COASTAL FORECAST: Matagorda – August 2019

COASTAL FOCUS: Upper Mid Coast – August 2019
July 24, 2019
COASTAL FORECAST: Galveston – August 2019
July 24, 2019

Reading the Surf

IN AUGUST WE GET MORE days when conditions allow us to get out into the surf and fish without being tumbled by waves, and under the right circumstances, the fish are there.

When the wind is light, water is blue and clear, and the tide is high and incoming, you have almost everything you want to catch speckled trout in the surf. The missing condition is location. Where should you wade into the surf? and why should you choose that spot?

Of course if you see birds working, you should get out where you can drop a lure into that area. However, feeding birds, the shrimp, and the feeding fish predators tend to move, so it may be a fleeting bite.

A trout in the surf. (Photo: Mike Price)

To find a sustained bite, find a spot where trout are getting a constant flow of bait fish or shrimp being pushed through a cut, up onto a sandbar, or swirling in an eddy. To find this spot, you need calm clear water so that you can see the subtleties of the waves and current interacting with the sandbars.

Here is an excerpt from the book, A Hand on Your Shoulder by Matagorda fisherman and creator of the lure ED Special, Eddie Douglas:

“In August 2014, my grandson Davidson and I drove eight miles down the beach looking at beautiful calm water and high tide, but nobody was catching fish. Then I saw this bar, it was a long bar and it ran way out and created swells, not breakers, meaning that it was shallow out there.

I stopped and my grandson said, “What are you doing?”

I said, “We are going to fish right here.”

He said, “Why right here?”

I said, “You see the big swells.”


Underwater Fishlight


“I’m going to leave you on this end where it is flat, and I want you to throw your lure at those swells, up on the bar, and the swells will bring the lure off. I’m going to get on the other side,” which was about thirty-five yards away.

The first trout that I caught was 28 inches. He stood there and caught 30 or 35 trout. We released trout after we both caught our limits.

Five guys on one side of us had not caught one single fish, and neither had the four guys on the other side of us. They were watching us, and there were three cars on the beach, the driver of one using binoculars, watching the show. I called the fishermen on either side of us over and gave them all one of my lures and put them to fishing in that spot and explained why they should fish there.”

There were two reasons that Eddie and his grandson caught lots of trout while other surf fishermen were not catching. First, Eddie and his grandson were in locations where trout were getting a constant flow of bait because of the currents and waves interacting with the terrain. The other reason Eddie and his grandson caught fish is that they were using the ED Special, a custom made black broken-back lure with yellow spots that is capable of being worked on the surface or underwater.

Last August, my grandson and I went to Coastal Que BBQ in Matagorda, (which serves great BBQ) and as we stood in line, we were talking to Captain Coach Floyd Ciruti who had just returned from fishing in the surf with Eddie Douglas.

Coach said, “Eddie and I fished three days this week when the wind came out of the north, and we tore them up with the biggest trout 27 inches. People were stopping and watching Eddie fish and buying his lure on the beach. He sold them for the regular price of $25, but he could have sold them for $50.”

Timing of the tide is important when fishing the surf. The best situation is an incoming tide at daybreak that peaks at about 9:30 a.m. This will bring bait right into the first gut. That was the situation one August day when people all up and down the beach were catching fish.

The next day high tide was at 2:30 a.m., which meant that water was going out at daybreak. There were some trout in the surf, but nothing like the day before. The birds were working two hundred yards offshore.

Look for calm, clear, water and incoming tide—and look for sandbar formations that tend to keep bait in one area. When you find those conditions, you will find the trout. You can buy Eddie’s lure and his book by calling him at 979-240-3212. He will no doubt give you some free advice about how to catch trout in the surf.


Master Marine




Surf: If the surf is calm, it is the best place to fish in August. On Matagorda beach they grade the sand for about one mile on either side of the entrance. You can usually get a two-wheel-drive vehicle on and off the beach without getting stuck, but if you go beyond that you need a four-wheel-drive vehicle.


Email Mike Price at [email protected]


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