June producing best catches of the year
June 11, 2017 at 10:18 p.m.
There is something about June that fish just love. I can look at my log books from 20 years back, and when we switch the calendar to June, it's like speckled trout flip a switch - a good switch.
This week was one of the best bites of the year.
Topwater plugs like Super Spook Jrs, SkitterWalks and She Dogs have put on a show lately. One morning we had our limit of trout by 7:30, and I caught another 10 as I walked back to the boat. A lot of it has to do with strong incoming tides from the Port O'Connor jetty and Pass Cavallo that flood West Matagorda and Espiritu Santo bays with tiderunners from the surf.
Speaking of the surf, it coughed up limits from Galveston to Port O'Connor a couple of days this week. Many anglers reported multiple 4-6 pound trout on topwaters and MirrOlures.
A surf trout always fights harder, probably due to the fact that a trout is a couple of notches down on the food chain in the Gulf of Mexico. Those trout have to deal with sharks, kingfish, jacks, tarpon and many other animals we don't imagine coming so close to the beach.
In East Matagorda Bay, lots of big trout were caught and released last week while wading and drifting. Waters greened from light winds and mid-bay reefs, and deep shell gave up many catch and release trout to 9 pounds.
In Port O'Connor, guide Lynn Smith said he caught and released a couple of fish pushing 29 inches while wading grass flats on the incoming tide. Smith and I sat one morning boat to boat after a successful wade and talked about just how good 2017 has been along the middle coast for healthy trout. It's like someone dumped a big load of fertilizer in the bay and every trout suddenly got bigger.
Really it is a combination of good conservation, management and the power of freshwater inflow in our bays over the past three years after almost a decade of drought.
Galveston Bay continues to produce good catches. Guide James Plaag said he had limits of trout most days on Pink Ghost Bass Assassins. Guide Caleb Harp echoed the same with the best bites coming on MirrOlure soft plastics.
Sabine Lake trout are on fire in the middle of the lake and at the jetty. Easy limits have come under birds over deep shell and topwaters have worked along the rocks. Many anglers are keying on slicks as well for better fish.
Catching redfish, as always, is at the mercy of the tides. We have had a hard outgoing tide at night, which has prompted reds to seek deeper water off the shorelines.
Guide Ray Sexton said his best catches of redfish have come on windy days along windblown shorelines while wading with croakers. He said the stirred-up, off-colored water actually gets reds going since mullet, shrimp and shad are pushed by the current against the shoreline.
Matagorda redfish have been found in Oyster Lake, Crab Lake, Twin Islands and Shell Islands. It hasn't been a fast and furious bite, but for those willing to move around and fish point to point, you can scratch a limit of redfish.
Be prepared to weed through lots of undersized throwbacks, which bodes well for the future catches.
In Port O'Connor, wading Pringle Lake with gold spoons and small topwaters has paid off for reds. Drifting those back lakes with live shrimp and Gulps has worked, too.
The good news is June has just begun. Plenty of days remain to walk a topwaters, jig a plastic or pop a cork.
Bink Grimes is a free lance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain. Email Grimes at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Instagram @matagordasunriselodge.