Heavy trout start biting during winter months
The winter months are normally not in fishing pictures circulating at the chamber of commerce.
Few make plans months in advance to pick a date in winter, but those few who do know there could be one bite on a shoreline that changes their fishing life forever.
That’s not big news – we all know how many big trout are in East Bay. Pictures on social media confirm it; and, it doesn’t have to be winter to do it, but the back side of a cold front can be great for a solitary wader.
What else are you going to do in December through January if you don’t fish or duck hunt? Deer season ends the first weekend and the long January/February winter begins. It is depressing sometimes just sitting at home on a windblown, gray, dreary day.
But I’m an optimist.
There are more good days than bad; and, winter in Matagorda can be just like late fall if the weather cooperates.
Of course, the waders love winter. Hard to beat a slow-sinking Corky, Mirr-O-Dine or the new Lele. Choose your color – all the new shades are making waves.
I like to work near deep water, and our deep water is in the ditch or properly termed Intracoastal Waterway.
Reefs adjacent to deep channels give you the best chance for gator trout. When the cold blows across the region, fish ease off in the warmer, deep channel. When the sun warms a day or two later, those big fish gingerly loaf on the shell and mud flats looking for one big meal.
Everyone is not a big trout hunter. It’s exhausting at times. Some just want a good bite and stern pull on the rod.
For that guy, we like to drift over the same shell we drift all year long. The cool thing is that same guy has a pretty good chance of catching the biggest trout of his lifetime on a Bass Assassin, Down South Lure, Hogie or Norton Bull Minnow.
Mind you, they don’t bite everyday – cold water temps and high pressure cure that – however, there is always a chance of a solid winter Matagorda bite.
Tides are normally at least a foot to two feet below normal this time of year so redfish are targeted in deeper sloughs and bayous. When the water really blows out there are some spots that hold redfish at the mouths of draining lakes.
I won’t divulge names of these locales for fear of the wrath of many of my guides, but there are multiple spots that save a day with temperatures in the 30s and winds gusting at 25 knots from the north.
Since many of my fishing clients duck hunt with me as well, I like to use the weather to my advantage and hunt the bad weather days and fish the chilly, calm days after a passing front.
That doesn’t always work out, but we always try to be honest with hunters/anglers and stack the best odds in our favor.
Lest we forget we are in search of wild animals, and wild animals don’t always follow your winter plan.
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