Reports & Forecasts: October 2021

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - silverkingadventures.com – 409.935.7242

In October, James sees some of the shallow water patterns kick off in West Galveston and Lower Galveston bays. “If we get some cool fronts, the wading usually perks up some this month. I like to fish areas with a sandy bottom, maybe a little grass or scattered shell. High tides and moving water make this a better option. ShePups and old school 51 and 52M MirrOlures work well when we're wading, as do the Catch 2000s, Catch 5s and Paul Brown Lures. With so much bait still in the bays, it's always best this time of year to be fishing around lots and lots of mullet and other forage species. Some people think too much bait around is a bad thing, but you definitely want bait where you're fishing. While the fronts blow through and after they pass, when tide flows out of shallow lakes like Jones Lake, Green's Lake, Carancahua Lake and Campbell's Bayou, fishing under the birds for trout can be really good, especially during the second half of this month. The reds are usually biting in those places too, when the birds are working. Targeting them along stretches of shorelines with some shell on the bottom usually works well.”

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service – 409.996.3054
With any luck, meaning specifically some dry weather, Jim expects the fishing in his part of Galveston Bay to kick off really good after the start of fall. “October is a great month to fish the upper parts of both Trinity and East bays, at least most years, when we don't get too much rain. This time of year, the shorelines adjacent to the drains leading into the marshes produce excellent action for both trout and redfish. When the fish move into the shallows and into the marshes themselves, we're able to catch 'em more consistently, and we're able to do it by wading much of the time. We usually have a good topwater bite this time of year, but to me, it's not really about the lure so much, it's about how easy it easy to stay out of the wind and find fish. We'll have fish in the bayous and marshes themselves, where the wind is basically irrelevant, and around the reefs and along shorelines where we can fish with moderate north winds blowing. I'll be fishing during the week, hunting on the weekends. Dove season hits full stride this month, and I've been prepping the fields with my tractor.”

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service 979.849.7019 – 979.864.9323

October brings some welcome changes to the fishing in the San Luis Pass area, Randall says. “Normally, stronger fronts begin to arrive in October. This puts the migration of all the bait in the backwater areas into migration mode, as tide levels and temperatures fall. We have a good stretch of fishing while the trout take advantage of all the forage species on the move. Action is often best around the mouths of back lakes, and in drains and sloughs this month. We also have birds working on a pretty consistent basis. Keying on areas where you see plenty of birds is wise, even if no flocks are seen working. Norton Sand Eel Juniors work great this time of year. I throw the black and orange one if the water has a stained look, cayenne gold if the water is more clear. On cloudy days, topwaters work great. If the water is green, the old Woody Woodpecker SkitterWalk produces plenty of blow ups. If the water gets that stained look, I will switch to the gold SkitterWalk with the orange belly. It's a great month to spend time in the outdoors, with the crisp air and productive patterns in play.”

Matagorda | Bay Guide Service
Tommy Countz- 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037

October is a great month to spend some time on the water in the Matagorda area, Tommy says. “This is the month when we really start to see birds working on a regular basis and the fishing gets easy for a while. If we get a really big shrimp crop, the action can be fast most every day for a while. East Bay is more the place to be than West Bay this time of year. The muddy, shallow flats over there provide the perfect stage for action with school trout under birds, and when the birds stop working, around slicks and mud streaks. The high tides we usually have this time of year also make for excellent fishing for redfish in some of the lakes lying close to the ICW. The fish are usually schooled up and prowling this month, making for some exciting action. Both these patterns provide satisfaction to the average weekend angler. Few things thrill people more than knowing there's a fish right where they're about to throw their bait. For most people, it's far more fun than making lots of casts at empty water, wondering whether a fish is within reach or not.”

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam
www.palaciosguideservice.com – 979.240.8204

Salinity levels have finally risen to near normal levels after all the heavy rains. Fishing has really taken off in our area, with a consistent trout bite out around the reefs and wells in West Matagorda Bay. We've been catching good numbers of sixteen to eighteen-inch fish on live shrimp free-lined or under corks around the deep structures. The surf continues lights out when winds calm. We're catching really solid trout on topwaters and tails early and late when the green water reaches the beach. Our redfish bite has come back strong; we're seeing small schools chasing shrimp and shad in front of bayous and drains and along shorelines close to the rivers. Any paddletail lure in pearl or pumpkinseed rigged on an eighth-ounce head will work well. Flounder fishing has also picked up. We've been targeting the flat fish in ditches and drains on falling tides, free-lining live shrimp through the narrow openings. October should be a great month, as we're seeing copious amounts of forage species way up in the marshes. All of the bait will flush out once we get some strong fronts, and action in the bays will go off, with birds working in places like Oyster Lake.

Port O’Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service – 361.983.4434

When we talked, Lynn said the action in the Port O'Connor area remained best in areas close to Pass Cavallo, where the fish have salty water and deep holes to escape the heat. “We've been catching plenty of trout and redfish on grassy, sandy flats lying close to the guts which connect West Matagorda Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. The bite in the surf for trout has been good when the weather's been calm, which it has on lots of recent days. Best conditions for fishing these areas is a high or incoming tide in the early part of the day. In October, I expect to see the fishing in these same areas to remain good, though the salinity levels in Espiritu Santo Bay are improving, and we might see more fish move farther from the pass as the weather cools down. Normally, in October, we have consistently high tides and moderate water temperatures, which make for good fishing in the shallower coves and lakes on the south sides of our bays. We might well see some good potential there this month. Birds should be working in plenty of places too, after this wet summer. The shrimp crop should be a bumper.”

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894

In October, Blake plans on fishing some areas north of Rockport, where salinity levels have recently recovered nicely, after all the rains in the spring and summer. “The water in Mesquite Bay and on the south shoreline of San Antonio Bay looked really green last time I was up there. This time of year, the fishing can be great around some of the reefs up that way, also on the grassy shorelines, especially when tides are high. The work is proceeding nicely on Cedar Bayou, and it's expected to be open and flowing by the middle of the month. If so, the fishing should be great around there. Moving water on the flats and reefs in that part of the Coastal Bend makes for fast catching, in general. Fishing can also be good on the spoil humps and open-bay reefs in Corpus Christi and Aransas Bays this time of year. Calm weather is necessary for a good bite on the really exposed reefs. I'll also be hoping to intercept the reds which gather up on flats adjacent to both the Lydia Ann and La Quinta Channels this month. And, I'll be looking to do plenty of dove hunting when I am not fishing.”

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata – [email protected] – 361.563.1160

The weather tends to cool off faster than the fishing this time of year. Trout fishing has still been somewhat slow, due to lower numbers of fish after the February freeze, so I'm encouraging clients to release as many as possible to aid in the recovery of the fishery. Redfish have been providing steady excitement over the last few months, and this should be the case throughout the month of October. One of our favorite patterns this time of year involves intercepting migrating herds of oversized reds on their way to the Gulf of Mexico. These brutes provide plenty of thrills because of their size and the strength with which they fight. Best bet, as always, is to approach the schools from upwind, on the trolling motor or by drift, and avoid drifting through the school. Bass Assassin Die Dappers or Assassin four-inch Sea Shads in natural colors rigged on eighth-ounce spring-lock jigheads produce good results when tossed in view of the reds. We also find good numbers of slot-sized red and black drum in clear water less than fifteen inches deep this time of year. They bite shrimp flavored Fish-bites most every time they see them.

Corpus Christi / Joe Mendez—www.sightcast1.com—361.877.1230
October's cooler weather patterns don't change much about the fishing, until at least the last part of the month, in the Upper Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay, Joe says. “We normally have some really high tides this time of year. The water right now is really clear in the northern parts of the lagoon, which helps us see fish in the water when the sun is high overhead and we have some wind action. Calm conditions don't help much this time of year, creating a glare on the water and making the bite stale. When we're hunting redfish in October, we often venture far off the beaten path, into areas with mostly a sandy bottom, where the water runs less than a foot and a half deep. These high tides often allow the reds to roam well away from the drop offs into deeper water. Catching them on paddletails is usually fairly easy, once we find them. The trout begin to move off the deeper structures and show up on shorelines and on top of rocky sand bars more of the time. With the moderate water temperatures, topwaters often work well for them, especially when it's cloudy, or early in the mornings.”

P. I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
361-877-3583 | Oceanepics.com

In October, mullet and menhaden run through the surf in large schools. Various predators follow them. We see lots of big reds in the surf this month, especially towards its end. Jack Crevalle become numerous on cool mornings, a day or two after the passage of a front. Targeting both reds and jacks with live mullet works well. If the jacks look really active chasing bait, they will usually take lures like large spoons, topwaters and long swim baits. Tarpon are also around, taking advantage of the waning opportunity to feed up before heading farther south for winter. Smaller tarpon show a liking for finger mullet too. For a chance at the big ones, try a live or fresh-dead skipjack. An abundance of sharks can be targeted this time of year. Bulls and black tips are the most common. Putting out fresh whiting, bluefish or any other kind of small fish usually stirs up some kind of action. Depending on water clarity, Spanish mackerel and bluefish will be chasing bait in the shallows. Targeting them requires the use of wire leaders. This is a great time of year to fish the beachfront, with so many species present. Watch the weather; things get dicey after fronts.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza
Snookdudecharters.com – 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge – 956.944.4000

Fishing is often crazy good in October in the LLM. This is the month redfish wind up making their way through the passes to live out their adult lives in the Gulf. This motivates us to stay close to the East Cut much of the time, looking for the migrating schools. I like to throw topwaters at them when we find them. If and when the action on the floating lures wanes, I like to switch to soft plastics on sixteenth or eighth-ounce heads. Gold weedless spoons also work well. Trout fishing should improve as the weather cools. It won't be the same as it has been in years past, but we should see more consistent action. Areas with deep water close to the shallows will still produce best, places like Butcher's and Dubb's islands and Jones Cut. Most of the fish will remain in potholes well off the shallow edge. On the west side, Century Point and the Oak Mottes usually produce plenty of fish this time of year. Out at the jetties, putting on a wire leader and targeting king and Spanish mackerel close to the ends of the rocks can provide fast action and really fun times.

Lower Laguna Madre—South Padre—Port Isabel
Aaron Cisneros | tightlinescharters.com – 956-639-1941

Fall patterns arrive for good this month, depending on the timing, frequency and strength of the early fronts. Lately, we've been finding most of our trout in depths ranging from two to four feet, where numerous potholes break up a grassy bottom. We're using KWiggler Ball-tail Shads in plum/chartreuse, rigging them on eighth-ounce screw-lock jigheads and retrieving them with good speed, and sudden stops. The speed of the retrieve varies with both the feeding mood of the fish and the depth of the water. Shallower water and a more aggressive bite both favor more speed. The reds are currently plentiful and easy to locate. Regular lulls in the winds have helped us locate schools prowling down area shorelines. We're also finding plenty on grassy flats covered by deeper water. Small topwaters worked slowly, with some starts and stops, have been earning lots of blow ups. As temperatures rise in the middle of the day, the reds often retreat to deeper water, where the KWiggler Ball-tails in colors like Mansfield Margarita work better to catch them. In the mid-day heat, keeping the lure bumping the bottom often works best. These patterns should remain productive through Halloween and a bit beyond.

 
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