I can’t think of a better month to be alive. November may very well be the absolute best month for hunting and fishing. I normally make casts in the afternoon because nearly every sunrise of November I wield a shotgun on some body of water in Matagorda, Wharton, Calhoun, Jackson or Colorado counties. Speckled trout, redfish, flounder, pintails, teal, gadwalls, wigeons, snow geese and specklebellies – normally daylight to dark.
With nippy air blowing from the north, water temperatures plunge, tides recede, and marshes dump shrimp, shad and crabs. We love to work birds this time of year – East Matagorda Bay is famous for it. It’s a plugger’s dream over deep shell with Super Spooks and She Pups. Drop down with a jig and Lil Johns, Down South Lures, and Bass Assassins catch fish, sometimes two at a time while tandem-rigging.
Obviously, the mouths of bayous and marshes on a falling tide are fall hotspots. Places like Oyster Lake and Crab Lake are good choices, while back lakes like Lake Austin and Boggy are also strong players. Live shrimp under a popping cork, plum Bass Assassins, Gulps, or small topwaters worked across points are choice offerings.
Waders should work the same terrains, 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, Catch 5s, and your favorite soft plastic gets 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 pieces of shell bottom hold fish with live shrimp under a popping cork.
Watch for oyster boats dredging shell and remember that spot for another day. Harvested reefs are especially good the next day when things have settled out after being overturned by the dredging.
East Matagorda Bay oysters are some of the best in Texas. Buddy Treybig’s fleet of boats keep freshly shucked bivalves on ice in his seafood shop. Few things in this world are better than a good duck hunt followed by a great afternoon of fishing and a dozen oysters at nightfall.
There is always the bull redfish run if you prefer to tangle with a brute. Large reds are caught at the jetty and beachfront on cracked crabs and mullet. The beauty of the Matagorda jetty and beach is you can drive right up to the water and fish.
Sight-casting to redfish along a muddy grass-line is always fun, too. Watch for ripples, wakes and jumping shrimp near the grass line 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 jaws when a large school of reds work through the grass. Small crabs do not have a chance.
Another bonus this time of year is the large Gulf trout found in East Bay. Many days we catch boxes of two-pounders that end up the main feature in ceviche or fried to a crisp in peanut oil.Few months rival November for baitcasters and shotgunners. We will be ready to do both. Follow our catches on Instagram and Facebook (@matagordasunriselodge).