The View: November 2018

The View: November 2018

A species that for years was nearly nonexistent has made quite a few surprise appearances for Matagorda anglers this year.

I pose the same question every year about this time. Is there a better month than November for all things outdoors …duck hunting in the morning, fishing the brisk afternoons. Daytime highs and nighttime lows are perfect, sunrises and sunsets are brilliant, and rods and guns get tested.

It's one of the coolest things in the wild to see a couple dozen turquoise tails waving on the surface. Throw the bait ahead of the pile and wait for the mob to find it. It's a rodeo, three anglers with bent rods and drags crying for mercy.

Sightcasting to redfish along a muddy grassline is always fun, too. Watch for ripples, wakes and jumping shrimp near the grass and wait for the freight train to pass. Then toss a spoon, shrimp or soft plastic in front of the school and loosen your drag. Listen for crunching and drumming sounds when a large school of reds work through the grass. Small crabs do not have a chance.

Obviously, the mouths of bayous and marshes on a falling tide are fall hotspots. Places like Oyster Lake and Crab Lake are always good choices, while back lakes like Lake Austin and Boggy are also solid players. Live shrimp under a popping cork, plum Bass Assassins, Gulps or small topwaters worked across points are choice offerings.

Don’t be surprised if birds work in the back lakes, especially on a strong falling tide. Stay back a long cast from the action and gingerly work the hovering flock so not to spook the fish. I can recount past autumns where one flock of birds filled a limit of both trout and reds and, if mild weather persists, birds could continue working this way through most of December.

Birds began to work early in October this fall after nearly thirty days of continuous September rain. Our bays are full of shrimp and that spells great fall catches. We had one of our best falls in a decade last year and there is no reason we shouldn’t enjoy the same since wet weather patterns have been almost identical.

We like to toss topwaters under the birds as well as Bass Assassins and Down South Lures on heavy jig heads. Don’t be surprised to find 1 to 2-pound gulf trout in the mix as well. They are great bonus fish for ceviche or fish tacos.

Waders should work the same areas and structure, but more methodically. In East Matagorda Bay, Boiler Bayou, Kain Cove, Hog Island, Catch-All Basin and Brown Cedar Flats hold solid trout since all of these spots have a mud bottom. Super Spooks, She Pups, Skitter Walks, Corkys and your favorite soft plastic get the job done.

If you prefer staying in the boat and anchoring with live bait, the fall offers excellent redfish and black drum action. Shell Island, Twin Island and any other piece of shell holds fish and will produce readily with live shrimp under a popping cork.

There is always the bull redfish run if you prefer to tangle with a brute. Large reds are caught through fall at the jetty and beachfront on cracked crab and mullet. The beauty of the Matagorda jetty and beach is you can drive right up to the water and fish.

Afternoons are just as productive as mornings this time of year. Hunt the morning, or work half a day, then meet us on the water. Fall in Matagorda rarely disappoints.

Follow our catches and harvests on Facebook and Instagram.