Matagorda surf Redfish last weekend

Share your fishing adventures, especially ones using antique tackle!
Post Reply
Shellbelly
Advanced Board Poster
Posts: 246
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 2:21 pm

Matagorda surf Redfish last weekend

Post by Shellbelly »

This is a personal best. 42" and 27 lbs. (They CAN get much bigger!) 4 of us worked 14 rods for 3 days. Fishing was slow and we only landed one slot fish. Each of us landed bull reds at night though. This one was caught on cut whiting using an Eagle Claw Granger 8'6" trolling rod and a 60's Penn 209 with 25# Big Game. That tired look is indicative of being on the edge of the line limits, drag limits, and not knowing the rod limits....not to mention the fish constantly spooking at the approach to the sand bar. These bulls are very powerful and are usually barely hooked in the corner of their mouth. Any slack from the angler can result in a spit hook. Even though I was able to land this fish, he ruled me until he played out and allowed me to winch him in.

Note this fish is more silver and sky-blue than the typical bronze. This happens when they are in the gulf for a while. This fish will change color after it moves into the bay. I don't know the exact science behind this, I just know that's the way it is.

He went back to make more reds along with all the others we landed. Regardless of your preferences, every Angler should have this experience at least once..at night under a beautiful billion-star sky. Just my opinion.



User avatar
Ron Mc
Star Board Poster
Posts: 3377
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:49 am
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Contact:

Re: Matagorda surf Redfish last weekend

Post by Ron Mc »

Thanks for the great report and photo.

We fished Cedar Bayou all through the 80s and 90s, Jean Lafitte's pass between Matagorda and San Jose Islands (where he used to scrape off the Mexican Navy).
We would always camp on the bayou, and catch cut bait in the bayou during the day.

5'2" Sherri (a bud's wife), who also manages booking at Deep Sea Headquarters in Port A, caught a 52" bull red in the surf there.
Despite that reference, surf fishing at night is manly sport, and totally disorienting.
The wind, waves, current, sand dissolving your footing - the moon and even the stars are moving.
Your only fixed reference is a Coleman lantern on a board on the beach.

The strike of a bull read sends a painful shock wave all the way down and back up your spine.
I've spooled many reels, and had properly pinched 60-lb swivels come back straightened out like a dental pick.

Buddy Dennis tells a great story of night-time blackwater - bait you can walk on, specs, sharks.
He got tired of the sharks attacking his stringer.
So the next spec, he threw the stringer over his back.
After 20 minutes or so, the fish made its last kick, and the hair stood up on the back of his neck.
Shellbelly
Advanced Board Poster
Posts: 246
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 2:21 pm

Re: Matagorda surf Redfish last weekend

Post by Shellbelly »

I've seen the "bait you can walk on"!! If you just wear wading shoes, they peck at your ankles. It's a remarkable environment at night on the beach. We had most of a moon and stable tides but I think the surf and bottom structure were still reforming after the storm. It takes a few weeks for the guts and bars to reboot. I'm going back for a few days between the 8th and 15th of Oct. I'm hoping to put a few in the cooler. My 92 year old neighbor lady has tasked me. She was a surf lover and fished it quite often.

It is very rattling when sharks rob your stringer....but we do walk right into their kitchen with snacks neatly stacked on a string. To think I used to tie my braided steel-plastic coated stringer to a belt loop of my cut off jeans. Never considered the possibility of a bull shark dragging me to Mexico. Fish or sit and watch, right?
Paul Roberts
Super Board Poster
Posts: 678
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2020 1:35 pm

Re: Matagorda surf Redfish last weekend

Post by Paul Roberts »

Very nice! Love the descriptions. I can relate a bit from my night fishing for salmon and steelhead on the Great Lake, Lake Ontario. And from night surf fishing the New England coast for stripers. Truly awesome experiences that everyone should get to do.
ORCA 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
Post Reply