I’m going to be honest and get right to the point – February is not my favorite month. It’s not the best fishing month, either. It can be, but fishing success is at the mercy of the bitter weather. The best part is one cast can put you on the largest trout of your life in Matagorda.
February finally gives me a bit of a break from the past 11 months of daylight to dark. It’s a chance to catch a breather from duck season and to do business taxes. Sounds like a blast, right?
Blusters blowing 20-25 knots are not what I call conducive fishing conditions, however, 10-15 knots, which is the average wind speed this time of year, gives anglers at least a fighting chance. Tides fall so low you can't get back to the back lakes. But, you don't have to, because those fish in the back lakes are pouring out with the water. We make a living in the winter waiting for redfish in the mouths of those lakes and bayous.
Calmer days allow anglers a chance at the reefs in the middle of East Matagorda Bay. Bass Assassins are my best baits for speckled trout and redfish, and when we wade we also toss Corkys, Soft Dines, Down South Lures and five-inch Bass Assassin Sea Shad for bigger specks.
Mid-bay reefs in East Matagorda Bay are not always “trout green,” but that is not a reason to write off drifting deep shell and mud. When water clarity is stained, it helps to go with something with added scent under a popping cork.
Rig a Gulp on a jig head and pop it hard or bathe your soft plastics in garlic. The fish find them in the off-colored water by the sound and scent. Sometimes Gulps are better than live shrimp because the trout can see it better in the stained water.
The last half of 2018 we used DOA Shrimp under corks and found excellent results while drifting. The slow fall of the shrimp really sparks a bite. DOA owner Mark Nichols embarrassed me 20 years ago in Florida when he continually caught fish after fish on his patented shrimp. He told me time and time again the shrimp would work in Texas; and, it has, just took me 19 years to figure it out.
Don’t be surprised if temperatures reach the 70s this month. When winds switch to a southeasterly flow, water rises about a foot, covering recently exposed reefs, and the redfish and trout show on that shell.
It's all weather-dependent this time of year. Some of our best catches of the year come in February in East Bay. You just have to pick your days and be ready to go when the weather stabilizes. Stay patient.
Again, February is not my favorite month, but it beats sitting in an easy chair and mixing it up with your accountant.
We will be at the Houston Fishing Show March 6-10 in the George R Brown Convention Center. Come by and see us in the Sunrise Lodge on Matagorda Bay booth and talk with our guides.Follow our catches daily on Facebook and Instagram.