The View: May 2018

The View: May 2018

We will be shedding the waders, chunking topwaters and hopefully working the surf and jetty this May in Matagorda. Tides tend to run higher than normal this time of year and that gives us more water to fish. This excites me.

When prime aquatic real estate like reefs become submerged with fresh saltwater tides, species like speckled trout and redfish gravitate to the structure and potential is limitless. Find a piece of shell, basically any reef structure in Matagorda, and chances are there are fish lingering nearby.

Bloated tides coupled with southeast winds raise water levels nearly a foot and waders who enjoy good catches concentrate tight to the shorelines or relocate to shorelines in the back lakes this month. That means you can go out and find fishable water, even with late-spring winds trending toward 20-mph.

Large areas of shell like Oyster Lake, Crab Lake, Shell Island, Twin Islands and smaller reefs along the south shoreline of West Bay are great spots in the wind. In East Bay, the Chinquapin Reefs, Boggy Reef and reefs in Lake Austin hold May fish. Never forget the ICW, where a well-run trolling motor allows lure chunkers consistent shots at fish holding along drop-offs in 2- to 8-feet of water.

The mid-bay reefs in East Matagorda Bay really start to hold fish in May. If the middle of the bay is green with an incoming tide, you better get wet. I can't tell you how many large trout have come from these reefs.

If anglers are reluctant to get out of the boat, all that scattered shell in the middle of East Bay holds just as many big trout and redfish. Some days they school and other days you have to hunt for them. You would be surprised how many huge trout are caught out of the boat by Matagorda captains. You don't always see them at the cleaning table, thanks to conservation-minded attitudes, but there are some long specks that hit soft plastics, Gulps, and live shrimp under a popping cork.

Sand and grass along the south shoreline of West Bay will consistently hold solid trout and redfish this month. Glass minnows, mullet and shrimp flood the grassbeds and the fish thump topwaters better than any month of the year.

Another bright spot this month could be the surf. If the past three Mays are any indication, light north winds early in the month allow the surf to run green to the beach with the morning’s incoming tide. Trout to five pounds and more redfish than you can handle can be expected, especially around the jetty. We toss Bass Assassins, Down South Lures and MirrOlure Soft-Dines, but a live shrimp free-lined along the rocks really gets rocked.

We like to use our trolling motors along the jetty by tossing soft plastics tight to the rocks. Live-shrimp rigged about four-feet deep under a Mid-Coast popping cork normally produces many trout in the 3- to 5-pound class as well. We don't discount topwaters at the jetty, either. Small Super Spooks get eaten with a little patience.

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