The View: March 2023

The View: March 2023

March really gets it all started in Matagorda. Spring Break brings back the commerce to our little town as our businesses dust off the winter rust and welcome everyone back.

Flags are flying, crawfish are boiling, and boats are buzzing up and down the Intracoastal Waterway.

March jump starts the official spring fishing season. Regardless of the weather, we will still be chasing speckled trout and redfish along the deep shell and mud of East Bay. January and February were stellar for drifting with Down South Lures, Bass Assassins and MirrOlure Lil Johns.

Make no mistake, we expect to catch some heavy trout in March, while wading and drifting. You would be surprised how many big trout we release in East Matagorda Bay while jigging soft plastics out of the boat. While wading we will toss the same baits, but really enjoy the MirrOlure Soft Dine and all her favorite Corky cousins in the Texas Custom Lures colors.

We never discount West Matagorda Bay this time of year. Trout hang on the edges of the guts and sloughs and we gingerly wade these areas with plastics and Corkys. West Bay's grass shorelines hold fishable water when spring blusters blow; and, depending how mild March becomes, the first signs of glass minnows could actually begin to show around Spring Break.

Redfish are pretty much a mainstay in March. Spots like Lake Austin, Oyster Lake, Crab Lake and Boggy are great March hideouts. Make long drifts with live shrimp under a popping cork, or anchor on reefs. The cool thing is we can still catch fish when the wind blows hard.

Redfish are not the only drum in abundance in March, juvenile black drum, the eating kind, frequent reefs in West Matagorda Bay. Twin Islands, Shell Island and Oyster Lake are all proven black drum haunts in March. Live shrimp under a popping cork is the best bet.

Over-sized black drum, those over 30 inches, are the spawners and are only catch-and-release, but that doesn’t mean they are any less fun to catch. The big black bruisers frequent the channels, rivers and jetties leading to the Gulf, and a cracked blue crab is the most popular offering.

Spring Break in Matagorda comes alive with lots of families spending time together on the water and on the beach. We will run both morning and afternoon trips and are kid and family friendly.

We are two years past the great freeze of 2021, but it is not time to forget about its affects on our fishery. Most recreational anglers have shifted their focus to a more catch-and-release attitude of speckled trout. More guides and outfitters are doing the same; however, we need more of our local pros to get onboard and forget about all the fish-killing photos on social media. We need to take the lead and do what it best for our resource. The consensus among guides in Matagorda is we will petition TPWD to keep the 3-trout limit that is set to expire August 31, 2023. In addition to asking for further extension of the post-freeze regulations, we would love to see the maximum end of the trout length slot reduced from 23 inches to 20 inches.

Our trout fishery is recovering, but it can be so much more with a little more conservation and a lot more catch-and-release.  Think about it.

Matagorda Sunrise Lodge and Properties will be at the  Houston Fishing Show March 1-5 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Come by and see all the gang and say hello.