Reports & Forecasts: September 2021

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - – 409.935.7242
James thinks of September as a transitional month, one in which the best action can be in a variety of locations, depending on the conditions. “We've got plenty of fish in deep, open water right now. Bite has been good around submerged structures. In order to catch fish in places like this, it's important to put in the work to learn where to anchor and which direction to cast and work the lures. The water has to be moving, for sure. We should also see an improvement in the fishing in areas a bit shallower, where birds will start working over shrimp and trout. When we find flocks working, we also key on slicks and mud stirs to stay in the fish. Areas around Hannah's Reef in East Bay and also off Green's Cut in West Bay should produce. Wading the shorelines can also be good in September, especially if we get a series of weak cold fronts, which tend to make the fish want to move shallow late at night. And, tarpon season is here. We'll be working the nearshore waters when weather allows, and if this storm season isn't too active, we should find plenty of silver kings.”

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service – 409.996.3054
All the heavy rains this summer pushed fish into the southern parts of the bay system, Jim says, and fishing there has been good. “There's lots of spots producing well lately, all of them from Smith and Eagle Point on down toward the jetties. The water in that part of the bay is much saltier than in the upper reaches of the bays. I've been having some luck in pockets around Hannah's in East Bay, but overall, the action is much better to the west. Almost all of the action has been on soft plastics. We're catching mostly just solid keeper trout to about three or sometimes four pounds, but my daughter did catch one about twenty-six inches the other day, on one of those big swim baits. Here in the last few days, the water coming down the rivers has slowed down significantly. If the weather dries up heading into September, we may see a run of good fishing in the upper parts of the bays, on the shorelines, otherwise, it will be more of the same. The wet weather might produce good dove hunting in some places. We'll find out where pretty soon.”

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service 979.849.7019 – 979.864.9323
Randall wants to restate an earlier comment. He urges everyone operating from the helm of a boat to attach their kill switch. This comes after the loss of his best friend, in an accident which might have been avoided through the use of a lanyard attached to the switch. With regard to the fishing, he cites the redfish action as the best thing going in the weeks prior to issuing this report. “Redfish action has been on fire. And September's a great month to catch 'em on topwaters like a pearl Skitter Walk, which is always a hoot. Live finger mullet have been producing well for folks who don't like throwing lures as much. September is also a month for migrations, with lots of action around the pass. Trout fishing can be good under birds this time of year, also around reefs in the shallows when tides are higher and the backwater areas are full. The topwater bite for trout can be good too, but Norton Sand Eels rigged on light jigheads sometimes provide an easier way to catch more fish with less effort, especially when a crop of shrimp dumps out of the marshes and into the bays.”

Matagorda | Bay Guide Service
Charlie Paradoski – 713.725.2401
Charlie mentions a good number of potentially productive options for September in the Matagorda area bays. “West Bay can be great this time of year. We usually get some really high tides which stick for a good while, and that tends to send the reds into the coves in the east end of West Bay. The catching is really good in those places when that happens, especially on topwaters fished close to the grassy shorelines in shallow water. We also keep a close eye on the surf when we're fishing over there. When the waves fall flat, the water usually clears right up, and catching trout gets easy for a couple days. Out there, the action in the first gut at first light on topwaters can be epic. Fishing in East Bay has been a little slower than normal lately, but it could pick up quite a bit as we get some cool fronts passing over this month. In some years, especially when it's been a wet summer, the birds start working pretty early. We also do pretty well fishing over a bottom with mud and scattered shell around the main bay reefs this time of year, keying on slicks and rafts of mullet.”

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam – 979.240.8204
All the upper reaches of our bays have been running really fresh lately, with so much runoff following the big rains, but the surf has been on fire! Solid trout and redfish have been cruising the beachfront and feasting on big white shrimp. She Dogs in pink/chrome and green/chrome have worked better than all other lures along the beach. The lower reaches of the bays are starting to get more salty, and some areas have been holding some solid trout in twelve to fourteen feet of water, with shell pads on the bottom. Live shrimp rigged about five feet under popping corks or free-lined with small split shots have worked best to make them bite. I'd say September sets up awesome after the full flushing our bays got. We should have lots of reds schooling on the shorelines and chasing different species of prey produced in the marshes, also lots of birds working over trout in South Bay. Gigging and fishing for flounder should be productive too, around bayou mouths and drains close to the mouths of the rivers. The surf should still produce well, especially on those days after weak fronts when the waves fall flat.

Port O’Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service – 361.983.4434
Lynn expects to be hanging close to Pass Cavallo and around the corner into the surf as much as possible in September. “We've still got lots of freshwater flowing down the rivers into the bays in the north ends of the area, so we haven't been heading up that way much lately. We might well get rid of some of this runoff in September. If so, I'll probably spend some time fishing the reefs in San Antonio Bay, which usually produce well this time of year. Otherwise, we'll probably keep doing what we've been doing, fishing grassy flats with sandy pockets in places close to the jetties and the pass, where the water is nice and salty, since we get good tide flow from the Gulf. This month, fishing is still generally best early in the mornings when the tide's coming in. If the wind is blowing out of the SE with a decent speed, the areas on the lee side of the islands produce better. When we get light fronts and the waves on the beach fall quiet, that is often the better side. In either place, wading the shallows and throwing topwaters soon after first light usually works well.”

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake says the fishing this summer in the Coastal Bend area has been better than anticipated in some ways, predictably productive in others. “Fishing for reds has been a bit better than for trout, but overall, the catching has been pretty steady. As we get into September, we should see improved action in the areas around both the La Quinta and Lydia Ann channels, where schools of reds often gather in large schools. Finding them in those areas often means looking for wakes and mud stirs, sometimes birds hovering and diving repeatedly in the same small spaces. Fishing for trout should remain good along shorelines with sandy, grassy bottoms, tight to the shorelines in the early morning hours, a little deeper as the sun rises higher. Of course, fishing around mid-bay reefs for trout can be good this time of year too, especially on days when winds calm after weak fronts. Those conditions are also good for fishing in the surf. We've had plenty of rain throughout the summer, so the ag fields in our area are really lush and full of food for the doves. I expect a great season, with fast shooting being the norm.”

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata – [email protected] – 361.563.1160
September is more than back to school time; it's a great month to look for schools of redfish. Best bet is to approach the schools from upwind after they're located, and to do everything you can to prevent drifting through them once you begin making casts and/or hooking fish in them. Often, a boat drifting through a school will cause the fish to develop lock jaw for a while. The schools I've encountered lately have been smaller than what I'd expect in years past, and some of the schools I think are reds turn out to be black drum, which isn't a bad thing, necessarily, as catching them also provides lots of fun and thrills. The black drum prefer shrimp or shrimp-flavored Fish-bites, and they're easier to hook on jigheads or hooks with a wide bight. The schools of both black and red drum have been easiest to find in depths of two to three feet when winds are lighter than about fifteen miles per hour. Trout fishing has been fair around rocks in Baffin lying in about five feet of water. Drifting over rocks and throwing natural colored She Dogs or Die Dappers on eighth-ounce heads has worked best.

Corpus Christi / Joe Mendez——361.877.1230
The doldrums associated with continuing hot weather and increasing numbers of days with calmer than usual winds can make September fishing in a hypersaline lagoon challenging, Joe says. “If September runs really hot and calm, fishing down south can be kind of tough, for the most part. The bite can become sluggish, without any water movement. On the other hand, areas close to places where water flows in from the Gulf often produce pretty well this time of year. Fishing bars and guts in the Boat Hole can be good for plenty of all three of the main species people target. The flats and channels south of the JFK also have potential. Fishing is best in both these areas when the tide is moving. Doesn't much matter whether it's flowing in or out, but it needs to be moving. And, certain spots tend to produce best on low and outgoing tides, while others produce better when the tide's high and/or coming in. As a general rule, shallow areas and potholes lying on the tops of bars produce best when the water's high, while ditches, guts and drop offs work best on low tides rolling out.”

P. I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
361-877-3583 |
September fishing in the Texas surf tends to turn to mayhem quickly, as summer ends. Our transition to fall usually begins with the dusky anchovy migration. During this epic event, countless numbers of the little fish run down the beach in balls often measuring an acre in width, including millions of fish. This generates a free for all among many predators. Birds populate the skies like no other time. Skipjacks, Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, bluefish, red drum, speckled trout, tarpon and sharks all belly up to the buffet table. Live mullet tossed into the waves under the bait balls work well to get the attention of red drum and tarpon. Spoons trick the Spanish macks, trout and other species. Blacktip and bull sharks often lurk around the fringes of the main action, feeding on both the anchovies and their predators. During the day, fishing for sharks is often somewhat slow, except when a bait ball passes through. Big tigers can be caught late at night. Large baits like whole stingrays can aid in the attempt to keep smaller sharks off the line while waiting for the big one to bite. September is usually a dynamic weather month, with fast changes.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza – 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge – 956.944.4000
In September, fishing for reds reaches a fever pitch in the LLM. Large schools of reds can be found prowling the flats near the East Cut, also around the jetties. On the flats, topwaters work well to catch them, and provide thrills and chuckles to anglers throwing them into the midst of the battle. At the jetties, KWiggler Ball-tail or Willow-tail shads rigged on quarter-ounce screw-lock jigheads work better to earn strikes. Nearshore fishing is usually excellent this month too. With the current sloshing around the end of either the north or south jetty, tarpon can often be seen rolling. Pelicans and gulls hover and dive, working the big bait balls, and under those lurk jack crevalle, Spanish and king mackerel and a couple different species of sharks. Out in the wide open Gulf, wire leaders are a must. Kingfish will strike topwaters; spoons draw attacks from them too. Trout can be caught in the surf this month too, but fishing for them is usually better in deep potholes on the flats on the east side. Areas like The Pipeline and Butcher's Island historically hold good numbers. When fishing for trout, watch for slicks and rafted mullet with lots of jumpers.

Lower Laguna Madre—South Padre—Port Isabel
Aaron Cisneros | – 956-639-1941
Fishing in the Lower Laguna Madre has been about as hot as the weather. Fishing for reds has been the most consistent thing going. The fish are schooling well, especially in the early morning hours. Most of the schools are forming in areas close to the deep water of the ICW, on grassy flats and around humps lying adjacent to the ditch. With all the warm temperatures, we have had a lot of floating grass, so we're rigging our Spook Juniors with single hooks, so we can use them and enjoy the blow ups. As is almost always the case, bone has been a really productive color. Gold spoons draw a lot of strikes too, for folks who prefer fishing without having to work as hard to maintain the dog-walking action required with topwaters. To locate trout, we've been keying on slicks mostly, looking for them in four to five feet of water. We're rigging KWiggler Ball-tails on quarter-ounce screw-lock jigheads and fishing them low and slow for best results, maintaining contact with the bottom and making short hops. We should continue to see steady action this month, especially when fishing for reds.