Fish Talk: July 2008

Fish Talk: July 2008
Brant (son) and Charles (dad) Shields- drifting East Matagorda Bay- Blurps (Drunk Monkey) & Gulp glow bait- Charles Shields had never caught a speckled trout and had a 25
Well it's about time! Everyone has been expecting a balance with our weather and fishing patterns and fortunately I believe the time is just about here. I say that and just this morning my people met me at the dock about 5:30 AM and our anticipated drift fishing trip blew away with the 30+ mph winds we observed. Our mutual decision sent both parties back home to wait for another day. With those strong winds and small craft warnings it was a no-brainer even though my clients had traveled from Nebraska and Fort Worth. Normally, I would have cancelled the night before after determining the predicted weather report but sometimes they just don't get it right. After living on the coast for the past 15 or so years and spending a tremendous amount of time previous to that fishing these waters you'd think I would be a better weather predictor but alas, even though I do my best, I'm no match for the powers that be.

One of the reasons that wind is a deterrent here in Matagorda is because of our mud bottoms which dirty up East and parts of West Matagorda Bay when combined with strong winds. Other areas south of Port O'Connor with grass and sand bottoms can remain clear on windy days unlike that which we see in our area. My practice is to explain the conditions to my clients letting them know what I think our chances for catching fish might be and let them make the final decision. If they still want to go we gear up, load up, and head out to give it our best shot.

East Bay
With some recent good days starting out wading reefs 30 minutes before sunrise and chunking Roach and 10W40 Bass Assassins on 1/8oz heads my clients and I experienced excellent fishing conditions and results. After honing in on a pattern from morning to morning we would get the routine down only to be blown off the water for the next couple of days. We would be back on the same reefs later and like any good soldier continue with our routine training missions and start catching trout again.

Currently our fish are on shell for the most part and tossing plastics, MirrOlures, and topwaters are your best bet. Mid-mornings have found me packing up to take a cruise over the center of East Matagorda Bay looking for slicks which, by the way, had a nice pay-off for a couple of those days. We managed to pull in some nice solid trout up to 25" on those slicks while pitching our Bass Assassins. Even guides using live shrimp under popping corks caught limits with some trout caught and released up to 28". Our little fishery is starting to pattern and we're looking for July to improve even more. The following are guidelines to use for fishing East Matagorda Bay in the month of July:

-Wade fish reefs 30 minutes to 1 hour before daylight. Recommended baits are Roach and
10W40 Bass Assassins along with MirrOlure She Dogs.

- Mid-morning, drift fish while looking for slicks out in the middle of the bay. Recommended baits are again Roach and 10W40 Bass Assassins but with heavier 1/4oz lead heads. Popping corks are also effective in the middle of the bay.

-Mitchell's Cut in Sargent can be a hotspot by wading the cut on the west side and also the surf on an
outgoing tide. Recommended baits are topwaters, MirrOlures, and spoons.

West Bay
Fishing has been good over in West Matagorda Bay from the Cullen Houses to the Point of Greens. Personally speaking, we had limits of trout 15-20" for several days with Chicken-on-a-chain and Roach Bass Assassins. Bink Grimes, Mark Talasek, Tommy Countz, and Lee Warmke all had full limits as well fishing West Matagorda Bay. Most all of these fish came from grass beds and sand bars with plenty of shad and mullet in the area.

In July, I'm sure things will remain basically the same with perhaps a minor hike in temperatures. Normally in late June through July the wells out in West Bay will produce some good fishing with Bass Assassins, MirrOLures, and live shrimp as top bait choices. Half-moon reef, Shell Island, and the Government reefs close to Mad Island Cut in the middle of West Bay will have some solid trout as well. The reefs around Mad Island Cut on the bay side are another good place for fishermen tossing live bait. To sum up a few tidbits for fishing over in West Matagorda Bay you might try some of the following ideas:

-Wade grass beds and sand bars on an incoming tide. Bait choices should include 10W40, Chicken-on-a-chain, and Roach Bass Assassins on 1/8 oz lead heads. Focus on areas with bait activity such as mullet and menhaden.

-Fish the Wells in West Matagorda Bay and Half-moon Reef. Bait choices might include 10W40 Bass Assassins and live shrimp.

-Look for redfish over in Oyster Lake or Crab Lake.

-Don't forget the surf. If luck comes to town and the wind stops, the surf should get green to the beach. Woohoo, that's where I will be with a She Dog on my line, for sure!

Until next time... God bless Capt. Bill.