Fish Talk: November 2007

Fish Talk: November 2007
R on Albarado with a 26” trout from East Matagorda.
If I had to pick a personal favorite month for fishing the Matagorda area November would definitely be in the running. The weather is pleasant, the water conditions are generally favorable, we find fewer boats on the water, and we find plenty of opportunity in both East and West Bays. We see lots of bait moving out of the marshes in November, mainly shrimp, and bird activity adds to the list of indicators we can use to maximize our fishing opportunities.

My favored fishing methods for November in East Bay have always included wading the marsh drains on the south shoreline and also wading the various reefs along the north shore. As I mentioned, bird activity will be a real key issue this month. There will be flocks of gulls and terns out in the middle of the bay dive-bombing bait that gets pushed to the surface by schools of hungry trout and redfish and this is great fun for people who enjoy drifting or using their trolling motors to get in on the action. There are also prime opportunities for shoreline waders in November but the signals are usually more subtle. Sometimes it will only be a handful of gulls hovering a few feet above the surface at the mouth of a marsh drain or over a nearby reef but pay attention as those few birds can be sending a big message. The best fishing in the marsh drains almost always occurs on the falling tide as the shrimp are entering the main bay from the backcountry.

Most of my time will be spent in East Matagorda Bay but depending the water conditions and the crowd I will likely head over to West Bay as well. The birds will likely be working this bay system also but it has been my experience that the fish they cover in West Bay tend to be a bit smaller. Wading the south shoreline of West bay is another option, here again, the bait will be the key and you'll want to keep a good eye for mullet schools advancing with the incoming tide. West Bay's south shoreline is famous for its redfishing and the trout can really stack up in late fall as well.

The tidal lakes that border West Matagorda Bay are always good producers in November and the best of these lie along the Intracoastal Canal. Crab Lake and Oyster Lake can be real hotspots at this time of year. Oyster Lake is often home to lots of bird activity with trout and redfish action available. This lake is not known as a producer of large trout but school fish of generally keeper size to 16 and 17 inches are common. Of course there will always be a lot of undersize trout in there so please use great care when handling them as these are tomorrow's trophies and every bit as important as the ones we're keeping today. The redfish are known to roam these lakes in good numbers during the fall season and limits of slot fish are common along with a few oversized reds to boot.

Over in East Bay off the Intracoastal Canal you'll need to check out Boggy Lake and Austin Lake for redfish activity. Here again there should be noticeable bird activity in Austin Lake with some redfish reaching oversized length and plenty fun on light tackle.

Don't forget about the Colorado River. The river is one of bonus opportunities here in Matagorda and always worth a quick check whenever a hard blowing norther forces a retreat from the bays. Right now the river is beginning to look a lot better than it has in past weeks and my prediction is that the fish will move up the river if we don't get any more hard rains.

Bass Assassin has announced the introduction of their 4" Sea Shad in the 10W40 color pattern and I'm excited as this little paddletail bait is a great shrimp imitator and that 10W40 color has shrimp written all over it. Bass Assassin has also announced another new color for the 4" Sea Shad and they are calling this one the Chicken on a Chain. This pattern has "glow" on the belly with red glitter back and a chartreuse tail. This Chicken on a Chain bait should be a real winner this fall.

Keep your eyes, ears, and nose tuned in while you're out there on the water. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy your turkey dinner. Maybe we'll bump into each other one of these days 'til then stay safe and
God Bless.