Fish Talk: December 2008

Fish Talk: December 2008
December is prime time for specks in East Matagorda Bay; ask Cleo Lozano wade fished with Capt. Bill recently.
November was an excellent month in both East and West Matagorda Bay systems and all our back lakes. With bird activity and big bull tides running anywhere from 1.5-2 ft above normal, we saw good numbers of redfish come out of Austin Lake, Crab Lake, and Oyster Lake the past couple of months.

December fishing will find us dealing with colder water temperatures and a migration of shrimp from our bay systems except for perhaps on the far east end of East Matagorda Bay. This is the bay system I will choose to set up camp. Normal December activity historically offers up some good sized trout for those willing to brave the conditions. Trout anywhere from 25-29" are not uncommon this time of year. Typical baits to chunk will be chartreuse gold-sided Corkies, Fat Boys in day glow, 5" Bass Assassins in day glow, red & white, roach, and 10W40 along with 52 Mirrolures in 808.

Since all of the shrimp will have left our bays, trout and reds will be feeding on eels and small bait fish. I know it doesn't sound like a lot of fun but wading mud and shell, sometimes knee-deep, can be your best ticket. I shouldn't have to remind you to walk slowly because you won't have much of a choice. Take two or three steps and fan your cast from left to right. Make sure you can see mullet in the area you are fishing. Just keep walking slowly or you will tire too easily and give up.

Fish anywhere along the south or north shoreline where there is mud and shell along with baitfish and you'll be okay. Mud doesn't have to be knee-deep to hold fish, ankle-deep will also produce quality fish as well as long as there is some shell mixed in. I cannot stress the importance of baitfish present in your wade fishing area enough. If I can't detect some sign of baitfish, I'm probably not going to stop or stay long if I do. I'll go look for another spot; simple as that. The reason these gamefish and baitfish are on mud and scattered shell is that mud retains heat from the sun longer than the sand and grass flats and the shell gives bait a good place to hide.

Glare from the sun seems to be worse this time of year as the angle of the sun's rays is lower, so make sure you have your polarized shades with you. I see lots of guys who do not use sunscreen in winter and this is a mistake. Protecting your eyes will enable you to find fish such as the reds that should be on the sand flats in West Matagorda Bay on a low tide. Protecting your skin from harmful UV is necessary year around.

If you like to remain in the boat and drift for your fish, I recommend you try in front of Boiler Bayou and Raymond's Reefs and maybe around the Tripod over in East Matagorda Bay. Look for slicks and jumping mullet. I like rigging plastics on 1/4 ounce lead heads for drifting as 1/16s and 1/8s just won't get the lure down there where you need to be when they're holding deep.

Look for me at the Greater Houston Boat Show at the Reliant Center from January 2 through 10 because that's where I'll be. Have a Merry Christmas and God Bless.