In May, spring fishing techniques give way to summer techniques.
Capt. Ken Marshall (www.matagordabay.com), who fishes the Matagorda Bay complex, recommends drifting 4-6’ deep mid bay shell reefs in East Matagorda Bay. Soft plastics or live shrimp under a popping cork will usually produce trout.
“With live shrimp, I use no weight,” says Marshall. “If it’s a Gulp or other soft plastic” … he also likes Norton Sand Eels…“I use a jig head anywhere from 1/32 – 1/16 oz size, the lightest one I can find. If the fish are staying deep, I might use a 3/8 oz. The most popular size is 1/4 oz.”
Soft plastic color choice depends on water clarity and what the angler has confidence in. “We use a lot of different colors,” says Marshall.
“Gulp works well, especially in off-color water. The fish are drawn in by the scent given off by the bait,” explains Marshall. He uses Norton Sand Eeels in clear water conditions. “Tequila Gold works well in clear and dirty water.” He prefers the regular size eels, not the juniors.
Pop the cork a lot – don’t pop it lot. Depends on what the fish are eating that day. “One day an angler popping the cork a lot catches more fish. Another day it’s just the other way. Let the fish tell you what they want.”
His rule of thumb is pop it every 15 seconds and pop it hard…”you have to make it pop. The rougher the water, the more you pop it; calmer the water, the less you pop it.”
The most important thing in May is finding bait action. “If you are drifting and area that has no bait, haven’t seen a mullet in hours, chances are you are in the wrong area…look somewhere else.”
If wind is howling, as it sometimes is at this time of the year, abandon fishing the mid bay reefs. Locate shoreline grass beds, sandbars and drains along the south shoreline of the bay. Slip out of the boat and get wet.
“When it’s too windy fish the mid bay reefs, look for some redfish in a corner somewhere.”