The View: April 2023

The View: April 2023

Spring just puts a smile on my face. The possibilities of a great year of fishing normally begins with a good catch in April. Tides bull up, flowers bloom, waders are often put up for the year and consistent topwater action makes us silly.

For some reason I catch some of my largest trout of the year in April. For the past decade there have been numerous legit 30s caught and released in my boat while drifting. Yes, while drifting.

I wrote a how-to wadefish book some twenty years ago but times and anglers have changed and more clients than ever would rather drift over deep shell with a little 80s country in the speakers. So, I have adapted, as all captains have, and gotten better at boat fishing.

March was a solid month for drifting with soft plastics. We have been tossing plum Bass Assassins, Down South Lures, and the Knockin Tail baits with the small rattles. Trout this time of year will fool you at times. One day they bite, one day they don't. I really watch the solunar tables for the best bites of the day and try to be where I think we have the greatest opportunity to catch when the fish want to eat.

Yes, we still wade and still love it.

I like a MirrOlure Soft Dine this time of year in the guts and over mud and shell. Although I am probably going to try and force a topwater down their throats more often than not. That's just me - It is what keeps me smiling.

When the wind blows we will look for redfish. It will blow a lot in April. Deal with it.

When the wind blows use it to your advantage. Look for windblown shorelines. Step out of your comfort zone and fish off-colored water. Often waters are too clear in West Matagorda Bay and I look for stained water to find the fish. Trout swim in dirty water. Trout still eat in dirty water. Trout still bang topwaters in dirty water.

We will target redfish on those high-tide, windblown days. There is lots of real estate in Matagorda when our tides bull up from easterly winds. Both bays provide lots of shell and deep thoroughfares for traveling redfish.

Glass minnows on the south shoreline of West Bay was once a staple of April. Diving brown pelicans pointed the way to afternoon wading sessions on the incoming tide. A mild March could point the way to another solid year of minnow production. The days of yesteryear gave us so many redfish gorging on minnows they would swim between your legs and never spook. The quickness of a trout would burn down a plug, but if it missed a redfish was right behind with a splash rivaling a junior high belly-buster at the city pool.

I am an optimist; I believe it can happen again.

Let's all continue to practice sound, conservative judgement for life and our fishery. The days of killing everything we catch should be a thing of the past. It is evident change is necessary, so look inside and please do what's best for the fishery. We cannot expect our bays and oceans to continue to give us a bounty when more anglers are better at catching more fish than ever before.

Please help protect our trout. Please help protect our redfish. Please help protect our beaches. Please help protect our country. Take pride in our coastal resources and treat it like it's you own back yard. If you had a pond in your backyard you wouldn't fillet every bass in it. Control what you can control - yourself.

Texas is a great place to live and play. What a blessing to fish her waters.

Sunrise Lodge is a full service lodge on the water offering fishing, hunting and vacation rentals. Sunrise Properties is a real estate company specializing in coastal properties and farm and ranch.