It's good to be back. I am honored to be chosen to fill these pages with the how, what, when and where of the Matagorda fishing scene.
I begin my 15th year in Matagorda, getting my start as a deckhand on the late Capt. Melvin Talasek's Boston Whaler.
I now own Sunrise Lodge on Matagorda Bay and fish and hunt full time, while scribing 3,000-6,000 words a week as a full-time freelance outdoor writer and photographer. I have written a couple of books about the outdoors. My latest, Sunrise Sunset - Devotionals for the Sportsman and Outdoor Enthusiasts, speaks of the spiritual side of the outdoors and how easy it is to see the hand of the Creator in the wild.
In just the first two paragraphs of my first column in this magazine I have written the word "I" more times than I have in the past five years. Rarely do I ever write in first person, but this space will be a little different as I try to bring a friendly approach to help you navigate and enjoy Matagorda.
If you have an idea, style of fishing or question you want me to address, drop me an email and I will try to oblige if the space allows.
Now about September. Until the first cool front hits the coast, the summer pattern will remain in force. The norm this summer has been to drift deep shell in East Bay when the wind allows. It has been a solid summer for healthy fish, with encouraging numbers of 5-6 pound trout caught and released.
As has been the case since June, live bait under a Mid-Coast cork has been the best bet for catching trout, redfish and some of the largest sand trout and croakers I have ever seen.
I am talking two-pound sandies and croakers to 17 inches. When fishing out of the boat, a live shrimp catches trout 10:1 in East Bay until the water cools and trout get back on plastics.
When wading, we have targeted the mid-bay reefs with Bass Assassins and small Super Spooks. Here is the funny thing: you can catch plenty of trout while wading with plastics and plugs, but out of the boat is a different story. I don't know why, but that is how it is in East Bay.
West Bay was a tough bite in August - that is nothing new. Low tides and boiling water temperatures scatter fish over sand and grass. The guys who target redfish in West Bay have been in East Bay due to the tough conditions. However, expect all that to change this month as swelling equinox tides bring cooler water to the flats and cover reefs that have been exposed most of the summer.
Spots like Shell Island, Twin Island, Oyster Lake and Crab Lake should hold redfish, black drum and a few trout. Also, watch for the first sign of bird action, especially if we get a late September cool front.
I will be splitting time between fishing, teal hunting and dove hunting this month. The first half of the month will be all fishing, then as teal season runs Sept. 15-30, I will teal hunt in the morning and fish the afternoons. Then, as the South Zone dove season opens Sept. 21, well, flip a coin.
And they call this work.