Grass beds on the inside of Matagorda Peninsula offer anglers a wade fishing paradise that continues to grow in size and productivity year after year.
Story and photography by Nate Skinner
“Alright, let’s go get ‘em — tie on your favorite topwater and go to work,” said an enthusiastic Captain Tommy Countz, bailing out of his boat into the brine of West Matagorda Bay. I was still standing in the boat, sluggishly gathering my gear with a little less optimism than the jovial veteran Matagorda fishing guide. Less than 48 hours before, the eye of Tropical Storm Bill had passed over this area bringing above average tides, winds up to 50 miles per hour, and several inches of rain.
Surprisingly the water didn’t look to be in all that bad of shape, which Countz contributed to the vast seagrass beds that covered the bay bottom along the shoreline we were wading. With Matagorda Peninsula at our backs, the flat was protected from the moderate southeastern breeze that rippled the water and added some distance to our casts directed downwind.
Joining Countz and his three clients, I began my slow and thorough trod waste deep in the salt, working a pink and silver plug over the tops of the small wavelets. The grass beneath my feet provided a comfortable cushion, almost like walking on a thick, spongy carpet as I shuffled along. Nearing the edge of the grass bed, the water depth dropped off slightly, maybe six inches deeper, and it was evident this was where the fish were holding.
Countz and the other three had already stopped dead in their tracks, forming a line on the edge of the grass and casting to the deeper water out in front, as rafts of mullet, glass minnows, and menhaden darted at the water’s surface, fleeing for their lives. I took my position on the far left end of the plug chunking line.
There we stood, flat footed for nearly an hour, as trout and reds blew up on our floating offerings. It was as if they couldn’t stand the rattling racket above their heads — a lot of paint was scraped from plastic during that first wade. Turning to walk towards the boat when the bite slowed, Countz turned to us and said, “The best part is, we can do this all day. This shoreline is covered with grass beds that are holding fish.”