The View: August 2019

The View: August 2019

A slight switch in wind direction means everything to coastal Texans. Southeast wind normally brings a low barometer; and, falling barometric pressure is generally more conducive for fish to bite. North winds flatten the summer surf, giving us miles and miles of guts and bars to work along the beach. The good news with an easterly flow is tides rise and push water to back lakes and estuaries devoid of tides for most of the summer. To put it plainly, the bays get a shot in the arm when southeast winds blow.

Then there is August. Many days we pray for wind. Sure, it's hot, but if you leave the dock a little earlier and head back to the dock before it blisters, August can be just as profitable as June.

August normally brings with it weak cool fronts that knock down the humidity, flatten the Gulf of Mexico, and usher in the first batch of blue-winged teal. We will work the surf and jetty on these days, concentrating in the first gut on the incoming tide and tossing topwaters on the outer bars on the falling tide.

When winds are light we also drift the middle of East Bay. Trout and redfish hang there all year, and slicks become more prevalent during August, especially for schooling redfish.

East Matagorda’s mid-bay reefs consistently hold good trout in August. We start out in waist-deep water on the shell drop and then end up in chest-deep water on the end of the reef as the water warms. Know your tides. There have been many mornings I have arrived to find nothing, but patience prevails knowing the incoming tide will bring fish to the reef. Slicks popping in deeper water adjacent to the reef are good signs.

Don't be surprised to find birds working along the north shoreline with calm conditions. Since the ICW runs along the northern boundary of East Bay, those shrimp running the "ditch" often enter the bay on the incoming tide.

Likewise, the reefs along the north shoreline are a boon to waders tossing topwaters on the incoming tide. Never underestimate the cuts leading to the bay on the incoming tide as well. Those fish enter and exit the ditch daily through the cuts. There are some good trout on the shorelines for waders as well. Again, it's an early bite with the heat. We find those trout over the grass early, then they fall along the ledge in about 4-5 feet of water later in the day.

Offshore anglers have enjoyed excellent red snapper action in 40-80 feet of water. Lots of 15-20 pound snapper have been caught over wrecks and reefs.

Tripletail action in the bay has been hit-or-miss. Better catches have come on the weedlines just off the beach; and, more tripletail have been spotted in East Matagorda Bay in the past two years.

Expect kingfish, cobia and dorado to remain consistent over structure. If the past two years are a barometer, expect tarpon to show along the beach in August. Legitimate 200-plus pounders were caught and released last summer.

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