Matagorda Fishing Facts
Matagorda County - Where the fish are always biting.
Centered in the Texas Coastal Bend where the Colorado River meets the Gulf of Mexico, Matagorda County is just 80 miles from Houston. Texas State Highway (SH) 35 runs east and west through the county. SH 60 and 71 run north and south. Bay City is located at SH 35 and 60, Palacios is on SH 35, Matagorda is on SH 60 and Sargent is on Farm Road (FM) 457.
Red Drum (Redfish):
The 10-gallon brag along Texas' 700-plus miles of coastline is that "you can't throw a rock without hitting a redfish." Make that rock a live shrimp, however, and there may be a chance. Matagorda County boasts many classic shallow-water spots for anglers.
The majority of fishing for reds at each takes place over traditional, grassy flats or along protected shorelines where scattered oyster shell interrupts expanses of pale-sand bottom. Wading, drifting, and poling are equally effective, although locals have developed a strong preference for getting out of the boat and stalking these hard-fighting fish on foot.
Redfish action usually is better in the morning hours, before wind whips up a chop and clutters the surface with lure-snagging strands of grass.
Soft plastics and gold spoons are the effective tackle to have in the box. Any color plastic might draw fire, but a half dozen each of strawberry/white and pearl/chartreuse tails-with an appropriate stash of 1/4- and 1/8-ounce jigheads will suffice often as not.
Alongside the spoons and jigs in most boxes now rest as many floating plugs, such as the Top Dog, Super Spook, Ghost, Chug Bug, and Spittin' Image. Surface lures didn't see much redfish duty in the past; anglers had no patience for or confidence in aiming high-riding lures at bottom-feeding fish. True to their body styling, big reds lack the predatory surface accuracy of a snook or speckled trout. However, redfish will knock a topwater lure several feet into the air-which often triggers an even more violent hit when the lure splashes back down.
This topwater-lure craze led to flyfishing, and East and west Matagorda bays offer tremendous potential for the long rod. Pack a box with small poppers, Clousers, and an assortment of imitation shrimp in several colors.
Sight-casting to reds is about as good as inshore fishing gets in Texas. Kneel low, and spot the upturned tails of fish rooting through the grass for tiny crustaceans and baitfish. Stand tall on a casting platform, and pick out the torpedo shapes of reds idling on the edges of sand holes in the grass beds.
Whether visible or not, the redfish are there. So long as the location is on the water in Matagorda County, anglers cast with confidence.
(Redfish Source, Field & Stream, Doug Pike)
Speckled sea trout have become a very popular gamefish among Texas anglers. They have a fascinating silver body with hints of blue iridescence, and as their namesake suggests, they have bluish-black speckle along their upper flanks. Speckled trout have a very delicate mouth that requires a soft hookset and finesse in playing the fish.
Speckled sea trout spend their entire lives on the grass flats where they thrive on shrimp and small baitfish. Not overly affected by water temperature, speckled trout are likely to be found year round in east and west Matagorda bays. A great topwater fighter, the speckled trout presents a significant challenge to any angler looking to catch a trophy-sized trout.
In Matagorda County, it's not uncommon for eight or nine-pound seatrouts to be caught languishing along the flats, or while feeding on baitfish. The largest speckled trout caught in Matagorda County weighed in at nearly 13 pounds.
Known by names such as spotted sea trout, specks, yellow-mouths, and paper-mouths, "specks" are found year-round in Matagorda County in spades. Drift fishing, bottom fishing, fly fishing, surf fishing and wading are all effective techniques for catching speckled trout; in fact, many regard fly fishing for big speckled trout along the Texas Gulf Coast to be one of the greatest challenges in fly fishing.
Other in-shore species include catfish, mullet, black drum, red drum, sheepshead, tarpon, snook and whiting. Off-shore species include amberjack, cobia, jewfish, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish, shark, red snapper.
TYPES OF FISHING:
The waters of Matagorda Bay offer prime fishing for the angling enthusiast. Drift and wade fishers will find plenty of redfish and speckled trout. Deep sea anglers in the Gulf of Mexico can catch grouper, red snapper, amberjack, wahoo and more.
Types of fishing to be experienced at all of the locations in Matagorda County include:
- Drift fishing in east or west Matagorda Bays for speckled trout and redfish, one of the gamest inshore saltwater species
- Wade fishing amid the surf of the Gulf, or in the shallows of East or West Matagorda Bays
- Bay fishing along spots of interest such as Oyster Lake, Three Beacon Reef, Kain Cove and Palacios Point
- Fly fishing along the banks of the Colorado River, near the reefs or the flats in East and west Matagorda bays
- Pier fishing off of the Matagorda jetty, a perfect place for families and kids
- Flats fishing with an experienced guide to show you the hottest spots and lures to "limit out" during the fishing day
- Deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico to reel in high-quality trophy fish like sailfish, cobia or blue marlin
East Matagorda Bay
West Matagorda Bay
Gulf of Mexico
Tres Palacios Bay
Tres Palacios River
Gulf of Mexico
San Bernard River
East Matagorda Bay
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