Fish Talk: May 2010

Fish Talk: May 2010
Peter Kroll landed this 24
Hats off to Jay Watkins for his soul-searching narrative in last month's issue of TSFMag. He is one of the very best in this profession and I couldn't agree more with every word. I have performed my own 180 turnaround and can relate to the days of full stringers. There is no doubt fishing continues to be a competitive market with many vying for the recognition received from landing the big ones and bringing in the full boxes. I believe most of us attuned to the current state of our fisheries and fishing industry will agree changes are inevitable. What these changes will be and who will levy them is uncertain. With the present Obama administration and previous controversial decisions, I believe we all need to hold onto our hats because it may well be a rough boat ride. We will just have to let time tell.

Many say "everything runs in cycles" and there may be some truth to that but when you put pencil and paper to our fishery statistics, you may end up rubbing your brow. Not many enjoy sitting in a church pew and hearing the pastor comment on making righteous choices or looking out for your neighbor. Most of the time, we listen and we think, "Don't worry God is in control." Well guys, I hate to tell you this but we are reaping the harvest from the seeds we have all sewn in this fishery thing.

East Matagorda Bay
Good tides and calmer winds always appear in May. This should clean up our water conditions and bring a better bite. April fishing tactics should carry over into May; wading the reefs and drifting scattered shell. Based on previous years I will be pulling more topwaters out of the tackle box, especially while drifting. At any point in time any reef in East Bay can be a good producer. The trick is to try a reef for about thirty minutes or so and if you do not find the fish, pack up and move to another. Sometimes I will move four or five times to various reefs before finding a good bite. Also remember if you caught fish on a reef one day does not necessarily dictate they will be there the next. It seems the fish in East Bay move more frequently than they did in the past and this may be fishing pressure. However, if you happen to find a good number of fish I would start out there early the next day just to check it out. I would give it a 50/50 chance those fish to still be in the area.

If drifting is your choice, be sure to make long drifts ending well away from structure that is producing before cranking up and coming back around. Mix it up with topwaters and plastics. I like to keep several rods at the ready; one with rattling cork and leadhead, another without the cork, and definitely one with topwater. If you are fishing with buddies, try rigging everyone with something different until you can establish the best setup.

West Matagorda Bay
Of course, the glass minnows, menhaden, and mullet should be plentiful and fishing in full swing over in West Bay. Normally, I will run over to West Bay when East Bay starts to draw a lot of traffic. However, during May and on into early summer, we've seen days when both bays draw a lot of traffic. This can be frustrating but we just have to be patient and make do best we can. Repairs on both east and west locks are still in progress making it somewhat of a challenge to maneuver between bays. Having personally spent a couple of hours at a time sitting and waiting, I've discovered that by hailing VHF Channel 13 and requesting lock opening and closing times can be very helpful as the times vary by day.

If you are targeting the south shoreline, aim for an incoming tide when you can. My plans are to fish the guts between sandbars and all the grass flats available. Small Super Spooks, Skitter Walks, and She Pups in bone color along with Salt Assassins four inch Sea Shad in plum with chartreuse tail and Texas roach will be personal favorites. Keep an eye out for sharks and wear your protective gear for stingrays.

Until next time; Good fishin' and God Bless. -Capt. Bill