf. "There are some days I sit on a spot for a long time and just wait for the fish to show up."
Rolf said he likes to fish clean water, but never shies from the dirty stuff.
"Those redfish will eat it up if they can find it," he said. "They still eat whether the water is clean or dirty."
Application of these patterns works on any bay system. If we fished only when conditions were "prime," we would spend much more time on the computer than the water.
"We just fish," said guide Michael Kubecka. "If I don't think I have any chance to put people on fish, I won't go. But, that is rarely the case. You would be surprised how many big trout we catch in Matagorda when the wind is blowing our hats off."
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain. Email Grimes at binkgrimes @sbcglobal.net or follow him on Instagram @matagordasunriselodge.