The View: February 2023

The View: February 2023

I say it every year – I’m glad February is the shortest month of the year. I’m just not a fan.

February finally gives me a bit of a break from the past eleven months of daylight to dark. It’s a chance to catch a breather from duck season and to do business taxes. I fish a little and fix a lot that was broken during the previous year.

Sorry I am not brimming with optimism; February is just February in my book. The good news is you can catch some of the largest trout of your life in Matagorda in February. Pick your days.

Blusters blowing 20-25 knots are not what I call conducive fishing conditions, however, 10-15 knots, which is the average wind speed this time of year, gives anglers at least a fighting chance.

Tides fall so low you can't get into the back lakes. But, you don't have to, because those fish in the back lakes are pouring out with the water. We make a living in the winter waiting for redfish in the mouths of those lakes and bayous.

Mid-bay reefs in East Matagorda Bay are not always “trout green,” but that is not a reason to write off drifting deep shell and mud. When water clarity is stained, it helps to go with something infused with scent under a popping cork.

Few anglers consider a topwater in February, but on those days with rising temperatures on the back side of cold front, a plug has proved deadly for years.

Calmer days allow anglers a chance at the reefs in the middle of East Matagorda Bay. Bass Assassins, Corkys, Soft Dines, Down South Lures and five-inch Bass Assassin Sea Shad are all great for bigger specks.

Redfish action happens most often in West Bay. Most of the time you are dealing with low tides, so work the deep guts next to flats. Don’t be afraid to make a few casts in that shin-deep water on that flat next to the gut – those redfish like to warm in the shallows with lots of sunshine.

Don’t be surprised if temperatures reach the 70s this month. When winds switch to a southeasterly flow, water rises about a foot, covers up the reefs, and the redfish and trout show on the shell. All those north shoreline reefs in West Bay are players. Though February is not my favorite month, it beats sitting in an easy chair and answering questions with your accountant.

Please continue to take care of our fish in Matagorda and all of Texas. Though reports are mixed after the Christmas freeze, it appears most of the Texas coast was spared from another fish kill.

We are rebounding in Matagorda from the Freeze of 2021. Catches are better, speckled trout sizes are better and more importantly, attitudes toward more of a conservative nature are becoming the norm. The days of throwing a bunch of dead fish on a table for a social media post are hopefully coming to an end. Please keep giving back more than you take. It is cool to catch and release.

We will be at the Houston Fishing Show in the George R. Brown, March 1-5. Come by and see us in the Sunrise Lodge booth.