Fish Talk: November 2008

Fish Talk: November 2008
Lowell Everitt demonstrates his stab and grab method of landing a flounder.
Picking up the pieces left behind from a devastating hurricane is no easy task and I can tell you from personal experience is one that I hope and pray we never have to go through again.  By the grace of God we missed the brunt of Hurricane Ike here in Matagorda but many of my fellow guides and fishing friends are still dealing with the brutal aftermath.  Only time will heal these wounds and hopefully the scars will become invisible.  You are in our prayers daily. May God bless you during this difficult time.

We always expect November to be a great month for fishing so let’s take a look at what this fall fishing season may bring.

November is known to produce wall-hangers and lots of days filled with just good old-fashioned limits of solid speckled trout and redfish.  Fishing under the birds is just getting started and should be awesome throughout November as both East and West Matagorda Bays are full of shrimp. There are also tons of mullet and other baitfish indicating a good recruitment year for these species as well. Ike didn’t put much of a damper on our bays here, as a matter of fact; this hurricane actually seemed to strengthen our bays with those big tides, perhaps pushing a lot of fish from the gulf surf into our bay systems.  

Look for the same fishing strategies that produced good catches in October to continue throughout November. As I mentioned above, consistent bird activity is just becoming noticeable and already we’re finding lots of nice trout under them.  It’s a good idea to have two rods rigged and ready when working the birds and one of them should have a 3/8 ounce jig tied on.  We find many times that there will be redfish near bottom while the trout are active near the surface.  Slow bumped Bass Assassins will often times pull heavy reds from down deep.  Keep an eye open for mud boils under the birds as these are a sure sign that reds are down there rooting shrimp out of the mud and driving them higher in the water column where the birds and trout attack them hungrily.

I expect our bigger trout to come out of East Matagorda Bay compared to its counterpart West Matagorda Bay.  Austin Lake, Crab Lake, and Oyster Lake will be a paradise for anglers seeking redfish and you can also expect a few trout to be mixed in with them.  These all also prime locations to pick up a few flounder. These lakes have many marsh drains feeding them and when the shrimp move the action can be almost non-stop.

Drift fishing really comes into its own during November and provides many options for Matagorda anglers.  With bird activity in full swing, check out locations such as the Old Gulf Cut area to Three Beacon all the way to Raymond’s Reef and the south shoreline.  Most days I’ll start wading mud and shell early in the morning while throwing the Series 52 MirrOlure, Catch 2000, and a variety of Corky lures.  My favorite colors in the Corky family are 01-pearl/chartreuse, 91-chartreuse/gold and 95 dayglow.  In the Bass Assassin family of soft plastics my pockets will be filled with 10W40, plum, and roach.  

With November bringing improved chances for wall-hanger trout I would like to pass along a tidbit of advice. Big trout that hold on shell structure can be very spooky and the slightest noise will send them packing. When you and your buddies decide to wade a shell reef, by all means do not crunch the shell with your feet.  Be sure to slide your feet on the bottom and slither along like an eel.  Crunching shell is a no-no that alerts big trout to your presence and moves them well out of casting range. Walk forward slowly and keep your feet planted in one spot while you fish the area thoroughly.  I try to stay off the shell as much as I can and walk the muddy edge where my movement will not run them off. Remember, the more noise you make on shell the less fish you are going to catch.

Just remember that the same patterns that worked last month will repeat during November and expect some productive days on the water.  Until next time be safe, wear your kill switch, and keep those Shimano reels cleaned and well-maintained.  Your fishing experiences will be more enjoyable if you take good care of your equipment.  May God Bless You.