Reports & Forecasts: November 2021

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - – 409.935.7242
James mentions a variety of potentially productive options which work well in November in the Galveston Bay system. “We usually have working birds, and we also start catching fish in the muddy streaks in the clear water out in the middle this time of year. Of course, wading in the coves and on the reefs can be productive too, as can the grassy flats near the ICW. Right now, the fish are somewhat concentrated over here in my part of the world. With all the fresh water in Upper Galveston and Trinity bays, we've got more fish. And some quality fish too. We had several three and four pounders today. This should remain true throughout most of the fall, and the potential for catching bigger trout tends to get better as the weather cools off some more. I like to throw old school 51 and 52M MirrOlures a lot this time of year. The Catch 5s and other slow-sinking twitch baits work great too. Basically, this is a month when you can pretty much catch 'em how you want to. Fishing out of the boat is good when it's calmer; wading works better when the wind blows harder.”

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service – 409.996.3054
The action along shorelines in the back of both Trinity and East Galveston bays is often excellent in November, Jim says. “When the weather's warm and tides are high, the fish will usually be right in the marshes, or very close to the shorelines. We usually catch 'em good on topwaters and twitch baits in conditions like that. If strong fronts bring tide levels and water temperatures down, the fishing can be better in the deeper guts in the marshes, also around the mouths of the drains leading into the main bay, especially while the water is dumping out and creating strong currents. Action is often better on soft plastics in these situations, but topwaters still produce well at times too. During the calm lulls between fronts, if the tide is low, fishing is often better out in the middle, over a muddy bottom, close to the reefs. In those situations, birds are often working. Some of the trout under the birds this time of year can be pretty big. Other schools will be all dinks. Another great thing about this time of year is the start of duck season. As always, I'll be fishing during the week and hunting weekends.”

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service 979.849.7019 – 979.864.9323
November's cooler weather causes things to change significantly for Randall, when he's fishing the area around San Luis Pass. “Water temperatures tend to be a real key this time of year. If the water falls below about 65° and stays there, the trout and reds tend to move deeper and are pretty stubborn about moving back into the shallows. If this happens, I find the fishing best out of the boat, around structures like reefs in the main bays, or adjacent to the ICW, where we usually key on slicks, mud stirs and rafted mullet. Soft plastics rigged on three-eighths or even quarter-ounce jigheads produce more bites than anything else in this situation. The same temperature level also puts the flounder on the move, and fishing for them can be really good in the guts funneling them into the Gulf. If the weather's a little warmer, the fishing around reefs and on shorelines in the backwater areas can be really good, especially for slot reds and bigger than average trout. Since most of the shrimp are usually gone by now, we throw mostly slow-sinking twitch baits like Paul Brown Lures to imitate piggy perch and finger mullet in such a situation.”

Matagorda | Bay Guide Service
Charlie Paradoski – 713.725.2401
Charlie mentions a variety of cool options for anglers headed to the Matagorda area in November. “The cooler weather really sets us up for some hot fishing in a bunch of places this month. If tides are high and the cold fronts are running mild, fishing for big trout and reds in the coves in East Bay can be really good. When we're doing that, we throw topwaters and twitch baits most of the time, and we stay close to the shoreline grass. If the tide dumps out some after stronger fronts, fishing out in the middle of East Bay is usually more productive, in places around the main bay reefs, where the bottom is muddy, with some scattered shell. Out there, we like to throw soft plastics more than the other lures, adjusting our jighead size to match the conditions, so we can maintain regular contact with the bottom. The lower tides will also favor fishing the guts in the coves in West Bay for reds. When tides get scratchin' low, they tend to stack up in those areas. If we don't have too much rain, fishing in the Colorado River can also be good for both trout and reds.”

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam – 979.240.8204
In November, we'll be focusing our efforts mostly in the local rivers and on flats adjacent to them, searching for signs of bait like schools of mullet to help us find the trout and redfish. The Colorado, Tres Palacios and Lavaca rivers all have great potential in the Thanksgiving month. When fishing the rivers, we like to troll along the bank and throw DSL lures in purple rain and chicken of the sea rigged on three-eighths ounce heads along the ledges. The fish normally hit the lure on the fall. When we leave the confines of the rivers, we usually throw Paul Brown FatBoys in pearl/chartreuse and pearl/black. Often, after cold snaps, the shallow water on the flats warms up faster than the water in the rivers themselves. The catching under the lights in South and East Bay in Palacios is also good this time of year, as is the seawall from the Baptist Encampment down to the harbor. Tandem spec rigs in glow and pink work well to catch trout under the glare of the lights. Overall, this time of year is among the best for allowing us to escape from the crowds and catch lots of fish too.

Port O’Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service – 361.983.4434
For the most part, fishing in November is much the same in the Port O'Connor as it is in October, with plenty of fish in the shallower coves and lakes lying on the south side of the main bays. “We usually have good fishing in the shallower parts of the bays this time of year, especially if the weather is warm for November. As long as the tide stays high and it's not too cold, we'll be targeting trout and reds over grassy, muddy flats with some scattered shell, throwing topwaters and twitch baits quite a bit. We start to lose some of our shrimp this month, and that generally makes the lures which look like little fish work better. If the cove and lake pattern sets up well during the warmer stretches of weather, things can get even better when we do get some colder snaps. When that happens, usually towards the end of the month and beyond, the tide falls out of the remote sections of the bays, making for good fishing around the mouths of the coves and cuts leading into the lakes, especially on a relatively cold, sunny day, when warm shallow water flows out of the lakes late in the afternoon.”

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake eagerly awaits the beginning of November every year, as it signals the officials start of his cast and blast season. “I'll start working the back lakes and marshes this time of year, setting up for duck hunts early in the mornings, shooting until the birds stop flying or we get our limits, then fishing our way out. Some years, the fishing for reds is really good in the remote parts of our bays where we hunt ducks. This year, after the freeze, that doesn't seem quite as likely. If I'm not seeing enough reds in the air boat running in and out of the marshes, I'll spend more time wading main bay shorelines, in water about thigh deep or so, concentrating on areas with a mix of mud and grass or sand and grass on the bottom, mostly throwing close to the bank. We catch some pretty nice trout most Novembers working this drill. Topwaters can work well at times, but soft plastics like dark Norton Sand Eels with chartreuse tails probably produce better on average, unless conditions are just right. It's a great time to be in the Coastal Bend, with cool, dry air and lots of productive options.”

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata – [email protected] – 361.563.1160
With the arrival of cooler air and water temperatures in November, the time for bringing out the breathable waders and checking them for leaks has come. On most days this month, wading wet is uncomfortable. This is also a good time to check out the condition of the ForEverLast RayGuards, which should be worn at all times by wading anglers. Traffic is normally light on the water this month, as many folks head out to the fields, forests and marshes, to go hunting. The trout will be feeding on perch, mullet and shrimp in three to four feet of water, so it's a great time to throw the slow-sinking twitch baits like the MirrOlure Catch 5, in colors like CHBL. Bass Assassin Die Dappers in natural colors and dark colors with chartreuse tails also stir up a lot of action. On warm days, the fish tend to move a bit shallower in the afternoon, and four-inch Bass Assassin Sea Shads work better. Sight-casting opportunities for red and black drum in less than fifteen inches of water still happen on a daily basis this month. Fish-bites in the shrimp flavor rigged on sixteenth-ounce jigheads work best for this drill.

Corpus Christi / Joe Mendez——361.877.1230
The arrival of consistently cooler weather in November brings some changes to the fishing in the Upper Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay, Joe says. “We normally start to get some stronger fronts this month, and the fish begin to react to the lower water temperatures. Some of the trout will retreat to the ICW and the channels that connect it with the shallow flats in the lagoon and in NightHawk Bay, and fishing for them along the edges of the ditches can be productive this time of year. Lots of hovering, diving gulls and terns will usually indicate the productivity of that pattern. When fronts are cold enough, the fish will stay in the deeper water for a while, then come out all at once, headed to the shallows. One of the best places to catch them then is on the King Ranch Shoreline. The mats of dead, rotting grass there soak up sunlight on post-front days, warming the shoreline flats. Fishing is usually best late in the afternoons when that happens. Of course, this is a great month to target flounder in areas close to the JFK Causeway Bridge too, when water temps fall below 65 degrees or so.”

P. I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
361-877-3583 |
November is typically regarded as the most productive month for fishing the Texas surf. PINS anglers are blessed with a great variety of species to target: multitudes of frenzied jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, some late migrating tarpon, to name a few. The mullet migration is in full swing, but anglers gathering bait must adhere to the seasonal 12-inch maximum length limit when netting them. Live mullet between about six and ten inches make outstanding bait for all the species mentioned, also for smaller sharks. Fronts will likely become more frequent and severe this month, so anglers are advised to wait two days after a north wind passes to allow for the best fishing and driving conditions. Expect good numbers of black-tip and bull sharks to cruise the shallows, feeding on mullet. Wading anglers should exercise caution, stay alert and move closer to shore when sharks appear, though the predators aren't usually aggressive toward humans when focused on taking the mullet. Large tiger sharks also roam the surf, looking to feed on jacks. November is a great time to hit the beaches, with generally light crowds. The wise remain vigilant of the weather to avoid becoming stranded by storm tides.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza – 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge – 956.944.4000
In November, fishing can be outstanding both before and after fronts pass, even under a full moon. Drifting and wading both produce good catching, depending on the conditions. We throw soft plastics a lot this time of year, mixing in a few topwaters and Paul Brown FatBoys, mostly when we're wading. Down south, the area between the ICW cabins and the Saucer is usually a productive place to start. All of West Bay, including Peyton's and the spoils near Bennie's Shack also hold plenty of fish. Up north, I like to fish the west shoreline when winds allow, especially the stretch between Century Point and the Mottes. We often find birds working around the spoils close to the Land Cut, across from Gladys Hole. On the east side, I like to target fish in the potholes between Butcher's and Dubb's islands. The area between Dubb's and the Game Warden Shack is among my favorite haunts this time of year. KWiggler Willow-tails in the new wig-a-lo color work great lately for both trout and reds, rigged either on standard or weedless heads, eighth-ounce. Best color depends on water clarity; natural color work better in clear water, dark with light tails better in murky water.

Lower Laguna Madre—South Padre—Port Isabel
Aaron Cisneros | – 956-639-1941
With temperatures falling and tides rising, our fishing has transitioned into fall patterns. Fishing for trout has improved significantly over the last couple weeks, though it's still not equal with historical averages. Despite the cooler temperatures, we're still finding most of our trout in water about belly deep, where we find lots of large sandy potholes in the grass. KWiggler Ball-tail Shads in plum/chartreuse rigged on eighth-ounce screw-lock jigheads work well to earn strikes. Lately, a fairly fast retrieve with pauses mixed in after a few pops of the rod-tip to let the lure drop to the bottom have worked best. We've still been catching lots of reds, finding them tight to shorelines or on the shallow parts of spoil islands, where we see plenty of signs of active bait, mostly mullet schooling and moving fast just under the surface. Small topwaters like Spook Juniors work well early in the mornings; later in the day, the reds move off the spoils and shorelines, out to three or four feet of water, and Ball-tail Shades on eighth ounce heads in natural colors like bone diamond worked slowly, in close proximity to the bottom, work much better to catch them.