Reports & Forecasts: August 2007

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
As August arrives and the summer heat reaches its peak, we will be fishing mostly in the deeper waters of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, around the Cameron Jetties and at the nearshore oil platforms out to about eight miles or so. The Superior oil platforms to the east and the Johnson's Bayou platforms to the west of the Cameron jetties will all typically hold good numbers of trout. Many other species of fish will be found around the legs of the rigs, including redfish, cobia, tripletail and Spanish mackerel. Some of these fish are bruisers, so bring the bigger rods just in case you hit a school that's hard to manage on trout tackle. Our many miles of beaches will be holding good quantities of both specks and redfish. The fishing in Big Lake will still be good early and late in the day. The mid-day bite is slow during this time of year in the hot water. In general, August is a month for quantity and variety rather than quality. Hot baits will be topwaters (early & late in the day), Norton Sand Eels, grubs and Cocohoes.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
James says the fishing is excellent in Galveston lately, especially considering the rain and wind. "I'd give it about an 8 out of 10. We're catching limits regularly, mostly by keying on slicks. There's good fishing around abandoned well pads in the vicinity of the ship channel, on East Bay reefs and on the ship channel spoils. Bird action is spotty, but the fish are decent under the flocks when they are working. Most of the bite has been on Bass Assassins, jigging them close to the bottom. I've had some customers having luck lately with the new "Blurp" lures, the ones that have a small paddletail, especially the pink and chartreuse ones. Wading has been less consistent than boat fishing, but I have had some good trout up to four and five pounds while wading with topwaters. Sometimes the topwaters are working around the slicks out of the boat too." Fishing for silver kings is set to bust wide open, he predicts. "We've been working a wad of bait for several days. Kingfish are thick; the tarpon should show up soon."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
"The freshwater just hit over here," Jim says. "It's coming from both ends of the bay. In the past, when it's been like this, we've keyed on the south shoreline. The tide brings salty water onto that side better. After the first couple of days of inundation, runoff like this usually makes for good fishing in isolated pockets of salty water."
On a funnier note, he says he just came back from one of the most exciting tournaments of his life. "We were fishing the Elite Series of the Redfish Cup in Alabama. First day, we ran from Lulu's Bait Camp 142 miles all the way to Louisiana and finished in 6th place. The wind got up the second day, but we went back to Louisiana anyway. The ride back was like a Nascar race, only rougher. I've never seen such steep, tall waves so tightly stacked. Knocked all kinds of stuff off the boat trying to get to the weigh-in in time, but were late by 3 minutes. 142 miles and we're late by 3 minutes! Missed the top five because of the penalty points. Actually, I was so sore and tired that I was almost relieved!"

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
"The highfin blue catfish are running real good around here!" Randall jokes. "We've got some areas that are messed up with all the runoff. The surf is muddy, with the south wind blowing the Brazos run off this way. Chocolate Bayou is messing up the back bays and the lower part of West Bay doesn't look too good either. Christmas Bay is looking better than the others. Strong incoming tides coming through the pass help it stay saltier and more clear than some of the other areas. I'll be working in there on upcoming trips and also plan to run further up West Bay and do some scouting. The water up that way usually stays a little saltier, and sometimes the fish get pushed in there from both sides." He is still hoping to get into the surf this summer if possible. "What we need there is some days with more east in the wind. An east wind will blow better water onto our beaches, and if it does, the fish should be on a strong feed. Look for fast action on topwaters if such a scenario unfolds."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service | 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
Best bet lately for quality fish in the Matagorda area is wading East Bay reefs. "We've got more freshwater coming down the Colorado than I've seen in all my 30 years of fishing here," Tommy says. "It's fresh way down West Bay, but East Bay is in real good shape. Of course, getting on the mid-bay reefs over there requires light winds, which we haven't had the usual run of either. We haven't been able to get into the surf much at all since May, but that should change if the rain stops. Some time in August, the winds should lay and make the reef fishing in East Bay better, and the freshwater problem should be less in West Bay and the surf too. I'll be looking to target grass beds in West Bay, shallow early with She Dogs and She Pups, then moving out to the main bay drop offs a little later, throwing gold and copper quarter and eighth ounce weedless spoons. We will have lots of grass, and the weedless spoons are great tools for dealing with that. Towards the end of the month, we should see redfish schooling activity as it gets closer to their spawn."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Fishing has been tough with all the freshwater in the bay system. The key to finding fish lately has been finding saltwater, and that usually means making the 13 mile run across to the shoreline of West Matagorda. Redfish have been up tight to the shorelines and taking small topwaters such as Baby Skitterwalks in blue/orange, She Pups in chrome/chartreuse and bone Spook Jrs.. Texas Redkillers in red/white and roach have also been hot baits for the reds. Trout have been staging out deeper off the shoreline in three to five feet of water over sand. The best bite has been on a falling tide, and the best lures have been Texas Trout Killers in pumpkinseed/chartreuse and bone diamond. We have been catching a few tripletail, although all the freshwater has moved them back towards Port O'Connor. The best method for these continues to be live shrimp rigged four to five feet under popping corks fished around gas wells and buoys. Turtle Creek and Keller Creek will be some good spots to target fish when the saltwater returns.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
"Fishing is good over here lately," Lynn says. "We've got some runoff in a few areas, but nothing too bad. Catching a lot of solid trout in the 16 to 22 inch range and seeing an occasional fish around 25 or a little better. Some of our fish are coming out of water that is fresh on top, but saltier beneath. You can see the layering in your prop wash and also if you taste the water, you can detect a little salt. Best bite has been on soft plastics, both roach and bone diamond Bass Assassins for me. There is a good topwater bite at times too, especially on the calmer days. If the wind blows all night, it's not as good for the topwaters. We've been wanting to get into the surf all summer, but haven't been able to do that much yet. It's been too rough mostly. In fact, there was one boat that was overturned recently just outside of Pass Cavallo. It is critical to be really careful when trying to anchor the boat in the surf when it's anything more than dead calm. Every year, we seem to see three or more boats flipped in the surf because they are caught off guard by the waves."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Like many others, Blake cites freshwater runoff as more than significant in the Rockport area lately. "We've got orange river-looking water in lots of places right now. It's ruined some areas, but of course it makes other areas more productive at the same time. In particular, the bays between San Antonio and Aransas can be good. The bays on either side of them are really fresh, and sometimes a lot of fish get squeezed in there. Corpus Christi Bay is good too, especially the east end. There's pretty water over there, and it's a good summer spot for redfish anyway. Speaking of reds, we usually have a lot of them in the surf in August. If the wind allows, I'll be heading that way next month. Walking in from Cedar Bayou is a good choice. It should be good for both trout and reds if winds are light. Also, drifting and trolling shallow grassy flats in the saltier areas should be hot for reds all month. Try flats near passes or anywhere you find clear, salty water. The fish should be schooling and easy to see by the wakes they push when they move."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
Typically August is still and hot with clear water and light currents. An abundance of baitfish are present. Live bait and a wide array of artificials are productive on both redfish and speckled trout. Targeting areas of food chain activity and deep inshore pockets is a good plan. Driving slowly and looking for resting fish in the shallow nearshore waters can lead to sight casting opportunities. Whiting and palometa are plentiful on peeled dead shrimp but tend to be rather small. Ladyfish and Spanish mackerel are often encountered in areas containing dusky anchovies. Speck rigs and spoons work for both species but often a wire leader is advisable to avoid cut offs by sharp teeth and gill rakers. Tarpon are possible. Most sharking success will be on baits kayaked far offshore, but at times individual sharks can be sight-cast in mid-day by those keeping an alert vigil while patrolling close to shore. Tides are usually moderate to minimal but some soft spots remain along the beachfront and drivers need to proceed cautiously.

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
The speckled trout fishing in the Laguna Madre has been good, but the average size is still lower than I expected for this season. The redfish have been scarce, and I believe the reason for this is the water level getting high as a result of all the rain we've had. The shallow flats have become flooded because of the high water level and this created more area for the reds to roam around in. The water level is now receding, and this should concentrate both the trout and reds, making it easier to locate the schools that are common for this time of the summer. Because of the brown tide and all the runoff, water clarity in parts of Baffin Bay is poor. The poor water clarity has made it necessary to fish with live bait when fishing Baffin and live croaker has been the most effective. In areas with better water clarity, MirroLure She Dogs in chrome and bone early in the morning have been catching some nice trout. Bass Assassins in good penny and pearl are also working for trout in grass and potholes. Don't forget your Ray Guards when wadefishing.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | | 361.937.5961
Joe says the changing tide levels and rainy days have made for some interesting fishing lately in the Laguna/Baffin area. "Some of the water around here is better than in other areas. We've had some sight casting opportunity in the clear water when we can find it. Trouble is, it doesn't really stay in the same place for extended periods of time. There has been good fishing in the front of Baffin, around Cathead and the Badlands and on the south shoreline in recent weeks. There are also lots of fish coming out of the Land Cut. Others are having success in the northern reaches of the Laguna Madre, near the bridge and in front of Flour Bluff. Best bite has been on pumpkinseed/chartreuse and plum/chartreuse Bass Assassins." He hopes this August will pan out like the last few. "I've had good luck in 9 Mile Hole in recent years in mid to late-summer. We've been able to visually keep track of large schools of reds and stay with them by using the trolling motor. When you can do that, you can catch them easily on the plastics or on flies."

Port Mansfield | Bruce & Brandon Shuler
GetAway Adventures Lodge | 956.944.4000
"Water here is over a foot above normal and has been for more than a week," Bruce reports. "It's got our fish a little spread out to say the least. There is some pretty water in the vicinity of the East Cut, but the tide is really ripping out most of the time around there. August should only get better as conditions return to more of a normal thing. We'll be doing a little night wading for big trout, particularly on the full moons, throwing big topwaters on shallow flats adjacent to deep drop offs. But mostly, we'll be looking to head offshore as much as we can. The tarpon and king mackerel and snapper fishing is great in August. We try to target pelagic fish we can catch on artificials as much as possible. The kingfish bite topwaters well and the tarpon can be sight cast at times when they get schooled up good. Even the snapper can be caught on lures by those willing to do a little jigging. Big trout in the surf will always be a possibility, especially if we get the typical light winds of late summer going. Usually, a west wind in the morning will flatten the waves."

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Usually July is a month of dead calm mornings, but it's not so this year. To date we've had plenty of wind early and overcast conditions most days along with some heavy rains in the upper Rio Grande Valley, keeping the hypersaline west side oxygenated and brackish in some areas, depending on tide movement. The airboat traffic and seismic charges have moved out and surprise, surprise, the trout have moved in big time. They're hitting just about anything under a cork or jigged on the bottom, but the larger fish are coming on soft plastics or Berkley Gulp shrimp in molting, new penny, and nuclear chicken colors under a Cajun Thunder cork. We're fishing the potholes in three to four foot depths early and the deeper drop offs later in the day. Freddy says, "We're hearing reports that the tarpon are thick at the end of the jetties, feeding on balled-up schools of rainbow minnows. Fishing right at dark using live mullet is your best bet for success on the silver kings."