Reports & Forecasts: Aug 2009

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
Fishing has been great since the winds have finally slowed down to seasonal speeds. During the month of August, the best trout fishing will be in the ship channel, along the surf, and at the close rigs. Birds should also be picking in the lake, but there will be plenty of ladyfish under them. In order to cull trout from among the ladyfish, try your favorite topwater or fish a little deeper in the water column. If you do happen to get a ladyfish on, don't be in a huge hurry to get it to the boat. Big trout love to eat medium sized ladyfish. Best lures to try are shrimp imitations such as H&H beetles, H&H grubs and D.O.A. shrimp. Try these in clear, glow and chartreuse in pretty water. If the water is a little stained, try avocado or black. Also, if dry weather continues, fishing north of the Intracoastal should be excellent. This is a great month for reds in the marshes. Look for them in huge schools in marsh ponds and cruising the edges of canals. Best lures are grubs with spinners, spoons, and topwaters.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
Summer fishing in the Galveston area has been good for James and his crew. "We are catching limits of trout almost every day, regardless of the winds. The most consistent bite has been the deep water bite. We're targeting patches of shell and other structures in eight to eighteen feet of water, using soft plastics mostly. The best lures have been soft plastics, like the Bass Assassin Sea Shads. I throw red most of the time, but I doubt the color makes a whole lot of difference. If you want to catch reds, the fishing for them has been steady too. You can usually find the schools by watching for them busting the top and jumping after the ribbonfish. If they sound, you can often still see them as a kind of reddish ball just under the surface. In the schools, we're chasing lately, there are a lot of oversized fish, but you can get some keepers too. Culling through the big ones is a blast, I know that much. We have had a few good flurries on the trout shallow, wading for them with topwaters, but it's not really as consistent as the boat fishing."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
The surf fishing has been as good as it gets at times lately, Jim says. "It's been just wide open along the beach on many days lately. When the water first clears up after a little blow, there will be a couple of days in there when you can catch all the trout you want on topwaters basically all day, whenever you show up. After it stays clear a while, it gets tougher, especially to catch the bigger fish on lures. Then the morning becomes the best time. When the south and west winds are blowing, the area closer to the jetty is better. When it's calmer, the good water will stretch all the way down toward High Island." For another option, he mentions a second summer staple, fishing deep shell in the middle of East Bay. "Keying on slicks around Hannah's and Deep Reefs has been good lately too. We're throwing mostly Bass Assassins and Texas Trout Killers. I use the chartreuse and glow in the morning, the dark ones when the sun is bright. Recently, we had a nice box of trout of the reefs, with almost all the fish between twenty and twenty-five inches."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
Randall reports that the fishing is fair to really good lately in his area, especially for those who are willing to look at all options. "We are sticking with our guns, staying close to the beach when we can, diverting to live bait most of the time, fishing deeper than we usually do. All the things that keep us catching fish in this heat and wind. The average number of trout per day has been good, normally in the twenty five to thirty keeper range. We aren't catching many undersized fish at all. When the winds are light in the morning and we can get to the beach, that's usually the easiest catching, but even with the stronger winds in the middle of the day, we've been doing okay. One day, we did manage to get of shore and chase the king mackerel with topwaters. That was really a blast. We'll continue the same drills throughout the rest of the summer." He was raving about his boat again. "I just love the ride of this new JH Performance boat I've got. It's the smoothest, best performing boat I've ever been in."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service | 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
Tommy likes to fish primarily in two places in August, he says. "I'll either be in West Matagorda Bay, or in the surf on most days. If we can get into the surf, I like to throw the big, noisy topwaters early. When and if the bite stops on them, I'll generally switch over to Norton Sand Eels, the larger ones, in dark colors. The large size helps when casting into the wind. If fishing West Bay, I like to work the grass beds early, then move out to the drop offs in the middle of the morning. Often, though, I find my way back to the shallow grass beds and catch some of my biggest trout on them in the middle of the day. The best bet there is to work dark soft plastics on light jigheads slowly and thoroughly around each and every grass bed." He won't forget East Bay, he admits. "If it gets calm enough and the tides are somewhat high, I'll try East Bay some. And of course on the calm days, we will still be hunting the tripletail too. We've had some real monsters this season and they should still be around in August."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Tripletail fishing has been the highlight of the last month. We have caught some beasts over twenty six pounds and lots more between eighteen and twenty two pounds. The early morning bite has been the best for the tasty brutes, with live shrimp still by far the best ticket to the bite. On some days, we find them hanging close to the legs of oil rigs, other days under floating seaweed mats, and other days around buoys and the chains underneath them. Pound for pound, they can pull with the best fish on light tackle. Trout fishing has been solid, with small keepers taken around deep structures out in the middle of Tres Palacios and West Matagorda bays. We have been catching these fish in depths ranging from eight to thirteen feet. Best baits have been freelined live shrimp and DOA shrimp rigged on eighth ounce jigheads. Redfish are roaming area shorelines early in the mornings and moving to deep channels as the days heat up. Quarter ounce gold spoons and Gulp shrimp under popping corks work well lately to cull fish out of the schools.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Lynn says the August tactics for him will largely depend on the wind. "Of course, our first priority this time of year is to get into the surf as much as we can. We will take the boat down the beach and wade among the rafted mullet with topwaters every time we get a chance. I like to throw the chrome plugs out there mostly. We will switch over to soft plastics if the fish move into the deeper guts and refuse to come up to the top and play. If it's windier, we'll stay in the bays. There are several plans that work well in there during the middle of summer. We prefer to wade shorelines with hard sand and scattered grass, also where there are distinct pothole systems within the grass beds. We also like to stay close to the deep water, especially on flats close to Pass Cavallo. Those areas produce best when the tide is coming in at a pretty good clip. On the other hand, we also like to work the drains that funnel water into the back lakes. Fishing that pattern also requires moving water in order to work."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake plans on heading through the Port Aransas jetties and running up the beach as much as possible in August. "Haven't been able to get out there much, but we should be able to get to the beachfront quite a bit this month. Most of the best fishing has been pretty far north when we've gone. If I get out of the boat and struggle to get a few bites, I'll keep moving. When it's right in the surf, you should be getting a bite on nearly every cast. As far as fishing in the bay goes, I like to chase redfish this time of year. It's a great time to find the fish schooled up. They are getting ready to make their move toward the passes. So I'll look for the big gangs of fish on the flats in the bays closest to the access points to the Gulf. Catching them once you find them is easy, of course, as long as you are able to keep the boat a reasonable distance from the schools and cast toward the fringes to prevent spooking the fish. For trout fishing, I'll wind up using live bait much of the time this month. It's often better than the lure fishing."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
The fishing and catching has been great, with more emphasis on the catching! The water is beautiful in many parts of the Laguna, including much of Baffin Bay. The speed in the wind department has been down and this has allowed us to fish in areas that we had not been able to get to before. I've seen some speckled trout reaching the thirty-inch mark, but as usual for this time of the year these are not weighing as much as they do in April. The redfish are schooling and the calm winds have made it easier to spot the schools. It's easier to keep up with the schools if you use a trolling motor and don't drift through them, instead of crashing into the school with your boat. Keep looking for the trout in two and a half feet of water or less and use a swim bait like the Bass Assassin five inch swim bait in gold shiner and trout colors, or the four inch Blurp Sea Shads, rigged on sixteenth ounce Spring Lock jigheads. If you're wade fishing, don't forget your ForEverlast Ray Guards.

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
With record breaking high temperatures and water temperature occasionally going as high as 90 degrees very early this year the fishing has been a bit peculiar. Some species such as skipjack and Spanish mackerel which should be in good supply are not, jack crevalle continue to hit the beach front now and then when they shouldn't and there are more bonnetnosed and baby Atlantic sharpnosed sharks than I have ever seen before while our typical 5-6 foot blacktips and bulls are hard to come by. Some very large sharks have been hooked but overall shark fishing has been slow. Tarpon are present and could be in really good numbers in August. Speckled trout are hitting topwater baits and chrome seems to be the best color. A few redfish are around the wrecks and Gulps and Fishbites have been the best producers. Finger and medium sized mullet are available and live-lining them could be very productive. Very large numbers of whiting are available almost everywhere on the beach with Fishbites or dead shrimp. A few Atlantic pompano are being caught.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe reports that the water quality in the Upper Laguna Madre continues to be excellent. "I've been fishing some clear water lately; it's been a real treat. Most of the time, we've been targeting both trout and redfish which are holding over bright sand pockets in two and a half or three feet of water. When the sun is high overhead, we've been able to see them pretty regularly. When it's earlier in the morning, we just use the pockets as targets and cast to them without seeing the fish, of course. Bass Assassins and Texas Trout Killers have been the main lures of choice, in natural colors. Some of the time, the fish seem to prefer to be in the "swag," the deeper water next to the drop off from three feet to maybe five feet. The water is usually a little murky along that edge, so you can't see the fish, but if they disappear from the visible potholes, we find that's usually where they've gone." He says he intends to continue fishing mostly north for the next month. "Seems like the fish should hold around those drop offs in this heat. I seriously doubt that August will be anything but another scorcher.

Port Mansfield | Terry Neal | 956.944.2559
The heat is on, literally! Temperatures are breaking records and the fish are looking for a cool place to hide. It is tournament time down here; we have the Port Mansfield Chamber Tournament July 23-26, followed by TIFT at South Padre Island Aug 2-5. Trout have been holding on deeper grass beds. Topwater action has been good early in the morning. You've got to be on the water before daylight to get in on the really good bite. Redfish are starting to school on the grass lines middle of the day. TPWD is in the process of creating 100 acres of new artificial reefs approximately 7.0 miles offshore that should make good nearshore fishing even better. The reefs will be within the state water boundary so they will be fishable year round at a depth of about 65 feet. The jetties continue to produce some oversize reds along with some nice kingfish. There is lots of bait moving through the East Cut that should make for excellent late summer and fall season fishing.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Super low summer tides and not a whole lot of water movement have both contributed to making us scramble to limit on trout during the last weeks of June. We have often resorted to hunting for herds of reds. We're coming up with oversized ones fairly easily on the days when they'll bite, but with sluggish tides and warm water, fish are feeding at night and/or hanging out in deeper areas. The Gulp three-inch shrimp in a variety of colors is working as well as anything, pulled behind Cajun Thunder cigar corks in the shallows or beneath the larger, heavier, round Thunder corks on the dropoffs. Freddy says, "We have been dealing with massive amounts of floating grass and dirty dredge water, making it difficult to fish some of our deeper holes. Take your time and make extra long drifts, using the corks with Gulps or weedless spoons in gold or copper to get the best results. Moving to deep potholes for trout later in the day when the wind is light is working also." Fishing is tough, but running all over the bay won't change the bite, so staying put and waiting for the tide to move is often a better choice.