The View: June 2023

The View: June 2023
Healthy Matagorda speck tagged prior to release.

I say it every year, but June is my favorite month of the year in Matagorda. Sure, October and November can be stellar around here; however, the possibilities in June are endless.

Some of the friendliest winds and tides will occur in June. Morning incoming tides in East and West Matagorda bays usher in fresh Gulf recruits of fish and we love to fool them with topwaters. Southeast winds and a low barometer is fish-catching conditions and are the norm during a normal June.

Really, all options are on the table this month. If winds are 10 knots or less, we will be wading or drifting East Matagorda Bay. East Bay has rewarded us with solid catches of trout for the start of 2023. Our big trout are beginning to appear again after two years of recovery from the 2021 freeze.

Our conservation efforts have not waivered with better catches; we continue to encourage catch and release of speckled trout, especially those females with bellies full of eggs that will distribute their offspring throughout the summer tide.

Indeed, now is not the time to abandon the efforts and attitudes that have brought our fishery back from that dreadful February 2021 fish kill. I want to thank the majority of Matagorda anglers who have denied self and delicious speckled trout fillets for the good of our fishery.

I too love fried trout, but the benefits of catch and release for specks far outweighs a fried fish dinner.

Professional charter captains need to take the lead in promoting better catch and release practices. If nothing else, it is a great business decision for the fishing business that sustains so many families here in Matagorda Bay.

As professionals, we control the narrative on our boats and most promote better conservation practices on our vessels. If you must keep trout, try to pick out the males. They are easily identified by the croaking noise they make when coming aboard. It is a lot like duck hunters trying to let the hens fly so they have a chance to lay eggs in the spring and make more baby ducks.

I have said it many times before, our editor of Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, Everett Johnson, was many years ahead of the fishing industry by not allowing photos of “dead fish on a table” or “dead fishing hanging from nails” for the sake of promotion or social media posts.

This magazine continues to lead the way in better fishing practices, and I am honored to be a part of it.

June normally gives us our first glimpse of the surf. All we need is light winds and an incoming green tide and I am wielding a MirrOlure She Pup in the first gut. Few things in this world rival the blowup from a surf speck on a dog-walking plug. It was cool 30 years ago when I roamed the High Island surf in my college days, and it is even cooler now as strands of gray show through under my hat.

Boat anglers can drift the surf with soft plastics or live shrimp under a Mid Coast popping cork. We do the same at the jetty by using the spot-lock feature on our trolling motors to keep up with casting distance of the granite. Summer is here. Enjoy Matagorda!

Sunrise Lodge and Properties specializes in fishing, hunting, vacation rentals and coastal real estate. We would be happy to offer any advice that might help you enjoy Matagorda.