The View: May 2015

The View: May 2015
Find a piece of shell, any piece of reef in Matagorda, and chances are there are fish lingering nearby. Bloated tides around the full moon coupled with southeast winds have raised water levels nearly a foot above normal. That's normal for early May.

When prime aquatic real estate like reefs become submerged with clean saltwater tides, species like speckled trout and redfish gravitate to the structure and potential is limitless.

Captains have worked large pieces of shell like Oyster Lake, Crab Lake, Shell Island, Twin Islands and smaller reefs along the south shoreline of West Bay for redfish. In East Bay, the Chinquapin Reefs, Boggy Reef and reefs in Lake Austin hold May fish.

Higher tides have hindered waders a bit. I can speak from experience as trout seem to be scattered on the flats with the overabundance of water. When water levels are normal, there are hotspots on flats and shorelines where fish appear first on the incoming or outgoing tide. That's not necessarily the case on flood tides. Waders who enjoy good catches concentrate tight to the shorelines or relocate to shorelines in the back lakes.

Fish disperse with all of the water, but when the water begins to fall with the outgoing tide, the trout show up where they always do. So when tides are above normal, fish the falling tide.

Another bright spot this month could be the surf. If the past two May's are any indication, light north winds early allowed the surf to green to the beach with the morning incoming tide. Trout to five pounds and more redfish than you can handle are normal, especially around the jetty. We toss Bass Assassins and MirrOlure Soft-Dines, but a live shrimp free-lined along the rocks really gets rocked.

The mid-bay reefs in East Matagorda Bay really start to hold fish in May. If the middle of the bay is green with an incoming tide I beg my clients to get wet and wade the shell. I can't tell you how many large trout have come from these reefs on She Pups, Top Dogs, Super Spooks and Skitter Walks. Likewise, red shad and Chicken on a Chain Bass Assassin Sea Shad and straight-tailed shad have duped their share of big trout over the years.

If anglers are reluctant to get out of the boat, all that scattered shell in the middle of East Bay holds just as many big trout and redfish. Some days they school and other days you have to hunt for them. You would be surprised how many huge trout are caught out of the boat by Matagorda captains. You don't always see them at the cleaning table, thanks to conservation-minded attitudes, but there are some long specks that hit soft plastics, Gulps and live shrimp under a popping cork.

Sand and grass along the south shoreline of West Bay will consistently hold solid trout and redfish. Glass minnows, mullet and shrimp flood the grass beds and the fish thump topwaters better than any month of the year.

Wading or drifting, May is a good month. We at the Sunrise Lodge are kid-friendly, family-friendly and just friendly.

Call, text or email for info.