Mid-Coast Bays: February 2015

Mid-Coast Bays: February 2015
Charles Greminger’s rendition of the Redfish Dance.
Here we go again with the temps hovering in the mid-30s at night. We have another front blowing in tonight that will drop temps from freezing to high-20s the next couple of nights. I just hope the guys I have coming in for an afternoon hunt tomorrow are equipped with all the right attire for a cold airboat ride to and from Matagorda Island. I am lucky enough to be outfitted with Simms waders and layering garments. I have tried pretty much every brand and my Simms have really held up to the rigors a fishing/hunting guide put them through day in and day out. To put it plainly, I did not enjoy such comfort before switching to Simms some years ago.

Anyway back to the colder temps. During these colder times we will be fishing deeper areas until the sun warms the water on the flats. The areas we will target are usually the drains that feed the backwaters of Matagorda Island. They are not exceptionally deep but they provide enough warmth to harbor the redfish and trout we are searching for. Mullet and other forage species, the same as gamefish, congregate in these deeper areas and provide a ready food source for the predators as soon as they feel like eating. It's not uncommon to snag mullet while fishing these deeper areas during drops in the temperatures, which just lets you know you are in the right spot.

Another tip for this cold water fishing is to spool your reel with braid if you do not already use it. When using braid you will feel everything your lure is doing down near the bottom and you will feel any little tap that a cold water trout or redfish will make while sucking your Bass Assassin or Corky in. I stick with 30-pound braid because that's what I'm used to, a lot of fishermen go with 20-pound and that works too, it is all about your personal preference.

The next tool we need to discuss is what lure you will be throwing. Anyone that has fished with me or talked to me knows my favorite lure is the Bass Assassin 4" Sea Shad in whatever color. I rig these on 1/16 ounce Bass Assassin screw-lock jig heads.

Now I probably have people shaking their heads saying, "He is recommending fishing deeper cuts with 1/16 ounce heads?" Yes because when I say deeper water I am talking water anywhere from four to ten feet deep and the drains, creeks if you will, are only from six to twenty feet wide. So we are not talking about fishing the Victoria Barge Canal or the edges of the Intracoastal Waterway. That's something completely different. As far as colors I try to stick to the more natural hues as the water is generally clearer during the colder months. I use a lot of Opening Night, Green Moon and Copperhead.

Fishing these drains also is a good time for the Corky aficionados to do their thing, usually the Assassin gets the job done but there are times during extreme temperature drops that a slow-sinking Corky will get the better of a cold finicky trout or redfish. Again, you really need to be throwing braid to feel the bites during these extreme temp drops.

Another tool I want to mention is my Waterloo HP Lite. That's right I like a very light action rod, I will sometimes switch to my Waterloo UltraMag when I know I will be dealing with a lot of redfish. I can wear them down a lot quicker with the stiffer rod and the last thing you want to be doing is the redfish dance in tight quarters. You know the one; when you are trying to keep the redfish on your line from going between your legs and snagging your waders with the hooks on your lure.

By the time you are reading this I should be motoring around in my brand new Shallow Sport X3. Thanks to Cole and Chad Starr at Coastline Marine and Coastline Custom Aluminum located in Seabrook; I'm going to have the trickest boat on the coast. It is sitting in the Houston Boat Show right now at Coastline Marine's booth. I have seen pictures but have not been able to put a hand on it yet. It seems everyone I know has rubbed on my new X3 boat before I get to, which is okay as I will have a lot of time to get touchy-feely with it before too long.

Fish hard, fish smart!