Fish Talk: December 2007

Fish Talk: December 2007
Jeff Larson with a 29
As a rule, December can either make you a hero or give you a zero depending on our general water and weather conditions. Mild December weather can prove very productive but, if Old Man Winter comes calling too early and in too harsh a tone, you can find the catching to be slow even on the best of days. At any rate, and whatever weather pattern you might find prevailing when you get the chance to be out there, success in December almost always hinges on finding concentrations of finger mullet along the shorelines. The best of these shorelines as far as good trout action is concerned will be the muddier ones.

By December, most of the shrimp will be long gone to the Gulf of Mexico but I have seen in some milder years past when there will still be a few stragglers left in East Bay, especially around the far east end. You won't often find the gulls wheeling and diving in December though, sometimes the only signal we receive will be flocks of birds sitting on the water and occasionally rising and moving a few feet as they forage on the few white shrimp the fish push up to them. So put it in your memory bank gulls resting where you do not ordinarily see them can be a good indication of wintertime fish activity.

If the weather is cold and miserable, Capt. Bill will probably be at deer camp. If not, I will be wading the muddy south shoreline trying to locate mullet. Drifting will not be out of the question if I find mullet jumping out in the middle of the bay over scattered shell and maybe a few slicks popping up. That's the typical scenario for December drift fishermen to seek here in East Matagorda Bay.

The Colorado River is a godsend to us here at Matagorda. During winter, if the river is not on a rise, and you are having a windy day in the open bay, the good old Colorado can be a good producer of both trout and redfish. The Diversion Channel can save a day also. These are both choice locations to throw your line if there is a good north wind blowing.

Capt. Bill's baits will change a little for the month of December. Since there will be virtually no shrimp left in our bays the main diet of our fish will become a variety of small finfish along with other small organisms such as eels. Mirrolures in the 51 and 52 series, Corkies, and of course Saltwater Assassins in the pink, orange, black, root beer, or chartreuse will be good picks.

Remember, prolonged periods of cold weather will naturally bring us corresponding drops in the water temperature. Unless you find fish moving up shallow to bask in warm afternoon sun you're probably going to find it necessary to slow down your retrieves. Try to locate and fish around bait schools. Stick to mud and muddy areas with shell and expect to fish hard, the bite can often be tough to figure out but worth the trouble it takes to unravel the puzzle.

I hope these little tips provide some help and improve your December fishing. I'm heading up to Montana on a little hunting trip so we'll compare notes when I return and I do hope that everyone has had a good deer, quail, and duck season so far. Have a Merry Christmas and God Bless.