When prime aquatic real estate such as shoreline reefs become inundated with clean saltwater tides from the Gulf, species like speckled trout and redfish gravitate to the structure and potential can be limitless. That’s May on Matagorda Bay.
If you like fishing shell, May is your month. Captains work large pieces of shell like Oyster Lake, Crab Lake, Shell Island, Twin Islands and smaller reefs along the south shoreline of West Bay for redfish. In East Bay, the Chinquapin Reefs, Boggy Reef and reefs in Lake Austin hold May fish.
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 I beg my clients to get wet and wade the shell. I can't tell you how many large trout have come from these reefs on She Pups, Top Dogs, Super Spooks and Skitter Walks.
If anglers are reluctant to get out of the boat, all that scattered shell in the middle of East Bay still 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, DOA Shrimp and live shrimp under a popping cork.
When water levels are normal, there are hotspots on flats and shorelines where fish appear first on the incoming or outgoing tide. That’s not necessarily the case on flood tides. Waders who enjoy good catches concentrate tight to the shorelines or relocate to shorelines in the back lakes.
Fish disperse with the big increase in water level, but when that water level begins to fall with the outgoing tide, the trout show up where they always do.
So when tides are above normal, fish the falling tide. When water levels on flats are low, wait for the incoming tide and look for the slicks. With the warm water this month there should be plenty of mullet, shad and glass minnows that produce big oily slicks when gorged by trout.
Another bright spot this month could be the surf. If the past two May's are any indication, light north winds early in the day allowed the surf to run green to the beach with the morning incoming tide. Trout to five pounds and more redfish than you can handle are normal, 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.
Sand and grass along the south shoreline of West Bay will consistently hold solid trout and redfish. Glass minnows, mullet and shrimp flood the grass beds and the fish thump topwaters better than any month of the year.
We will also be working flats close to the Port O’Connor jetty and also Pass Cavallo. It’s the beginning of summer for us and we can’t wait.Follow our catches on Instagram @matagordasunriselodge.