The View: April 2017

The View: April 2017

Our winter fishing was great this year. It really wasn't winter. When February and March have more days in the 80s than it does in the 50s, spring gets ahead of schedule. That's what has happened. That's why I am so optimistic for April.

The weather will dictate which bay we fish in April. Light winds and green tides are conducive for finding heavy trout over deep shell in East Bay. Southerly winds and an incoming afternoon tide coincides with fishing the shoals of glass minnows in West Bay.

As tides bloat, back lakes will come to life with redfish and trout as well. Drifters working shell with live shrimp should find lots of redfish; and, large, solitary trout normally are found in the same vicinity.

Crab Lake, Oyster Lake and Lake Austin are prime spots in Matagorda. These locales offer wind protection when spring breezes bluster stronger than 20 knots.

Long drifts are often the ticket for covering large amounts of water; and, a live shrimp under a popping cork temps both trout and redfish. Seldom does a piece of shell in West Bay not yield a fish on an April tide.

Shell Island's maze of reefs hold specks, reds and eating-size black drum. It's tough to fish jigs on the shell without losing a dozen or more, so tie on your favorite cork to keep the bait suspended.

The warming trend should wake up the jetties for trout and redfish. Large black drum and sheepshead have been roaming the rocks for the past month, throw in a thermometer inching closer to 70⁰ and trout, Spanish mackerel and jack crevalle become players.

We break out the topwaters in April. The myth that surface plugs only work in shallow water is just that, a myth. My largest speck of all time, a 31-incher, was fooled on a chartreuse-headed, black-bodied, prototype MirrOlure Top Dog in seven feet of water out of a boat at high noon. Topwater plugs only work when you throw them.

I have caught some heart-pounders on the edge of East Matagorda Bay on an incoming tide. Those big trout stage in the deep water just waiting for a swollen tide and rafts of mullet to pour over adjacent mud flats littered with shell.

Longer days and swelling incoming tides prompt glass minnows (bay anchovies) to move on grassy shorelines anytime. Look for gaggles of diving brown pelicans to point the way. Glass minnows are actually just bay anchovies - little white and silver flashes that swim in herds and like to be swarmed by hundreds of brown pelicans, trout and redfish. When the fish go off and gorge on the big balls of minnows it can get really silly. I have had redfish swim between my legs blowing minnows out of the water.

Afternoon incoming tides over sand and grass is usually the best time. It's a great time to get a good night's sleep, eat a good breakfast, then hit the dock about noon and fish till dark.

Red shad, plum, Chicken-on-a-Chain and glowBass Assassins, Down South Lures or Lil' Johns should do the trick. MirrOlure Soft-Dines, She Pups and Super Spook Jrs. are also good choices.

Follow our catches daily on Instagram @matagordasunriselodge.