It’s finally July and with that, southwest winds at low tide, but also windless sunrises, blisters, ready for surfing and lots of big trout thrown in.
East Matagorda Bay has been good at drifting. It’s a much harder bite with soft plastics, but those who toss live shrimp under a mid-rib cork catch a lot of fish. The waders worked on the mud flats at the east end and found fish on She Dogs. Reefs in the middle of the bay like Long Reef, Three Beacon, Half Moon and Barefoot have produced for live bait waders, She Dogs and Bass Assassins.
The western bay of Matagorda has been good for waders working the sand and grass on the southern shores around the Cavallo Pass. Half Moon Reef was warm with light winds over live shrimp under a cork stopper.
Closer to Palacios, the boaters anchored on the barge and the sunk shrimp boat marked easy limits on the live shrimp rigged about 4 feet under a cork. The reefs off Palacios Point and Hotel Point are also good for trout.
Near Freeport, the reefs off the ICW have retained trout on live shrimp at anchor. Those who walk on nearby rocks and throw surface water early and late in the day have caught fish squeezed against the granite.
In Port O’Connor, guide Lynn Smith said the deep reefs in the middle of the bay are good for live bait when fishing from the boat. Waders around Cavallo Pass have caught the first limits of surface water and swim bait like Bass Assassin Sea Shad while wading through sand and grass.
In Rockport, the sand and grass pattern in Aransas Bay has been good for live bait off the boat. The waders worked Mud Island with small surface water and soft plastics.
Bayous spikes and spills around Oyster Lake, Crab Lake and Mad Island Reef held up good reds around Matagorda. Boggy Lake just off the ICW near East Matagorda Bay was good as was Lake Austin nearby and the muddy shores of Brown Cedar Flats.
Bastrop Bayou and Chocolate Bayou reefs are good for reds on live shrimp and red mullet. The San Luis Pass is home to bull redfish on crabs and shrimp, and the piers at Freeport and Surfside hold reds on pogies and table shrimp.
The best action for the reds at Port O’Connor was in the back lakes. The tides will start to drop in July, so work the mouths of these lakes when the reds come out on a ebb tide.
The pier is home to both redfish and bull redfish. Work on the channel side of the outgoing tide and the beach side of the rising tide. Look for surface action later in the morning as the sun rises.
In Matagorda, guide Michael Kubecka said the jacks are all around the structure or just lagging behind. Gulf shrimp season opens on July 15th and many kings will be behind the shrimp boats during slaughter.
Red snapper is everywhere from Freeport to Port O’Connor. Drop a squid in 60 to 140 feet of water and you’ll likely get bitten. The light winds over the weekend allowed the big boats to make good catches in the order of 15 pounds.
The best cobia bites have come from wrecks and weed lines. Lots of sea bream and chicken dolphin on the weed lines.
Take advantage of your July 4th vacation and continue to practice the good conservation of our bays, beaches and estuaries.
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