The View: May 2016

The View: May 2016

The dog-walker pranced away from the stonework left, right, left, kalooosh! Foam splattered as the hostile five-pound speck headed for the safe confines of the enchanted rocks. I would never be the same again.

Texas' jetty systems are part of the lifeblood of our estuaries. Like a vein delivering blood to the heart, a jetty is a thoroughfare pumping new swells of fresh brine to the upper reaches of bays and backwaters. Its granite acts like a surgeon's stint, buffering erosion from ardent tides while keeping channels open and flowing assiduously.

It is a haven for shad, shrimp, anchovies, pogies, mullet, crabs and ballyhoo filtering in and out, and the jetty coughs up a new crop of gamefish with every summer tide.

My first fight with a big, bronze, bull redfish pushing 44 inches came at the bottleneck of the Big Jetty in Port O'Connor. I tangled with that Toro on very light tackle while drifting a live shad in 35 feet of water; however, by the time I landed it, the beast had taken me to 95 feet.

On a normal May day, big reds, jacks, sharks and even tarpon hang out around the rocks; and, the largest speckled trout of the summer are routinely caught there as well.

Natural baits are the tastiest offering, but plugs and soft plastics hold their own as well.

The past two Mays have been great at the Matagorda and Port O jetty. We catch them on Bass Assassins, Down South Lures, Super Spooks, She Pups, MirrOlures and live shrimp.

Flats adjacent to jetties are solid as well. We love to wade sand and grass near Port O on the incoming tide. Those trout we catch around the rocks follow the bait to the flats on ardent incoming tide. Find a slick and you are in the game.

The sand and grass sloughs and potholes in West Matagorda Bay cry for a topwater in May. I have made a living for 20 years now on the incoming tide or first two hours of the outgoing and never get enough of a stressed drag. We will also work deep reefs in West Bay out of the boat and many times catch fish every cast.

East Bay always gives you a chance to catch a big trout, wading or drifting. The reefs in the middle of the bay are great to wade when the weather allows. Those deeper reefs of mud and shell hold just as many solid trout out of the boat.

Tides are running green and ardent currents are ushering in new recruits of fish from the Gulf of Mexico. The Matagorda Bay system is in great shape from the past eighteen months of rain. The freshwater has revived our bays and given a jolt of life to shrimp, shad, mullet and crabs. When the bottom of the food chain thrives, the top species like specks and reds prosper as well.

Shorts and flip-flop weather is here. Loosen your drag! Follow our catches on Instagram @matagordasunriselodge.