The View: February 2017

The View: February 2017

Except for the die-hards, it is hard to get some people excited about coastal fishing in February. I don't enjoy bundling beyond motion to survive an ear-numbing boat ride, but I have had some of my most memorable winter catches on days more suited to shooting ducks than bending graphite.

The slightest sign of life - that's what I look for in February. One mullet in February is like acres of mullet in June.

Sometimes it's hard to find even one mullet, but that doesn't mean pack up your tackle and go home. Some of the lowest tides of the year occur this month, so you can eliminate lots of water. Concentrate on the areas that fall from waist to chest deep during the summer those same areas are probably shin to waist deep in February.

Find points of sloughs and bayous and work the troughs and guts. These points normally hold the deepest water as outgoing and incoming tidal flow carve depressions. I can't tell you how many times I have waded from thigh-deep to waist-deep water and immediately find the fish in the slightest elevation change.

The best way to figure out February is to keep fishing.

I like the water temperature around at least 53-degrees. It seems the trout bite a little better. Anything lower and it's 50/50.

The middle of East Matagorda Bay is where we like to drift, but you have to pick your days. A typical February sees a good bite every other day. The key is choosing the right "other" or "every other." Really, we guides have tried to figure out why, but we are still searching for answers.

If you would rather stay in the boat, the Colorado River and Diversion Channel are always players no matter how hard the wind blows, provided the water is salty green. For years locals have fished the river at night from lighted piers and caught trout that would make most blush. Those fish are still there and fishing only gets better the colder it gets.

Many will target trophy trout this month; and, with respect to Baffin Bay, I feel East Matagorda Bay gives any angler a chance at a 30-incher on any given day.

I have become fond of MirrOlure's pink Soft-Dine. It just seems trout get a running start and thump it when all others are experiencing a lethargic bite.

If you target oversized trout, treat them with respect. They are the prize of our estuaries. Do the same with redfish, especially the over-sized breeders.

Treat our bays with respect. Think of the bay as your backyard pond. You wouldn't throw trash in your pond and you wouldn't keep everything you catch in your pond just to post it on social media.

Afternoons this time of year can be just as good as the morning, maybe better for big trout.

Be patient and keep fishing. Determined anglers always seem to be the "luckiest."

Follow our catches on Instagram @matagordasunriselodge.