Fish Talk: April 2008

Fish Talk: April 2008
Darrel Clifton with a Texas Trio. These fish were caught while drifting East Matagorda Bay with bone diamond Bass Assassins.
April is just around the corner and fishing conditions are starting to heat up. Whew... made it through another winter without a freeze and our bays, from what I've seen, are looking very good. From what I've observed concerning our shrimp hatch, leaves me somewhat clueless as what to expect but birds were working on the east end of East Matagorda Bay in March so I am hopeful. Our recent fish catches were full of shrimp so the impression is that this fishing season looks to be a good one.

East Bay

In this particular bay system my suggestion is to size down on the baits you use. At this time of the year our forage species are small, especially shrimp. In East Bay, one of the main diet trends for trout and reds is Mr. Whiskers and they are tiny. Small is the factor when chunking hardware. On your plastics, move over to a smaller bait perhaps a 4-inch Bass Assassin, 4-inch Sea Shad, or the Blurp. You may want to try the 4-inch Blurp Shrimp in good penny, drunk monkey, or the molting pattern. These baits should produce for you while drifting or wading. Don't forget to haul out those rattlin' corks in whatever flavor you prefer as some amount popping, clicking and splashing can attract attention to your bait from those hungry trout and reds. Sizing down your top waters is another good idea. Your Mirrolure Pup, small Skitterwalk, or Super Spook Jr. should be good choices. It's not to say that you can't catch your fish on the She Dog Jr. or 5 in. jerk bait, only that during the spring fishing season smaller baits give better opportunities as they imitate your bait fish which are in the smaller size range.

At the present time, the trout pattern seems to indicate slow movement off the mud flats to sand and shell. Expect your baitfish to become more active at the surface as water temperatures rise; hopefully, to become dinner for a hungry trout. Coves and drains on the south shoreline should prove worthy areas to chunk your line. Reefs in East Bay should be holding trout for waders and drifters might find scattered shell in the middle of the bay worth a try. When drifting, look for those jumping mullet, slicks, and hopefully a few birds working. Don't expect the same magnitude of bird activity as in the fall.

Tides are a great indicator of fishing success. Strong tides, either incoming or out-going, will help your fishing endeavors. I always try to fish an incoming tide for specks with better luck on an out-going tide for reds. Our strong spring tides are the result of the spring equinox and worthy of attention.

West Bay
Expect activity over in West Matagorda Bay to be on the go as well. With the influx of glass minnows, diving pelicans and seagulls in waist to belly deep water can be an excellent scenario for any fisherman. Fishing the sand bars, guts, and grass beds along the south shoreline should pan out. Once again, try to fish an incoming tide and it's definitely time again to provide some type of floating device to retain your trout because the man in the dark gray suit will cut your stringer in half, steal your catch, and cause your donut to explode with no remorse. Lunch for that 4-5 ft shark will be on your tab that day.

Plastics and topwaters will be baits of choice. With strong incoming spring tides the redfish should be hanging around Oyster Lake. Drifting and using a trolling motor will be the best way to attack this place. You might even see a few birds working in this area. Another good place to frequent is on the outside of the Diversion Channel towards Twin Island. Drifting here will be the way to go while focusing on jumping mullet and mud baits. Until next time... May God Bless.