Some March mornings I have fished for hours and caught only a handful of undersized redfish. I keep plugging. Then, magically, the fish appear with the incoming spring tide. Patience is definitely a virtue in March.
As is often the case this time of year, the prevailing incoming tide is the strongest in the afternoon. Hence, many captains wait until early afternoon to make a wade. There's no sense in fighting it - the fish are going to show with new water flowing on the flats. So we get a few more winks, eat a little breakfast, read the paper and get to the dock around lunch.
Tides are a key variable but winds are just as important. It is tough to find fish when only 25% of fertile fishing grounds are available due to high wind and low water. The good news is better tides arrive this month, along with sunshine and excited Spring Breakers.
Winds from the north drop tides and put us in redfish mode. Back lakes dumping water also dump lots of redfish. I have had some mornings when my charter makes six casts from the boat and catch six redfish.
For waders, we like to work the guts in West Bay for reds. When tides are low enough to expose sand bars, we find redfish stacked in thigh-deep water. By stacked I mean every cast.
This spring we hope the water gets the glass minnows going. March is a bit early for glass minnows, but with warm weather the first trickles of these bay anchovies might show toward the end of the month.
It has been a warm winter. Many days in February we took spring-like approaches with soft plastics and a few really good days with topwaters. That’s fine by me – mild winters jump-start the spring earlier than normal and gives our bays another year devoid of a fish-killing freeze.
Mid-bay reefs in East Matagorda Bay will be our target area for trout when the wind allows. You hear, "deep shell, deep shell" in just about every report you read. Well, there's a reason - the bounty of trout are hanging on deep shell. We will tempt them with Bass Assassins, Down South Lures, Gamblers, Lil’ Johns, Corkys and Texas Custom Lures.
When boat-fishing is a must, some will begin to toss live shrimp under a popping cork and make long drifts along the east and west ends of the bay.
Pier anglers along the beachfront and stationed close to the ICW find the spring black drum run. Cracked blue crabs are the prized bait, with fresh table shrimp a close second. Lots of large redfish will be roaming with oversized drum at the jetty as well.
As tides begin to swell later in the month, look for the far east end of West Bay to shine near Shell Island, Twin Island, Crab Lake and Oyster Lake.
Sunrise Lodge will be at the Houston Fishing Show at the GRB March 4-8. This show is the largest fishing show in the country and a great kickoff to spring. Everything you want or need to make a cast or spend a day on the water can be seen or had.
Come by and say hello. We will have hats and books on sale. Capt. Tommy Alexander will probably give you a bite of whatever he is eating…if you ask nicely.Follow our reports on Instagram @matagordasunriselodge and on Facebook @binkgrimes.