We pray for light north winds in July that drop temperatures a bit and flatten the surf. The attractive aspect of Matagorda is the miles of beach available to anyone with a 4x4 or a boat. Whenever we can get in the surf we go.
It's important to try and fish the surf the first day it greens and flattens. It's been my observation that trout get tougher to catch by the third day of a green surf. Predators like sharks, mackerel, huge redfish, and tarpon find the clear shallows and try to find an easy meal. Yes, all of these fish eat speckled trout. We prefer they eat all those shad, pogies, mullet, and shrimp roaming the first gut, but often specks get caught in the fury.
Since July is synonymous with westerly wind on our part of the coast, water clarity can become an issue. If we can find streaky water – off-colored water with hints of green streaks – we feel like we can find fish to catch.
West winds push dry, blistering air off the Mexican desert and give us arid days while sucking water out of the bays and draining tides from the shorelines. With tides low and water temperatures feeling like bath water, a change in fishing tactics is in order.
Though winds do dip below 10 knots this time of year, weak tides often do not allow bays to clear, especially when water temperatures are in the upper-80s and tides are two feet below normal. When the water gets around 85 degrees it takes the bay a little longer to clear. That's nothing new for July – we deal with it every year.
Those low tides congregate fish in guts. All those redfish that have been hanging out tight to the shorelines in June, school in the middle of East Bay during July. Often we catch more reds than trout while drifting 4-5 feet of water. If you happen to see a slick you better fish it.
While wading, I like to be somewhere around the pass or jetty. Tides are going to be strongest around the pass. I like to work the grass beds within sight of Port O'Connor. Fish there love a Super Spook Jr. or She Pup and plastics like Bass Assassins, Down South Lures, and MirrOlure Soft Dines.
The question concerning our trout stocks since the freeze remains the hot topic among anglers seeking charter information. I have had some great days wading and drifting for trout since April. The neat thing is we have released hundreds of trout back to the bays. I am grateful for a customer base who cherish our estuaries and want to do everything they can to be good stewards of our waters. Attitudes are changing and hopefully more will get on board with the “keep only a few if you must and release the rest.”