WARNING: This Report is a LITTLE late!
As a teacher, Easter weekend usually means a three day weekend, so I took advantage of the extra day off and decided to try Matagorda again for the 3rd time in 14 days. For this trip I was joined by fellow TKFer Scott Story. We met at Stanley’s around 6:30 for a few bottles of water and a breakfast taco and then proceeded to our launch.
We started our paddle at around 7:00, just as the sun was starting to peek over the marsh grass, and were greeted with deathly calm conditions. Despite the forecasted 15mph North wind the water was as smooth as glass. Almost immediately we could see fish crashing bait along the deeper shoreline. Scott selected a popping cork and I went straight for my Buggs.
Despite the fact that many of the reds in the area were crashing bait on the surface they were completely uninterested in the popping cork. Most of the fish were doing what I call the “Crash & Dash”. This is where the only sign of fish you see is a crash on the shore line and then a large v-wake headed back into deeper water. This is a game that is fairly difficult to play with a bait primarily used for sight casting. But nevertheless I started flipping my Buggs at swirls and after just a few casts I was rewarded with the sound of drag being peeled off. This first fish was only slightly over 21”.
I continued making my way slowly down the canal casting at swirls hoping that a pattern might become evident. Less than 15 minutes after landing my first fish I was hooked up again. This fish was a little bit larger just barely reaching the 23” mark. By the time I got this second fish on the stringer the predicted wind began to show up and things got a little tricky.
Scott and I continued along our pre-determined float plan as we wound our way back deep into the marsh. Around seemingly every corner we stumbled across either a back or a blowout. The biggest problem was that the change in wind had apparently caused a pretty bad case of lock-jaw. At one point I presented my Buggs 5 separate times to a very uninterested crawling red. It wasn’t until I landed my curl tail right on the end of his nose that he disappeared in a boil of mud with a trail of jumping shrimp indicating his path out of the marsh.
After seeing this scene play itself out several more times I decided to try a new approach. Less than 24 hours prior to this trip I had received my package of Flats Buggs from Heath. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this product they are a smaller version (3/16 oz) of the curl tail series. They have a smaller profile in the water and can be cast at even the pickiest of fish. I presented this smaller bait to my very next target and FISH ON! This fish measured 24″.
We ended the day with a quick lunch at the Waterfront Restaurant and I was back home by three that afternoon. I must admit that so far this has been a fun spring. If you haven’t been yet you should really get out on the water and get hooked up!
I sent the fish home with Scott and after cleaning them he discovered they were all full of very small crabs about the size of a dime. It would seem that this case of lock-jaw was solved by a simple tactic . . . MATCH THE HATCH. The next time you’re out there and it seems as if the fish are completely uninterested don’t give up. Tie on something different and try them again. It was amazing to see how just a subtle change in size turned the bite right back on.
|NE @ 15||Outgoing w/Small Differential||Sunny||Steady||1-2 ft||Mud||Curl Tail Bugg Flats Bugg|