GALVESTON — During December, waders should look to the backs of coves along West Bay’s south shoreline for excellent trophy trout action. Best baits for this shallow water fishing are topwater plugs such as Arbogast’s Phred’s Phydeaux, Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow, and Storm ThunderStick. Also, look to the south Shoreline of East Bay for excellent redfish and speckled trout. Topwater baits and plastic shadtails worked along channels and the mouths of the numerous bayous are excellent for catching these fish. Best action usually occurs during the incoming or high tide so check your tidal charts before you go. The deep water along the North and South jetties will be holding some oversized redfish and quality speckled trout. Using live bait such as finger mullet, mud minnows, or shrimp will increase your chances, although live shrimp may be extremely hard to find during this month. FREEPORT — The jetties at SurfSide and Quintana will be hot, despite the weather, with redfish, speckled trout, and a few flounder. Live shrimp, freelined amoung the rocks is by far the best way of catching fish wintering along the jetties. The deeper water of the FreePort turning basin should be full of speckled trout looking for a place to hide from cold winter temperatures. Shrimptails and live shrimp worked slowly along the bottom will produce. This area is also fairly protected from the wind which makes it ideal for winter fishing and fishermen. MATAGORDA — By this time the Colorado River should be holding plenty of trout and redfish. Most of the fishing in the river is done by drifting with the currents and wind with live finger mullet for bait. This is much like bass fishing, so use your fish finder to help locate the schools of fish. Also look to the intracoastal for some excellent fishing during December. The deeper water is warmer and the canal is the closest deep water to the shallow Matagorda bay system. Especially if a sudden cold front drops water temperatures to quickly, look to the canal, speckled trout will seek the closest deep water to escape the cold. PORT OCONNOR — Colder water temperatures in the shallows will drive fish into the deeper water such as the harbors, passes, and the famous Army Hole. Artificial baits are your best bet during winter. Plastic shrimp and shad tails can be worked slow enough and still provide enough action to attract fish in the cold water. After a warming trend, fish will move back onto the flats and fall fishing techniques come back into play. PORT MANSFIELD — Located so far south on the Texas coast, Mansfield isn’t usually affected as much by cold weather as the upper coast. Because of this, speckled trout and redfish can be caught fairly consistantly all year round. The best bet is to work the grass with topwater plugs, if the wind is down, or move over to the slightly deeper channels and work shrimptails and shadtails along the bottom.
– Texas Saltwater Fishing Guide