Matagorda fishing guide, Ken Marshall reports that in October bird action over shrimp starts to pick up. “We will be throwing a lot more plastic under diving gulls for the speckled trout, and redfish action should get a lot better in the back lakes, such as Austin (28.793033, -95.792733), Boggy (28.74832, -95.83218), Crab (28.66999, -96.05024) and Oyster (28.61499, -96.1833). “In the back lakes you can catch redfish on topwaters and under a popping cork. Soft plastics do not work that well in those shallow lakes as they are generally a little off color.”
Rigging the cork…hook really close to the cork, anywhere from 1 to 1 ½ ft. “A lot of those back lakes aren’t deeper than 2-3 ft. at the most. Most are 1 – 1 ½ ft.” He uses either live shrimp or Gulp. Marshall adds that he does best in the lakes on outgoing tides…but watch the water levels; you don’t want to get hung up there until the next incoming tide.
Working the birds… “We generally pull up wind of the fish and drift through them. Some people use trolling motors to stay with the schools, get up ahead of them. If they jig left or right you can stay with them.”
Rigging for the bird action… “Generally I throw a heavy jig, 3/8 oz. If the fish are on the surface and the birds are coming, the fish will hit the lure as soon as it hits the water. Once the fish go down, the fish don’t leave; they just went deeper. Let the lure settle and you will start catching fish again.” Choice of soft plastic color is your choice.
Marshall says Matagorda East Bay usually has the best bird action. Check the total bay, east to west for tell-tale signs of birds feeding on shrimp. Raymond Shoal (28.550467, -96.30135) and Shell Island (28.6298, -96.06505) reefs are good place to check first. “I will also venture into West Bay a lot more when the water temperature begins to cool down but the trout you catch are generally smaller.”
Bird action in Matagorda East and West Bays should continue through December.