Calming August makes all waters a player
August is here, and traditionally with it comes lots of calm days, perfect weather to get on all the trout roaming the surf. Topwaters like pink and bone She Dogs and red/white Top Dogs were crushed in the first gut at first light, then were hammered later in the day as the tide fell and fish staged along the edge of the second sandbar and gut.
Large shrimp and scores of pogies and mullet were right on beach and the big trout shadowed the rafts of bait. If you saw a shrimp bound to the surface a precise cast netted a surf-runner every time. There is no reason the same results won’t resume on the next calm, green tide.
Tides are low so we have been working winter, low-tide spots this week. In East Matagorda Bay the cuts and guts along the north shoreline have held good trout all week. The bay has been off-colored from southwest winds but the water in the ICW has remained green. When you get a green incoming tide from the ditch those trout ride it to the bay. We have been intercepting them with plastics like Lil’ Johns and Bass Assassin Sea Shad in red shad, chicken on a chain and glow/chartreuse colors. Those fish stage in the cooler 15-20 feet of water in the ICW and flood the flats right behind all the shad and shrimp rushing in the bay with the tide.
In Freeport, the jetty has been the best bet for a bite on live shrimp. Many of the bays around the area are two feet below normal so the mouths of bayous leading to San Luis Pass have held lots of trout on live shrimp and soft plastics. Basically, with low tides, work all your favorite winter haunts.
In Port Aransas, the surf has been flat and green to the beach. Topwaters have been good in the first gut. Live-baiters have tossed croakers and finger mullet.
With tides the lowest of the summer the redfish are in the same spots they frequent in winter.
Good catches have come from Mitchell’s Cut in Sargent while tossing pogies. Anglers are catching pogies with a cast net and fishing them whole or cutting them up on a Carolina-rigged Kahle hook.
The same is playing out at the Matagorda jetty. The incoming tide has been best and there are lots of slot-sized reds along with bull reds roaming the rocks. Large table shrimp will get it done as well but I would rather use a pogie and keep the table shrimp for the fryer or grill.
The north shoreline of East Matagorda Bay is holding reds as well. There are reefs separating the ICW and the bay and most boats are Power-poling down along the edge of the drop between the deep water of the channel and the reef and waiting for the reds to show.
Schools of reds are circling the middle of the bay because there is not enough water on the shorelines. The same areas we drift for trout are holding redfish on live shrimp or Gulps under a Mid-Coast popping cork. The problem has been off-colored water. Many anglers have pinched the shrimp to exude more scent and that has help reds find the bait in dirty water. It’s all about making long casts, long drifts and really popping the cork to get attention in stained water.
This week along with most of August traditionally calls for light winds, which makes the Gulf, beach and bays all players for consistent catches.