Both of these areas are shallow water bays. About the deepest water you'll
find on them is around 6 feet. But overall, it'll be more like 2 to 4 feet
The main difference between these bays is that East has tons of shell.
West doesn't have that much.
About the best access to either bay is via Matagorda Harbor that's situated
on the Intracoastal Waterway. The Matagorda Harbor facility is about two
years old. I've fished my way up and down the Texas coast and can say from
experience that you won't find a better place to put a boat in, buy tackle
or even clean you're fish.
At Matagorda Harbor there are multiple boat ramps, plenty of wet boat
storage, along with a great shop that sales live bait and tackle for both
inshore and offshore angling.
Once you put in at the harbor you can head east and take the first deep
channel boat cut on your right and that'll lead you into East Bay. Or you
can make your approach into East Bay from Caney Creek Marina or Linda's
Marina, located on Caney Creek below the town of Sargent, near the far east
end of the bay.
If you head to West Bay from the harbor you'll have to clear a pontoon
bridge and the Colorado River locks. It's not a hassle, and something pretty
different if you take Culver Cut or the channel at Mad Island Reef to access
Another option is to put in at the harbor and take the flood and discharge
channel to the Matagorda Jetties. It'll be about a 20 minute run. Or you
can bypass the harbor and take your vehicle across the swing bridge to Farm
Road 2031. Along that road are bait camps and ramps at River Bend Marina,
Allen's Landing and Rawling's.
If you don't have a boat, fishing is very limited in this area. If you've
got four wheel drive a very good option is to take 2031 to the beach, turn
left and work the surf. When it's green to the beach fishing for both trout
and reds is fantastic. During the fall the reds will be thick in the surf.
Capt. Mike Mosley based out of Sargent on the east side of the bay is
partial to the surf when it's green to the beach.
"When the surf goes green I'll run out past the jetties and head
either west or east in my boat,'' says Mosley. "When you get a green
tide that's loaded with bait you're going to catch some big trout."
Another option of Mosley's is to fish West Bay. He says that your best
option on this bay will be to fish the south shoreline.
"The main difference between East and West bays is that West will
offer a firm bottom for wading, which is the best way to catch fish on West
Bay,'' says Mosley. "Some of my favorite water is on the lower bay
from about Green's Bayou to Airport Flats. There are scattered shell reefs
along that stretch. When you've got green water along the south shoreline
of West Bay your best bet might be to cruise the flats until you locate
lots of mullet. That's a sure sign of trout."
Paradoski, one the most experienced guides on the middle and upper Texas
coast, prefers to do his fishing on East Bay, year round.
But when it comes to fishing for big trout all the guides and experienced
anglers will be fishing on East Bay. All those shell reefs attract lots
of trout. And the great thing about East Bay is that you can wade or drift
it. Or you might even chase the birds.
"You never know what's going to work best on East Bay," says
Paradoski. "If the fish are feeding on mullet shallow you'll do best
by wading. But a lot of the time you'll have some wind and the best option
is to drift the reefs. That's an especially good tactic between fronts."
"One thing you don't want to pass up are the birds. They can lead
you to big schools of trout."
When drifting or working the birds Paradoski says he'll be fishing Bass
Assassins, Gamblers, Hogies or Kelly Wigglers. A 1/4 ounce head is best
on a drift. He'll go with a 1/8th ounce head when wading. Top colors are
shad or pumpkin seed with a green tip. He'll also tie on a Mirrolure when
The one draw back of wading East Bay is that it's got a lot of soft bottom
mixed with shell. That can make for some tough wading. But big trout and
soft bottom go together like gin and tonic.
Forget about using live bait for East Bay trout. You'll have more fun
and probably catch heavier trout using artificials.
During fall and early winter trout will be feeding voraciously on mullet.
And they won't be at all too shy about hitting topwater plugs. Paradoski
says his favorites are a Ghost and Super Spook. His favorite color is shad.
But a red/orange combination is good, too. Bone will also work.
"I'll fish those topwater plugs with lots of action,'' says Paradoski.
"The faster the better. And when a trout blows up on one and misses
I'll stop the lure and twitch it. If I'm missing too many fish I'll tie
on a Corky."
If you have never been to Matagorda you're going to find that this place
is all about fishing. In fact it's just a small fishing village with a couple
of grocery stores, a hotel, cafe and scattered bait camps.
If you plan on staying in the area, especially during the fall trout
run, you'll need to make a reservation for a room right now. The only hotel
near the harbor is Fisherman's Hotel at (409) 863-7434. This is a clean
hotel right across the street from the harbor boat ramps.
For daily fishing reports, live bait and tackle and weather conditions
Harbor Bait & Tackle - (409) 863-7620
C & R Seafood &Bait - (409) 863-7200
Rawling's Bait Camp - (409)863-7669
Linda's Bait & Marina - (409) 245-0506 (Linda's also has RV hookups
Caney Creek Marina - (409) 245-3691
Capt. Floyd Ciruti - (979) 533-0893
Capt. Charlie Paradoski - (281) 343-0221
Capt. Mike Mosley - (409) 244-0926
Capt. Don Wood - (409) 863-7334
Capt. Bill Pustjovsky - (409) 863-7353
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