Fish Talk: December 2009

Fish Talk: December 2009
Michael Dowler - 38
Though largely overlooked, December is truly one of the prime months for catching trophy trout. With most of our shrimp population migrated out of East and West Matagorda Bays and into the gulf, fishing tactics will need minor modifications. There might be a few birds still working the of the shrimp migration on the far east end of East Bay but do not expect to occur regularly as it does earlier in the late fall period. Our water temperature will be colder than the last couple of months with trout and reds alike chewing on fin fish, eels, and small crabs. Bait selections as well as presentations will need to be adjusted if you plan to have a successful adventure on the water. Sinking and floating Corkys, Eddie Douglas Broken Back Specials, and good old Saltwater Assassins will be excellent choices for December.

Depending on our degree of winter weather, we can talk about lure presentation. If we run into really cold conditions your lure presentation will need to be slowed quite a bit. Fish are cold-blooded and their metabolism slows down tremendously when temperatures drop. When they decide to eat they can become very aggressive and when full they can lay on the bottom until they need to feed again. Redfish are generally heartier and will feed more often than trout. I believe that trout will generally feed maybe twice a week or possibly three times if the water isn't real cold.

Popular wading spots for me will be places with mud and shell bottom that can be found with deep water close by. Look for me to fish all the drains in East Matagorda Bay that have some deeper water in and around them. Another possible scenario may be the Colorado River if not too fresh. Here I will throw sinking Corkys and Salt Assassins rigged on 3/8 oz lead heads bumping the bottom and working the ledges on both sides of the river. Keep in mind the Diversion Channel which is another good spot to fish if we find ourselves with a howling blue northern. Plastics will be my go-to bait choice here.

Drifting over mud and scattered shell is a great possibility in East Matagorda Bay. Look for slicks and never pass up streaky or the edges of off-colored water. Jumping mullet is a good sign while drifting. I like to make long drifts, sometimes as much as one half mile. I recommend jig weights in the 1/4 to 3/8 oz lead heads to help get your lure down and keep it in the strike zone.

On occasion, I will head over to West Matagorda Bay when clients want to catch reds which will usually happen after a cold front and when tides are low. Fishing the drains, guts, and sand bars along the south shore will quite often put you in the middle of steady action.

A very important tip this time of year is to slow down your retrieve while fishing cold water conditions and try to remember your retrieve speed and amount of rod tip action after you catch your first fish so that it can be duplicated. Keep repeating that first retrieve on your subsequent casts. This should pay off in the long run. Until next time - Merry Christmas and God Bless - Capt. Bill