The View: April 2013

The View: April 2013
Green symbolizes new life, rebirth, rejuvenation of the soul all that is spring. Is it me, or are the trees blooming with more vitality than ever before?

Our estuaries are beginning to blossom as well. Water temperatures are rising and bait is becoming active
the winter doldrums are gone. MirrOlures, Corkys and Bass Assassins have been our best baits. With warmer temperatures comes the propensity for specks to eat surface-running topwaters, a favorite of mine. As finger mullet show on shorelines en masse, look for the topwater bite to get even better.

Longer days and continuously swelling incoming tides prompt glass minnows (bay anchovies) to move on grassy shorelines anytime. Look for gaggles of diving brown pelicans to point the way. Afternoon incoming tides over sand and grass is usually the best time. It's a great time to get a good night's sleep, eat a good breakfast, and then hit the dock about noon and fish till dark.

Bass Assassins in glow, pearl or opening night are what we throw that best resembles a glass minnow. When it really gets rockin' the redfish will lose all control. Don't be surprised to see trout or redfish blow up bait right beside you. Balls of baitfish bunch tight and hungry fish get a running start and blow through the mass like a Friday night high school football team running through an end zone sign.

Standing completely still, I have had redfish swim between my legs and bump my shins. Likewise, I have had trout eat my topwaters 15 feet from me. It gets really crazy.

As tides bloat, back lakes will come to life with redfish and trout as well. Drifters working shell
with live shrimp should find lots of redfish; and, large, solitary trout normally are found in the same vicinity.

Crab Lake, Oyster Lake and Lake Austin are prime spots during April in Matagorda. These locales are often windbreaks from spring blusters in excess of 20 knots.

Long drifts are often the ticket for covering large amounts of water; and, a live shrimp under a popping cork temps both trout and redfish. Seldom does a shell reef in west Bay, even a small hump, fail to yield a fish on an April tide.

Shell Island's maze of reefs hold specks, reds and highly edible black drum. It's tough to fish jigs on the shell without losing a dozen or more, so tie them under your favorite cork to keep the bait suspended.

The warming trend should wake up the jetties for trout and redfish. Large black drum and sheepshead have been roaming the rocks for the past month, throw in a thermometer inching closer to 70 degrees and trout, Spanish mackerel and jack crevalle become players.

We will let the weather dictate our plan of attack. When winds are tolerable and East Bay is green, you can bet we will be drifting deep shell or wading Drull's, Long, Barefoot and the Chinquapin Reefs. If southerly breezes stiffen, the south shoreline of West Bay holds clean water over all that shoal grass.

Few things rival an afternoon wade with a consistently bent rod while dodging late migrating teal in cobalt plumage.