COASTAL FORECAST: Matagorda

COASTAL FOCUS: Upper Mid Coast
July 25, 2016
COASTAL FORECAST: Galveston
July 25, 2016

I Got My Slam

J eff Wiley came back to the boat after wade fishing on the south shore of West Matagorda Bay, and I said, “How did it go?” His answer was, “I got my slam.”

So I asked where and how he caught his trout, redfish, and flounder and scored the coveted Texas Triple. He told me that he started fishing on a corner where the incoming tide was moving water through a deep trough into a cove that was about 200 yards across. The trough was where he caught two trout that were 20 and 21 inches.

Then he waded out into the cove and worked along the shoreline, in three feet of water, where an oyster reef separated the deeper water from 12-inch deep water, next to the grass on the shoreline. He was swimming his lure over the oyster reef using a red and white Bass Assassin soft plastic lure on a 1/8 ounce jig head, the same lure that he had caught the trout on, when an 18-inch flounder launched itself off the bottom, from a hole in the oyster reef, and blasted through the surface to attack Jeff’s lure.

Sunrise over Palacios

With two trout and a flounder on the stringer, Jeff decided to go hunting for a redfish to complete his Texas Triple. He waded to a place where a small bayou met the cove. Jeff knew that spot was a little deeper than the cove. He knew that the tidal movement of water into the bayou carried in shrimp and bait fish, making that location an ideal redfish ambush hangout. On his third cast Jeff hooked up with a 21-inch red to complete his Texas Triple.

“You will find trout in the deeper troughs, flounder hang out near shore and close to oyster reefs,” he said, “and redfish like spots where two different configurations come together like the small bayou and the cove.”

Surf is suitable for wade fishing about 20 percent of the time. However, if you plan your surf fishing for the month of August, that percentage jumps up to about 40 percent. Some days are truly spectacular, with water so calm that you see open-mouthed mullet cruising the surface skimming for plankton, and your feet are visible when you are standing in water that’s four feet deep.

It was such a day when I was playing in the surf with my grandkids. A fisherman was throwing soft plastics while standing on the second sand bar and, of course, I was watching him as well.

The fisherman caught a good-sized trout and put it on the stringer. Then he caught another trout, and another. So I said to my 14-year-old grandson, “Will, that fisherman is catching trout, why don’t you walk back to the house and get your fishing rod and come back and give it try.”

He made his way over the dunes and soon he was out on the second sand bar casting, just like the guy who continued to put trout on his stringer (this was when you could keep 10). Will’s first fish was a small blue fish that he released, but then he got his line tangled up.

I could not help him because my other grand children were too little to leave by themselves in the surf. He finally got his line untangled and commenced to fish again. Soon had a good fish on, probably a trout, but lost it.

About this time I watched the fisherman make his way back to shore with a heavy stringer of 10 trout. On Will’s next cast he hooked a trout that jumped out of the water and shook its head back and forth, but Will kept a tight line. The fish splashed and thrashed again, but Will maintained control and finally landed that trout. It was 21 inches and the only trout he caught that day. Still, we were really proud of him and he was pleased with himself. Fishing the surf in August often works to the advantage of the fisherman because the water is loaded with bait, visibility is good, and trout are feeding up.

 

THE BANK BITE

Tres Palacios: I drove to the point where CR 321 meets Tres Palacios Bay and was amazed. My headlights showed hundreds of shrimp jumping out of the water. I thought “With that many shrimp there must be some predator fish in the area.” While I was taking my kayak off of my truck, I paused to appreciate the sun rising over the bayside town of Palacios. It was an unusual late August morning with a light north breeze, low humidity, clear air and a pre-dawn temperature of 69 degrees F. This spot is good for wade or bank fishing as well as kayak fishing. I launched my kayak and paddled southwest, fishing the shoreline of the Beachside development. Old bulkhead and pier pilings were left over from the days when the property was Camp Hulen, a National Guard training camp from 1926 until 1946. Now they create structure favored by flounders  and redfish. I watched shrimp jumping ahead of redfish wakes and placed my Egret Baits Zulu shrimp soft plastic lure a little ahead of the shrimp. The redfish didn’t care whether it was a real shrimp or soft plastic shrimp and snatched the lure as soon as it hit the water. The concentration of shrimp created a whole host of activity. A bottle nosed dolphin chased trout while egrets, gulls, and terns used the pilings as staging points for spotting shrimp. If you are looking for a good wade, bank, or kayaking location on a light north wind, you may want to drive to the end of CR 321 in Palacios.

Email Mike Price at [email protected]

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