The wind blows in all
The wind blows in all directions this time of year. If you enjoy fishing, you deal with it. You find new areas, new patterns and protected locales, or you continue to spend your days fishing on the multitude of internet forums.
Monday, forecasts called for south winds at 5-10 knots; it blew 20-25 knots from the east. Tuesday, forecasts called for east winds at 15 knots; it blew light from the northeast. Thursday, forecasts called for northwest winds at 15-20 knots; they got it right.
So how do you catch fish in the ever-changing spring blows?
"I like to find those shorelines that are the roughest," said guide Ray Sexton of Palacios. "The redfish seem to go nuts on the south shoreline when the wind is pumping from the north."
Though his theory is unorthodox, he tested it against traditional wisdom Thursday and headed for the south shoreline in a howling northwest wind. What he found was off-colored water and waves crashing against his back while wading. What he found in that off-colored water was limits of redfish and black drum working the edges of reefs.
"It is not a one-time thing," said Sexton. "It's pretty consistent in the nastiest of weather. The good thing is you don't have to worry about anyone else fishing your spot because very few people will fish in those conditions."
Back to Monday.
Two boats, mine and Capt. Tommy Alexander's, tried to fish the deep reefs in East Matagorda Bay in what turned out to be a big tub of chocolate milk. We felt like the fish were there, but on this day they had to really be there for us to catch them in these conditions.
Enter the MidCoast Products Nexus cork. We rigged our clients' rods with a Gulp under the cork then told them to pop it as hard and as often as they could. By the time I arrived at the reef, Alexander already had five trout in the boat. I quickly slid behind his drift and popped a solid four-pound trout on the first float.
The frequency and popping of the cork allowed fish to locate the bait in the mud-stained water - and the aroma of the scented Gulp shrimp didn't hurt matters, either.
"I have won a few tournaments fishing the same pattern," said Alexander. "There is something about that cork that has really turned on trout in East Bay the past five years."
Guide Michael Rolf's prowess is best served in West Matagorda Bay. There, he works the shallowest of reefs, even when the wind howls.
"Work all that shell and know when the water is moving in and moving out," said Rolf. "There are some days I sit on a spot for a long time and just wait for the fish to show up."
Rolf said he likes to fish clean water but never shies from the dirty stuff.
"Those redfish will eat it up if they can find it," he said. "They still eat whether the water is clean or dirty."
Application of these patterns work on any bay system. If we fished only when conditions were "prime," we would spend much more time on the computer than the water.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (firstname.lastname@example.org).