COASTAL FOCUS: Upper Mid Coast

Coastal Spoon Feedin’

G enerally speaking, water temperatures begin a slow decline throughout October and November as the total amount of daily sunlight decreases and the number of periodic northerly-influenced frontal passages increases.

These cold fronts will push cool, dry air masses into our neighborhood. This will tend to gradually moderate until the next frontal passage that’s a little bit cooler than the previous one.

As this happens, the feeding activity of the fish often becomes much more aggressive than what we’re used to seeing during the warmth of the past few months. Many believe this aggressive tendency is the result of the cooler temperatures. This prompts an internal clock which tells the fish they must start eating more to prepare themselves for the coming cold weather.

Port O’Connor and Seadrift area anglers who see this early aggression are those who fish the many secluded lakes situated in the back country of Matagorda Island.

Aside from the lakes, some of the early indications of an aggressive bite are often observed along shorelines closer to major passages such as the Big Jetties and Pass Cavallo in West Matagorda Bay. Other prime places include shorelines adjacent to the Little Jetties at the east end of the town of Port O’Connor.

Some 19 miles to the west, the Intracoastal Waterway opens into San Antonio Bay near Turnstake Island. As temperatures begin dropping more rapidly in the upcoming weeks, anglers will most likely be able to find a good trout and redfish bite in places heavily covered with grass and mud.

Some of these places are the southern shorelines of West Matagorda Bay, Tres Palacios Bay, Keller Bay, Espiritu Santo Bay, San Antonio Bay, and Mesquite Bay. These southern-most bay shorelines can become mighty productive as the trout and the redfish begin pushing large schools of fish, and sometimes even shrimp, onto the flats in these areas. 

A lot of the natural baits that the trout and reds will begin herding into shallow waters will be finger mullet and other small finfish, along with an occasional grouping of shrimp. This time of the year, some of the best artificial lures you can have in your arsenal are the gold, silver, or even the copper-colored spoons.

Some top-producing spoons in the past have been the Johnson Sprite and the Johnson Minnow, the Krocodile and Mr. Champ spoons by Luhr Jensen, and the Kastmaster and Sidewinder spoons in the Acme line-up. Anyone claiming to be a seasoned saltwater veteran or an avid coastal angler may have already accumulated an assortment of these spoons. However, for those who may not own any spoons, manufacturers have managed to keep their prices relatively affordable, and many makers even offer them in kits such as the Johnson Sprite Redfish kit.

The sunlight bounces brilliantly off the metal body of the spoon, and the spoon resembles many of the different kinds of small, shiny-sided baitfish that the trout and redfish (and even flounders) gorge themselves on.

Spoons are very easy to cast with rather good accuracy, even when you have to cast into the wind. The spoon is also versatile. The spoon’s capabilities allow anglers to search for fish in the upper portion of the water column near the water’s surface by simply using a faster-than-normal retrieve.

If the angler is targeting fish that are hanging out between the surface and the bottom, the angler can easily pause the retrieve and let the spoon flutter its way to the bay floor. The strike most often occurs as the lure is falling.

If you are searching for some of the common bottom dwellers, especially flounder and redfish, then a slow retrieve will bounce the spoon across the bay floor in a very effective method of attracting a bite.

Absent of any harsh tropical weather disturbances, cool fronts in October will prove to be good for speckled trout and redfish angling along the coastal boundaries of Texas. Each frontal passage pushes more and more baitfish and shrimp into schooling trout and redfish along shallow, grassy shorelines.

This only increases the odds of success for wading anglers. Until next time, have fun out there, and be safe.


Contact Capt. Chris Martin at 


or visit bayflatslodge.com


Email Chris Martin at bayflatslodge@gmail.com

or visit bayflatslodge.com

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