The View: December 2018

The View: December 2018
Brrrr! That looks cold; but the redfish were still hungry.

There was a time when December scared anglers off to deer camps and duck blinds for fear of cold boats rides and chilly fishing. You remember? Back when it was cold in December?

Weather patterns lately have resembled early October instead of late December. Water temperatures might dip in to the 50s early in the month, but with afternoon highs in the low 80s, water temps rise in the 60s-70s on some shallow flats. At the time of this writing in mid-November, the high for the day climbed to 88° and my morning duck hunt was actually warmer than at least half of my September teal shoots.

December is a great month in Matagorda. Birds didn’t really begin to work regularly in East Matagorda Bay until early November and with the lack of cold fronts that action could continue to near Christmas. I’ve seen it before during a mild fall, nearly 10 years ago.

The shell in Matagorda has been and is still full of fish. We normally work on solid 2-4 pound trout on Bass Assassins and Down South Lures while drifting, and there are usually redfish everywhere.

Our trout really start to eat lures a lot better in December. MirrOlures, topwaters and Bass Assassins are our go-to baits. Prepare for winter solstice tides to pull fish from the shorelines and deposit them in deeper water. Large schools of trout hang near drop-offs scattered with mud and shell.

When the tides are so low, redfish congregate in the holes and guts. We run shallow-draft boats and work the back lakes as they drain. The edges of the Intracoastal can be just as productive with a piece of mullet or crab. We like working the edges of the Intracoastal with a trolling motor and tossing along the drop. It has paid off for most of the year, especially on those windy days when the bay is blown out.

October rains have had the Colorado River flowing profusely for most of November and hopes are a dry December will allow the winter hotspot a chance to return to its normal clean and green. The river and Diversion Channel are great spots to “bass fish” the banks with topwaters and soft plastics.

Last year in early December, the day before the second opener of the South Zone duck split, we caught easy limits of trout on Bass Assassins and Down South Lures. You may remember it as the day it snowed. Schedules for our December mornings will consist of waterfowl hunting most mornings and fishing the afternoons. The first split of duck season in November was a good one, even with above normal temperatures and an overabundance of water.

I get emails every year around this time asking for ideas for outdoorsmen and women for Christmas. I always say to call your favorite guide and buy a gift certificate for a hunt or fishing charter for the coming year. It’s a great gift; and, the anticipation of the trip and the conversations that go with the planning are often just as good as the trip.

Get out with the family and do something together. Put your phone down and look people in the eyes and talk, but more importantly, listen.

Merry Christmas to everyone. Thank the Lord for blessing us with our bays and marshes that give us pleasure and provide so many memories.

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Bink Grimes
[email protected]
Sunrise Properties, LLC, Broker
Voted Top 50 Charter Captains by Saltwater Sportsman Magazine
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