The View: December 2012

The View: December 2012
If December is anything like fishing we experienced in October and November, I really don't know what to expect. I was not disappointed in our fall fishing, it was just different. Mild temperatures and lack of birds working consistently kept us in a solid summer pattern.

That is not to say that fishing success was subpar - we caught plenty of fish - really, more redfish were caught in East Matagorda Bay than I can remember.

So maybe December will take on the identity of November, who knows. Things change every year.

Regardless, my first stop will be over deep shell for healthy specks, wind permitting. That's the key - wind - and how much cold air blows from the north. Too much of it and East Bay becomes pretty much a mud hole, too little of it and the bay becomes so clear you can read a newspaper on the bottom.

With deer and waterfowl season in full force, fewer boats will be on the bay. I like to make long drifts with Chicken-on-a-Chain Bass Assassins, gently working the jig over towheads and broken clumps of shell. Often the bite is subtle, especially if water temperatures dip in the 50s or low 60s, so braided line helps feel the slightest tick of a fish opening and closing its mouth on the bait.

Waders will begin to search for large trout on the east end of the bay over soft mud. Corkys and MirrOlures are the normal offerings, but if afternoon temps reach the 60s, never discount your favorite topwater. Don't be surprised if bruiser-sized redfish crash the party as well.

If the wind blows and temperatures dip, the Colorado River is always a safe haven from the wind; and, the colder the better for the deep depths of the winding river. Most anglers work the edges with topwaters, while jiggers throw along the dropoff from 5-8 feet of water. When it is really cold, we set out multiple rods and float down the middle of the river and allow soft plastics to delicately work the bottom in depths of 20 feet of water. It is not the fastest fishing, but a better alternative than sitting in a recliner or fighting stiff north winds on the bay.

Around this time of year I normally write a Christmas gifts column in various publications to help spouses buy for their angler. So here are a few ideas:

A new reel is always good, anything by Shimano is great. Let your budget dictate.

A light, sensitive piece of graphite to compliment the reel is even better; I use a Waterloo HP Lite, but the Slam Mag and Salinity models are great choices as well.

A pile of soft plastics stuffed in a stocking with fluorocarbon leader material and dozens of new jig heads is a thought, not to mention a load of Skitter Walks, Super Spooks, Top Dogs, Corkys and MirrOlures.

A pair of breathable waders, boots, wading net or even a gift certificate for a guided fishing trip would look good under the tree.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Thank the Lord for His blessings.