Cooper Discoverer. Feeling Good Again on the Texas Gulf Coast

Texans Outdoors
Sometimes we only have a few hours for an adventure
Within a few hour’s drive from Houston, the Texas Gulf Coast provides a few remote beach get a ways that‘ll get you off the grid to help scratch that adventure itch. Two hours south of Houston is the sleepy little fishing community of Matagorda. Matagorda provides over 20 miles of secluded beach that has soft sand, few visitors and no cell service. Whether you have a weekend or just a day, you don’t have to go far to get off the grid and disconnect. A great place to put the Cooper Discoverers to the test.

Feeling Good Again
Every spring, when the final northern fronts blow down to the south coast and the sun warms the waters of the upper Gulf of Mexico, something miraculous happens; the surf flattens out and the waters run green with speckled trout.

The spring surf run has to be greatest thing to happen since Christmas. After facing the doldrums of winter, I now have something to look forward to again. It feels good feeling good again.
I love fishing the surf! I love the drive down to the Gulf; to watch the sun rise above the horizon on a cool, crisp spring morning, the first step out into the cool Gulf water, preparing for an epic battle and challenging the tides with a small “Spook Jr. Clown.” I love it! The slurping sound of the strike and the splash from the attack is enough to get my blood pumping again.

The First Gut
The night time ebb and flow has pushed bait fish up into the first gut, the parallel, calf deep depression between the shore and the first sand bar. A lone trout breaks away from the school to stalk her confined prey. As I watch the bait fish blow up in the shallow pool, I know there is hungry girl in there, waiting to devour anything in her path. I make my cast, methodically “walking the dog” with the rhythm of the subtle waves. I work my lure next to the pod of concentrated bait. BAM! “FISH ON!!”

My real is screaming as she pulls the drag with my bait in tow. She jumps from the water, shaking her head to release the plug from her yellow mouth, but the hooks are set. After a few futile runs, she quietly succumbs to my hand. “DINNER!”

The Second Gut
As the sun rises above the horizon, the outgoing tide cuts a lateral channel through the first sand bar creating an ambush point for hungry trout, as the ebb current drains the bait’s sanctuary of the first gut. The bait fish have no choice but to follow the trail of the outgoing tide and meet their fate on the other side of the bar. The bait fish concentrate, for there is safety in numbers, as they make their way out to sea. The keen eye of the hungry gulls have spotted the convoy and have given me the direction for my next cast.

The hungry school of trout attack the school of bait fish, pushing the bait to the surface, making easy pickings or the gulls. I cast my plug into the commotion, only to be rewarded with false strikes and missed hook ups, as I excitedly race my lure across the feeding frenzy. Finally, I gain composure, slow down my retrieve. Twitch, twitch, pop… Twitch, twitch, pop… Twitch, twitch… Swoosh, she’s on.
With the pattern identified, I repeat my cast until the school plays out.

The Winds of Change
There is a relatively short window for top water action in the surf. As the day progresses, so does the wind’s southerly flow, increasing the size of each passing wave. By now we have discovered the pattern, plugging the clown through the trough between the waves and the second bar break. The trout are now feeding heavy, trying to fill up before Mother Nature turns the surf into a washing machine, and disperses the schools of bait. For a short moment, cast after cast, the trout are blowing up on my plug and filling my stringer. And as fast as the feeding frenzy started, it’s over. I'm now in search of the last soldier until I can no longer take the abuse of the waves crashing over my shoulders. Let’s call it a day.

Exhausted from the abusive surf, each wave increasing in size as the barometer drops and southerly wind increases, I make my way back to the shore. Sometimes with a full stringer, sometimes not, But it is a great day in the surf none the less. Had I only remembered to bring an ice chest. This brings new meaning to “a box of fish.”


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