Fish Talk: May 2009

Fish Talk: May 2009
Capt. Bill; C&R 28
Well, May rolled in and both Matagorda bays are wide open. Seems like just yesterday I was thinking about getting ready for spring fishing. Now that I brought it up – the first part of April started out windy as all get out. Cold fronts and low tides kept fishermen off the water, me included. We shouldn't get too bent out of shape though; this is pretty much the norm for April. West Matagorda was out of the picture with the closing of the ICW locks until April 14, which in turn threw everyone into East Bay. There were some good numbers caught in East Bay with quite a few 28-plus trout falling to Bass Assassins and floating Corkies. The shrimp crop helped April get off to a good start. We need rain in a bad way as our salinity levels are very high. Redfish are way back in the lakes with trout holding mainly on grass beds and shell reefs. Our fishery is basically in good shape with lots of mullet, shad, and glass minnows. Birds have been working intermittently in East Matagorda. These are tale-tell signs that good fishing is on the horizon.

East Matagorda Bay

May will bring warmer water and hopefully less wind. You'll find me wading some places on the north shoreline on incoming tide and drifting scattered mud and shell of mid-bay reefs. The south shoreline is also very good in May. Wading there, I start at knee-deep and work slowly into the bay on hard bottom, rarely getting over waist-deep. Trout should be shallow at daybreak and retreat to about 4-6 ft of water as the sun comes up. While wading shell, try to be light-footed. Stomping on the reef creates noise that will chase fish from casting distance in a matter of seconds. Ease out slowly and stand in one spot to cover the area thoroughly before moving again. Remember, every reef has a sweet spot. When you find it, stay put, crunching the shell will run them off in a hurry. When drifting later in the day, I vary my lures quite a bit to find the bite. Topwaters, Bass Assassins under popping corks, and sometimes heavier jigs without corks to get down to feeding fish are my tools. Some days we use them all.

West Matagorda Bay

During May I prefer wading the south shoreline. I usually start out throwing top waters and then switch to Bass Assassins as the day progresses. Fishing the sandbars, guts in between, and grass beds will be the ticket. Look for glass minnows and mullet while fishing an incoming tide if you can. There's a lot of shoreline in West Matagorda Bay so if you can find plenty of bait you should be able to catch a few fish or even hit the mother lode and catch'em every cast. A lot of fishermen hit this shoreline so an early start is a must. Oyster Lake can be an excellent place to find redfish in May. An incoming tide helps here also.

I was asked the other day, "Why do you prefer Bass Assassins?"

This is what I said, "Bass Assassins are made of very soft plastic and they tear easier than other plastic baits but, they catch fish. Big fish love the action that softer plastic delivers."

I outfit my clients with Assassins and use them in my tournament fishing and have won quite a few. This includes Trout-Masters, CCA Guide's Cups, and every tournament in between. I had the pleasure of fishing with Jim Franklin back in March. Jim is a gentleman and a great fisherman, he was pre-fishing the Port O'Connor Bash. Jim knows East Matagorda like the back of his hand and he and I thought it would be fun to fish together so we headed into the cold and miserable morning. We went for a long ride around the bay, stopped on a spot, got out, and started wading. Jim was using a Corky and I was throwing a 10W40 Assassin. I released a big redfish, caught another, and then hooked what looked like a 26-27" trout but lost her.

Jim looked over and asked, "What are you using?"

I hollered back, "10W40 Assassin."

Jim switched and a few casts later hooked and released a 28" trout. We didn't want to disturb them further and left for the house. It was a fun trip and I got to fish with an old friend and great fisherman. Bass Assassins cut the mustard on big fish, no doubt about it, and that's why I use them.

May God Bless.