Reports & Forecasts: August 2010

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
Consistently hot weather means it's time to head for deeper, cooler water to locate fish that are seeking relief from the heat. The Ship Channel, close rigs, and beachfront are three areas to concentrate hardest on. The Johnson Bayou Rocks are always a good place to try in August too. As far as soft plastics go, try MirrOlure Soft Minnows, H&H Beetles, and Norton Sand Eel Jrs. Topwaters also work really well, especially out on the beach. If live bait is necessary, try finger mullet or pogies, but resorting to such tactics is usually not required to catch plenty of fish. When you fish the channel, clean water and a moving tide are the keys to catching fish. Fish drop offs and oyster reefs in any depth, from about three feet all the way down to twenty feet. Don't forget about the Cameron Jetties either! Live mullet or pogies will be hard for jetty trout to resist. Look for clean, green water, current movement, and rafted mullet holding tight to the rocks and there should be feeding fish hanging close by.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
James reports that the fishing is mostly hot around Galveston lately. "It's not real good when it's windy, of course, but when conditions are decent, you can catch 'em pretty much all over the bays. The redfish in particular have been easy and should be through August. The key to catching them is to locate slicks in four to six feet of water. When you find one red, you'll usually find a bunch. Best lure for them has been Bass Assassin Sea Shads in 10W40 and hot chicken. The guys up and down the ship channel are catching good numbers of trout on humps near deep water, mostly on live bait, but you can do it with soft plastics and heavy jigheads too. Of course, chasing slicks around the shell reefs in East Bay has been productive for trout too, especially when winds are lighter. Most of the fish have been in fairly deep water close to the reefs. Trinity has been producing too. Some of the guys have been wading the east shoreline around scattered shell. That works best when the east wind is blowing steady and tide levels are high."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
"The fishing was real good before the rough weather associated with these storms settled in. We were catching fast limits of trout up to over twenty seven inches and you could get 'em pretty much how you wanted to. I've been keying on slicks out in the middle of East Bay mostly. Sometimes, the fish are over shell, sometimes over mud, but the slicks won't lie about where they are. There's some topwater bite on most days, but we are having our best luck with soft plastics, mostly Texas Trout Killers. I'll throw the clear metal flake one if the water gets really clear, and stick with the white and chartreuse colors mostly, when the water is a little off color. There has been some good wading on area shorelines too, everywhere from the east side of Trinity to both sides of East Bay, and the topwaters usually work when wading. That works best when the tide is high and water temperatures are running a little below normal, meaning there's been some clouds in the sky. These patterns should hold all the way through August."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
With all the unsettled weather and dirty water, Randall has been using live bait most of the time lately. "You can bang out a few fish on lures, but bait has been better most of the time. Live pinfish have been the best. Both the redfish and the trout love 'em. Just the other day, we boxed nice limits of fish using those. Live shrimp will work at times, but you get so many trash fish that it makes it more of a hassle. Of course, live croakers and mullet are good too and the quality of the fish you will catch is great. By August, I expect to see the weather calm down some and we should have some of those hot, still days with a flat surf. If that happens, we'll be out there along the beach looking for schooling trout and trying to catch them on top waters and tails. I love the Skitterwalks out there. Normally, it seems like when we have a rough weather pattern early in the summer, the second half of summer turns out to be still and hot. If that happens, we'll be whackin' 'em in the surf around here."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service | 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
Working the grass beds along the south shoreline in West Matagorda Bay is the standard drill in August for Tommy. "Most days, I'll be in West Bay, working the shallow grass early and moving out to the beds along the main bay drop offs later in the morning. We'll anticipate a topwater bite and give those a try, but our best luck is on soft plastics. Lately, the Norton Bull Minnows in dark colors have been producing well. We'll rig them on light jigheads, either eighth or sixteenth ounce, so we can pull them really slow over the grass. As for topwaters, I like the small ones, the Super Spook and Skitterwalks in junior versions and the She Pup from MirrOlure. Those little baits work well over in East Bay too. Last August, the redfish were in the coves pretty thick and I expect this August to be much the same. We'll work the grass over there the same way we do in West Bay, starting off close to the shoreline early, then moving out with the rising sun and heat. All of this we'll do unless the surf is right. We'll head out there every chance we get."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Calm seas and light winds have turned on the fishing around deep structures in West Matagorda Bay. With water temps in the mid to upper eighties, our fish have moved to the wells and barges to seek cooler temperatures. Trout ranging from fifteen to seventeen inches have been common catches at these deepwater structures. Live-shrimp freelined or glow DOA shrimp have been most productive for the schoolies. Tripletail fishing has been on fire as of late. Last week my party had a personal best of twenty five pounds with two others over twenty pounds. Live-shrimp dangled under a popping cork about five feet deep seem to best bet on those tasty fish. The surf should turn on anytime now and should continue hot through the month of August. Topwaters such as chrome/green and chartreuse/chrome are two of my favorites for catching trout in the surf. Soft plastics in any dark colors with chartreuse tails seem to do the trick in the surf too.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Lynn wants to head to the surf in August as much as possible, but knows that plan is dependent on a change in weather patterns. "We'll need some calm days and a break in this steady storm pattern. If we get that, the surf will be the place to be. Out there, we tend to stick with the larger topwaters like Super Spooks and She Dogs. We'll work them close to the beach early and move out to the deeper guts later. If we can't get into the surf, we'll fish areas close to access to the gulf, mainly around the pass and the jetties. We'll key on grass flats with sand pockets on flats which are very close to the deep water, which is generally cooler this time of year. I like to keep targeting the bright spots in the grass. This pattern works best when the tide is coming in during the morning hours. We'll throw smaller topwaters when fishing inside the bay, especially the junior version of the Super Spook. Of course, if the blow ups aren't coming, we'll switch over to soft plastics pretty quickly."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake does a little of everything in terms of tactics during the hot summer months. "I'll fish all different kinds of ways, from wading with live croakers to soft plastics to topwaters. Lately, our bite on topwaters has been only fair, so I've been using soft plastics and croakers more of the time. As the summer wears on, I hope to get out in the surf some. I've had years where I spent about half of my fishing time in August out there. I've had reports this year that it isn't off to a great start, but that can change. It will be better if we get some calmer weather of course. I'll also start looking for schooled up redfish in areas which are somewhat close to access to the Gulf. Usually, the southern portions of Aransas Bay will see an influx of migrating herds, as will the flats in Redfish Bay and Corpus Christi Bay. Locating these migrating schools can be the ticket to fast and easy fishing during August, when the heat can make the trout a little tougher to catch. Once you find the herds, it's usually pretty easy to catch a bunch and have a blast doing it."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
Thank goodness Hurricane Alex didn't come any closer to our part of the Laguna. We did experience some very high tides for a short while, but the water level has already gone back down. The fish scattered out into all new areas flooded by the high tides and this created more areas available for sight casting at reds, trout and black drum, which has been a blast. I'm going to continue looking for schooled up redfish in the upper end of the Laguna early in the morning and casting light colored Bass Assassins rigged on eighth ounce Spring-Lock jigheads or half ounce weedless gold spoons. The redfish schools will be holding in about two feet of water and I'm casting to the outer edges of the schools to keep the rest of the school from getting spooked. The trout fishing has also been great, and it should continue for the rest of the summer, but the trout are not as heavy as they were earlier in the year. I've been having greater success using live croakers. I'll be fishing with the croakers along grass lines and potholes in three feet of water.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe reports excellent fishing for redfish lately in the northern parts of the Upper Laguna Madre. "I'll probably be staying up north most of the rest of the summer. The redfish are roaming around in schools and are usually pretty easy to locate and see, since the water is nice and clear. The best days for sight casting the fish is when it's bright and not too windy, but not dead calm either. We're catching them on soft plastics and topwaters too. Actually, I'm finding that Super Spook Jrs. with single hooks on them are working best. The single hooks prevent the lure from fouling in the floating grass as bad, and I like the action of the lure better than with treble hooks too. The hook up ratio doesn't seem to be suffering too much, as the reds often take the small plugs all the way into their mouth. Even if the hook up ratio is a little lower, you save so much time because you aren't reeling in to remove grass. It's a good trade off. This action should only get better as more and more schools of fish come this way, heading to the Gulf at the end of summer."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
August surf fishing is either feast or famine. Tarpon, sharks, jack crevalle, speckled trout and redfish are all possible. Especially if we have some tropical activity. Water is typically clear and calm with somewhat low tide levels. Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and lots of ladyfish are often present feeding on shoals of anchovies. Silver spoons and speck rigs work well. Fish under the birds. If we get a tropical event in the Gulf the finger mullet migration will kick off early and redfish will migrate early out of the bays. Wire or heavy mono is necessary for the mackerels and ladyfish. Topwater lures work well for all species. By driving slowly and being observant one can often sight-cast trout, redfish and sharks. Usually there is little to no sargassum in August. Speed limit will be back up to 25 mph. Peeled fresh shrimp and Fishbites will catch lots of whiting and occasional palometa. Loggerhead and green sea turtles will still be nesting but they nest at night. Report fresh tracks so eggs can be gathered. Good Fishin'

Port Mansfield | Terry Neal | 956.944.2559
Don't be surprised to run into some big schools of redfish this month; they are getting ready to move out to the Gulf on their normal spawning run. Some of the best fishing will come when you wade into one of the schools. They are hard to keep up with when they are tight and pushing water but if you can wade into them, it will be fish after fish. Trout continue to be holding on the deeper grass beds and I don't expect any changes until water temperatures start cooling off.If you are into afternoon fishing, the next couple of months offer some of the best opportunity. The last two hours of daylight can be magical. Offshore action is really picking up, lots of bait balls are at the jetties with all kinds of big fish following them. It's like everything else though; you've got to be there when they are biting. Alex could really change fishing for the better; it is usually excellent fishing following a tropical storm. Keep only what you can eatrelease the rest.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Trout fishing remains constant, with all our clients bringing in limits throwing Cajun Thunder round corks and Gulps. Normal conditions for this time of year would be calm to no wind and very dry, hot conditions, however at the time of this writing we are battening down for hurricane Alex. Short, but heavy rains and high winds are already affecting the LLM. It remains to be seen whether or not the hurricane will go in south of us, but we know from experience that the north side of the storm will be the worst for fishing. Freddy says, "We can expect the bay to be a mess for at least a couple of weeks. The high winds will keep everything stirred up, so the water will be muddy for awhile, then the run-off from all the rain will most likely make fishing difficult, keeping the water cloudy and off-color, depending on wind direction and tide." We know there's always the possibility of hurricanes; we just have to deal with short term affects and usually benefit long term. The best fishing we've seen in decades occurred after Dolly and Ike.