Fish starting to respond as water temps reach 70s
Water temperatures finally reached the 70s this week and the spring took on somewhat of a summer pattern.
When I say summer pattern I mean wading sand and grass on the south shoreline of West Matagorda, Espiritu Santo and San Antonio bays.
Trout are slicking on the shorelines in the morning. It is a sweet aroma - much like fresh cut grass or a watermelon - but the smell and the sheen tells you there are fish there and they want to eat. Most fish don’t begin slicking until there is an abundance of baitfish like shad and mullet on the shorelines. Hence, most slicks occur from April to October since those are the warm water months.
Our fishery along the middle coast came alive this week, with waders taking advantage of trout finding the shorelines.
Guide Ray Sexton said Palacios shorelines and guts were holding trout over sand and grass on soft plastics. He said Hunchbacks and magic grass colored plastics have been his go-to baits.
Reefs in San Antonio Bay have been good on Bass Assassin 5-inch Shad on a 1/16 ounce jig and the topwater bite has been good on MirrOlure She Dog in pink, bone and chartreuse.
The same pattern is holding in along the south shoreline of West Matagorda Bay. Reefs and sand and grass pockets are holding trout on the incoming tide on Rapala SkitterWalks and She Pups
When bait camps are full with live shrimp there is normally a pretty solid bite. When shrimpers are catching lots of bait, there is a lot of bait to be caught, thereby lots of fish trailing the concentrations.
In Rockport, guide Rhett Price said Corkies continue to coax good trout on the shorelines around Mud Island and Traylor Island. The incoming tide has been good for Super Flats around Port Aransas as well.
People love to catch redfish, but staying on a good pattern has been tough lately. The spring tides have scattered reds over flats and pushed them way back in the sloughs and bayous that are tough to navigate.
But the higher tides also encourage reds to work the grass lines where shrimp love to hide. An educated cast just a few feet from the shore gets you in the game.
In Matagorda, most boaters are hitting points and structure along the south shoreline with live shrimp. They stop for five minutes and move if they don’t get a bite. Some days you stop on a point and never have to move. Other days you catch one fish per reefs then have to bounce around and move to fill your limit.
Bull reds are all over the beaches and jetties. Guys on foot are tossing big chunks of crab and mullet in the first gut at high tide, while jetty anglers have worked the ocean side on the incoming and channel side on the outgoing tide.
Redfish save the day for many captains this time of year when the wind blows over 15 knots. The high tides allow you to reach the back lakes and hide from the wind and find lots of bite from burly drag-burning reds.
Everybody likes that.
Follow Grimes’ reports on Instagram @matagordasunriselodge.