Fish Talk: January 2009

Fish Talk: January 2009
David Niles; Colorado River with Capt. Bill. Huge drum on Bass Assassin (released).
November and December have produced some of the best stringers I've seen since the 1989 freeze. Yes folks, fishing has been that good and I'm betting amidst the weather fluctuations January will provide some very productive days as well. You'll need to remember that the cooler water temperature causes the bite to slow as these fish adapt to the change. Despite the drop in water temperature and infrequent bite, undoubtedly someone will land a trophy trout; happens every year.

By the time you read this all of our shrimp will have migrated from the backwaters and bays to the Gulf of Mexico, so mullet imitating baits like your slow-sinking MirrOlures, the Corky lures, and of course Bass Assassins on lighter heads will be hot items. Eddie Douglas' Broken Back Special, modified version of a timeless favorite, will be another great bait to throw and you can bet it will be part of my daily arsenal.

As I mentioned, falling water temperatures means slower bites, so whether in East or West Matagorda Bay I'll be looking at 5-8 bites a day on the average; that is unless we have an unusually warm January causing our water temperature to rise. As we've talked before, trout and redfish are cold-blooded and their feeding sprees revolve, for the most part, around water temperature. The colder the water the less active they will be. Expect your bigger trout to feed, on average, only once or twice a week and then they will lay on the bottom until they get hungry again. When they do feed, they will become very aggressive with mouths akin to vacuum cleaners.

Any time the water is cold, and especially during January when it can become quite cold, you will need to adjust retrieve speeds to get bites. If you think your retrieve is slow enough and you're not getting bit, double check- you may need to slow it down even more. If you do happen to land a trout, try to remember your retrieve and copy it on your next cast.

East Matagorda Bay
You'll find me in East Matagorda Bay mainly hunting big trout. I'll be wading in mud and shell and also drifting out in the middle of the bay on scattered shell and mud. I can't stress often enough that your ticket for a successful wade or drift fishing trip at this time of the year will be the presence of finger mullet in the area. No baitfish usually means no gamefish. Also of great importance will be those occasional slicks out in the middle of the bay if you happen to be drifting over scattered shell. Use your trolling motor or make wide circles with your outboard to repeat your drift and cover the area thoroughly.

West Matagorda Bay

There should be plenty of redfish in West Matagorda Bay along the south shoreline especially after a hard-blowing cold front. When conditions are right you should be able to spot their wakes and sometimes with their backs sticking out of the water. Fish those guts, shallow sand bars, and grass beds. You might even get lucky and catch a monster trout as is oftentimes the case. From Oilfield Cut all the way down to the Point of Greens are good starting places.

Colorado River
Unless we get an overflow of rain the Colorado River will be another choice fishing location for January. A lot of trout were pulled out of the river during November and December and these trout should remain there into February if the river stays salty. I'm sure weather conditions will push me into the river every now and then during the upcoming month. This is another big trout spot as recent years have produced plenty of 28-30 inch trout from the river. Use the same baits in the river as you do in the bays. Here again, you will need to adjust your retrieve.

Hope to see you at the Greater Houston Boat Show beginning January 2nd and running through January 11th. Mark Talasek, Charlie Paradoski, and I will be in Booth 668-669 along with a huge display of Bass Assassins on one 10 foot section. We will be answering any and all questions regarding Bass Assassin lures and I'm sure we will have something new on our display that will tickle your taste buds. Stop by and check us out. Until next time, keep those Shimano reels cleaned and oiled. God Bless!