Matagorda Coughs Up Plenty of Spring Spots and Dots

Matagorda Coughs Up Plenty of Spring Spots and Dots
Checking on the tripletail around the ICW buoys was one of Mike's favorite pastimes, especially when they were running in from a wade on West Bay's south shoreline.

Note: The direct quotes used in this story were taken from an interview I did with the late Captain Mike Mosley of Matagorda some five years ago. Since spring is about rebirth and resurrection from the doldrums of winter, what better way to remember Mosley than by using his words to help other anglers catch fish? Mosley was well-loved by those who knew him, evident by the $100,000-plus his friends raised for him in a benefit before he passed. Even though Jesus is the ultimate fisherman of all time, I'll bet Mike is still trying to tell Him how to work a topwater. Thanks for the memories, Mike. We miss that patented grin at the dock.

One of the most overused cliches in the outdoor world is the word "transition." Every month can be construed as a transition month if you really want it to be. Transition is defined as, "a passing from one state, stage, place or subject to another." With that being said, I am going to exercise my one-time use of the word for spring.

Early spring is that in-between season where winter is not sure it wants to give up and spring is not quite strong enough to hold its own. Hence, April affords the angler narrow windows of opportunity. A couple of days may see temperatures climb into the upper 70s, then a 20- knot gust from the north blows things out for the next three days. Throughout spring, the cycle continues.

The Matagorda Bay Complex holds promise throughout spring for all types of angling. Most of the pros will continue to work East Bay haunts in search of hefty speckled trout and abundant redfish; however, some will head west out of the harbor and begin working south shoreline grass beds.

"I fish East Bay some, depending on the crowds," said Capt. Mike Mosley. "During spring, when the water temperatures get back up in the 60s, West Matagorda Bay starts to liven."

In his heyday, Mosley was one of the best at wading guts and grass beds on the south shoreline throwing topwater MirrOlures, Ghosts and soft plastics. His favorite spring colors were: pumpkinseed/chartreuse, tequila, jalapeno, and avocado.

"When I was fishing the bass circuit back in the 1980s, come Easter weekend when the Dogwoods bloomed, if you did not have something in a green worm color you were not catching good fish. I have found that to be true in Matagorda as well," he recalled.

Mosley liked to dip the tails of his soft plastics in orange or have some orange on his plugs in spring.

"Three of the bona fide double-digit trout I have caught hit a bait with orange on it."

"Do not forget the redfish action in East Matagorda Bay. Reds gang on the muddy bottoms of the north shoreline and Brown Cedar Flats."

"Look for mud boils on the east end and you can catch tons of redfish on soft plastics or live shrimp under a popping cork," he said.

If wading is not your thing, try drifting shell on Cleveland Reef, Long Reef, Raymond Shoals and Bird Island.

If the wind and weather do decide to get nasty, refuge can be found in the Colorado River, provided spring floods do not stain its emerald waters. Fishers work the river many different ways.

Pluggers choose to cast to the shoreline and twitch their surface plugs and slow-sinkers across the drop offs that go from 2 to 6 to 20 feet. Others slow-troll tandem-rigged Little Fishies and DOA Shrimp or jig DOA TerrorEyzs, Bass Assassins, Sand Eels, Trout Killers, Red Killers, Hogies and Gamblers. Live-baiters pitch shrimp next to tree stumps and catch reds and sheepshead.

"There are some big trout in the river," said Mosley. "You have to be patient to fish it."

The Diversion Channel is also a player during daylight hours; however, when night falls, many choose to set up light plants on the shoreline to attract baitfish, thereby luring specks. Action can be nonstop with the right tide and water clarity.

The percentages of coaxing a speck of a lifetime are none greater than in East Matagorda Bay, with the exception of Baffin Bay. In a perfect world, your days to fish would coincide with a nice, spring day; however, this is Earth. Stay alert to your local forecast and fish when you get the chance.

Mosley sure would.

Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain. Contact him at [email protected] or