Monday, March 20, 2006

"Port O'Connor Fishing Report March, 2006"

This is the first chance I’ve had to check in with everyone regarding fishing. We’ve been extremely busy here in March and a diversity of techniques and approaches have kept things interesting. We’ve been blessed with excellent fishing in and around bumps in the weather. Airboat Redfishing has been blistering hot in the back country. Slot Black Drum haven’t gotten thick back there yet and a lot of people are looking for them to show up. We’ve been catching a few everyday but nothing like what could be coming.

On days when I’m not on the airboat, I’ve been working bait on mid-bay reefs and spoil with popping cork shrimp. This has been fun with solid numbers of Trout coming with the occasional Redfish from area shell reefs, spoil banks, and bays.

The fishing report looks like this:

3/10 I welcomed Doug D. and his boys. First stop was a little slow so we made an adjustment and it was on. The boys ended up with Redfish limits firing fresh dead shrimp into knee deep mud/grass pockets.

3/11 I welcomed Dee W. along with her husband and mom from Georgia. The Georgia boys told her that they had never heard of anyone fishing on an airboat before. They’ll surely hear about it when she gets home. They ended up with Redfish limits including one oversize fish and a Black Drum.

3/12 Spent the day breaking in Capt. James Cunningham’s new Suzuki 175 4 Stroke in. I killed two birds with one stone scouting the fishing between here and Mesquite ahead of a couple of days of wade fishing artificial lures.

3/13 I welcomed Rick B. his son Travis and guest Bob for two days of wade fishing artificial lures. Trying to stay out of the mud, we made a bee-line to some fish holding on hard sand. I knew the clock was ticking with a cold front heading at us before noon. Best action was on Chrome/Black back She Dogs under overcast conditions. We managed 10 Trout and 5 Redfish before the stuff hit the fan mid-morning. I can say that there isn’t anything like getting caught down South in a North at 40 with a bunch of water in the bays. I put the big boat on the bank wide open and quartered three footers inside the break water. We never got any really good air though. We stayed in the back country the rest of the day and caught and missed a few fish but nothing worth talking about.

3/14 ENE and howling, booh. Back on the boat with Rick B. and guests we landed right in the middle of a 300 yard swath of Redfish in Shoalwater Bay. We played with them for a while and finally found a little key to catching them dredging 1/8 oz. gold spoons hard on the bottom. We left them in search of Trout in the back country and this was a huge mistake but Redfish weren’t really the focus for the client. Rick managed a solid 20” Trout on a Purple/chart Assassin beneath a Cajun Thunder near Corey’s Cove, we caught another keeper Trout and that was about it. Redfish limits would have looked a lot better.

I called Capt. James Cunningham in on the Redfish in Shoalwater and he managed full limits including two oversize fish firing fresh dead at them.

3/15 East at 25 early then 20 constant, overcast, and chilly. I welcomed Rick T. his wife Dora and their sons Brad and Wes. We loaded up the airboat and headed for Welder’s Flats. First stop yielded 5 solid Redfish in the slot and it went down hill from there. I had yet to fish the area this Spring and I won’t be back soon. Most of the skinny water is devoid of vegetation and fish. We ended the day with 7 Redfish and 2 Black Drum.

3/16 What a gorgeous day on the water and a welcome break from the previous three days associated with the last cold front. I knew it was going to be awesome when I poked my head out the door at about 7:00am to noticeably warmer temps and humidity. I met David M. and his girlfriend Kelly for a day in the back waters on the airboat. As we made a circle behind Post Lake, we were astonished as we watched a 10+ Alligator slide into the water. I have seldom seen Alligators in the salty environs of the Matagorda marsh. I spun around and landed right beside the monster in gin clear water and watched him slither into the murkier parts of my path. We moved about 100 yards from the area and I immediately picked up fish boiling hard off a grassy point. I picked the intercept point and it was on big time. We also picked up three Drum pushing 20” each along with limits of Redfish. This was Kelly’s first time fishing saltwater and she’s hooked. Bait of choice was fresh dead shrimp.

3/17 East at 15 and steady with fog early, bummer. I welcomed Bill and Kaye S. aboard the bayboat for a little San Antonio Bay PCS (popping cork shrimp). We fished Cajun Thunders and immediately got into Trout on every cast. I dropped drift markers along the way marking the start and then larger fish. Coming back over the larger fish marker the third time I tried to put the anchor out and work them over. That essentially shut the whole area down and we headed for about a two-hour lull before finding them again on area spoil. It was really Moon phase and not the anchor but “have you ever had that feeling”. We headed for the ramp at about 1:30 with near Trout limits to 20”, 1 Redfish, and one MONGO goat.

3/18 Southeast at 15 steady and warmer, another reprieve. I welcomed Bryan L. and wife Kristy and guest Mark aboard the airboat for another back country airboat trip. Bryan is crawling up on 40 and he’d always wanted to fish the back country on an airboat. Nice present Kristy! We lost about 6” of water in the marsh and despite seeing numerous fish on our first stop, I knew they weren’t going to feed that shallow and they didn’t. Second stop the it was on with fish pushing the upper reaches of the slot along with a couple of nice Drum on fresh dead shrimp.

3/19 Raging SSE at 20 plus and sunny for a little while; run off the water mid-day with what looked like a storm coming from the South. I welcomed Paul B. and guest Ray on the airboat. We intended to fly fish but left that agenda for another day. Instead the boys opted to catch some fish and get a look at the back country for a return trip. We managed full limits before racing to beat the rain that never came.

All in all it’s been an awesome month for fishing. As the weather continues to settle out, I look for improved fishing in San Antonio Bay.


Capt. Kris Kelley

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