Reports & Forecasts: August 2011

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
In August, look for trout in deeper water and on deeper reefs in the lake. Dropoffs in the Calcasieu Ship Channel are excellent places to fish. Don't always run to the south end of the channel; the northern drop-offs will be good too. Stick with quarter ounce jigheads until you can no longer get them down to the depth that you want to fish. Be sure to fish the entire dropoff all the way out to as deep as fifteen feet. Use shrimp imitations like Norton Sand Eels and the entire MirrOlure line of soft plastics. We have been catching equally well on both brands. Also H&H Salty Grubs and Cocahoes are old standbys that you can't leave home without. What color you throw depends on water clarity. Throw darker colors like motor oil, avocado and black in dirty water and lighter colors like glow, opening night, and clear in clean water. Redfish will be behind the weirs in the southeast corner of Calcasieu. Try spinnerbaits and spoons against the grass. Chunk soft plastics and topwaters in the ponds. Also look for reds slicking in the middle of the lake.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
Typical summer patterns were producing nicely for James when he called. "We're catching plenty of trout, especially when the winds are light. Some of the schools are holding some good ones, from the upper five pound class to the low sevens. Mostly, it's just fish, two pounders or so, but limits have been easy a lot of the time. We are fishing pretty deep water, up to six or eight feet and throwing mostly soft plastics. Today, we were using chicken on a chain Bass Assassins, but color really hasn't been that important once the fish are located. We are finding our fish by looking for slicks and balled-up shad. There aren't many shrimp in the bays since it's so salty, but there are lots of shad. The white shrimp are out in the surf and the fishing's been good out there too, with a little better topwater bite. All of this should continue into August. We might have to move a little deeper when fishing the bays, up to like nine to twelve feet of water. And we should be able to get after the tarpon on a regular basis. I expect a great season on the silver kings!"

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim was just finished loading the boat after a good day of fishing when he called." Put the biggest trout I've caught in some time in the boat today. It was just over 29 inches long and weighed eight and a quarter pounds. Didn't catch our limit, but we have on lots of days recently. Fished a pretty big tournament last week, with nearly 60 boats, some bait fishermen, some lure fishermen. We had second place and beat all the bait fishermen. Fishing was outstanding that day; the fish bit up until nearly noon. On days with better tide movement, that tends to be the case; when tides are weaker, the bite shuts down earlier and it gets tough. It is, of course, tough when the wind blows, because were fishing shell reefs in the middle, targeting depths of five to about eight feet. I've been throwing bright lures like glow and pearl in the morning when the light is low and the water has color. When the sun gets bright, the tide slows and the water clears, I switch over to dark colors like pumpkinseed and plum."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
Randall says various things have been working in his area this summer, and August shapes up nicely. "We're catching lots of trout, using a variety of methods. There's been some good topwater action at times, especially in the surf. We are also using live bait and having great success that way. Other times, the soft plastics have been the ticket. I've been catching real good on the full-sized Norton Sand Eel in tequila gold. Offshore fishing has kicked off too. Today, we caught a limit of kingfish and snapper without too much effort. I did put about 90 miles on my Etec today. It's amazing how fuel efficient that motor is; I got over four miles to the gallon! As far as redfish go, we've been catching some big ones, mostly in the upper part of the slot, but the numbers aren't real good. All this should carry right on through August as long as we don't get any storms. The surf and the offshore stuff should be great and the deeper parts of the bays will be good too. Mostly, it just depends on what you want to catch and how you want to catch 'em."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service |
979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
According to Tommy, August patterns should be similar to the ones currently working around Matagorda at the time of this report. "We've had more options open up since the strong winds quit blowing. There are plenty of reds to be caught on the shorelines of West Bay. We like to throw topwaters early around the shallow grass beds, then move out to the edges of the deeper guts as the day warms up and switch to soft plastics. In fact, the hotter it gets, the better soft plastics seem to work. They should be rigged on light jigheads and fished slowly. The same kind of drill works pretty good in East Bay too, especially around drains and cuts in the shoreline. Most of the trout seem to have moved deep, so fishing for them out of the boat is better. The only really good wading option for trout in August is on the mid-bay reefs in East Bay. Light winds are necessary to make that productive. Of course, light winds also green up the surf. We'll probably have our best days on trout out there. Calm days allow us to effectively target tripletails too."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
The winds this past month have determined our fishing success. When the winds have been quiet, we have had some outstanding days, and when it has blown we have struggled. The deep wells in West Matagorda and deep bayous of Tres Palacios Bayou have held solid keeper trout when we have been able to go after them. Live shrimp or croaker freelined in ten to twelve feet of water over shell have produced fish most consistently. Redfish have been staging over a mix of sand and grassbeds in one to three feet of water and have been biting steadily on small topwaters in bone, black/gold/orange and pink. The tripletail bite has been good as well, when winds have allowed us to target them. Fish have been averaging around twelve pounds, with a few over twenty pounds in the mix. Live shrimp rigged about four to six feet under popping corks are the best bet. This month the surf should settle and give us a chance at some better trout. By the time this report is printed, the dog days should be well under way.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Fishing in the surf has been good at times already and Lynn expects that to continue into August. "We'll be heading out to the beachfront as much as the wind will allow. Usually, the better trout from mid-summer through late-summer come out of the surf or from the deeper areas of the bay. When fishing the surf, we'll throw topwaters quite a bit, but when fishing deeper areas of the bay, we'll throw soft plastics more of the time. Some of the best fishing in the bays this time of year is in the deeper channels of the bay, in water at least eight to ten feet deep, sometimes a little deeper. Using heavier jigheads is sometimes necessary to get the lures down to where the fish are, particularly when currents are strong. If we do get some cooler weather, we'll be more likely to target some of the grassy flats adjacent to the deep channels, especially early in the morning, but that doesn't really seem likely given the hot weather we are already having on a daily basis. August is typically a time for the surf and the channels."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
"I'll be fishing the mainstay summer patterns throughout August," Blake reports. "They've been working great lately. We've got trout in all the Rockport-area bays lately, mostly relating to oyster reefs out in the middle where there's deep water fairly close by. When it's calm, the fishing around the reefs can be easy with lures and, of course, with live croakers. The croakers are working well lately, but we've also had some decent action on topwaters at times, particularly in the surf, when we can get out there. Recently, we've had some calm weather and the seaweed has kind of thinned out, so that's been great. Norton Sand Eels have also worked well for the trout at times. In August, in addition to targeting the trout, I'll be looking for schooling reds. Over the last few weeks, they've been schooling in various places around town, but as we get farther into August and move toward the end of summer, the schools tend to be concentrated closer and closer to the pass areas. As long as the crowds aren't too bad, the schools can be easy to find.

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
I am really excited about how good the fishing has been this season! We have had difficulty dealing with strong winds, but despite the winds I have been able to find fishable waters and very good numbers of both trout and redfish. I have also been catching good numbers of flounder on my charters. Baffin Bay continues to produce many trout between twenty and twenty three inches. It has also been easy to find schools of redfish on the flats on calm mornings, so this is shaping up into one of the best fishing seasons in my twenty five years of guiding. This month, I will start my days by running slowly across the flats, looking for the reds to move and disrupt the natural wave action, getting upwind of them, then catching up to them with my trolling motor. I'll be casting the five inch saltwater Die Dappers rigged on eighth ounce jigheads or half ounce gold weedless spoons. Around mid-morning, I will fish for trout along grass lines, in pot holes, on dropoffs and around rocks with Die Dappers or free-lined croakers in two to four feet of water.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Water quality continues to be outstanding in the Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay, and the fishing is accordingly good. We have really clear water lately, no brown tide at all. Since that is true, sightcasting is consistently an option. The redfish and drum are easiest to locate because they tend to school in large groups. When it's calm, it's easiest to locate them by watching for bulges, or wakes on the water. The herds make these when they move. It can be hard to see into the water when it's calm though, and floating grass can make using some lures difficult. Sightcasting is easiest to do when winds are in the medium range, breaking the glare on the surface of the water. Then it's possible to see the schools as orange or brownish spots against the bottom. Trout fishing is more of a deep structure thing in the hot summer. I like to drift the dropoffs of the spoil banks or along rocky shorelines, where there is deep water next to shallow structures. Because of the clear water, it's possible to throw close to the rocks without snagging up a lot.

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
Fishing in August is typically determined by the presence or lack of tropical weather in the Gulf of Mexico. Typically, tides are minimal, the water is green, and the wind moderate. Almost any species is possible from giant tiger sharks on kayaked baits through tarpon, redfish, jack crevalle and king mackerel. Spanish mackerel and ladyfish are sometimes present in large numbers. Speckled trout will remain good on topwaters, Bass Assassins, and spoons throughout the month. The kingpin in all of this action will be the presence or absence of large shoals of dusky and bay anchovies. Anglers should target areas with lots of bird activity and visible shoals of baitfish. Blacktipped and bull sharks are often observed cruising immediately along the shoreline great opportunity for sightcasting. Keep a rod and reel rigged with leader and a fresh skipjack ready for bait. Whiting will be thick; fresh, peeled, dead shrimp and Fishbites being the baits of choice. A tropical storm or hurricane anywhere in the Gulf will affect fishing success very dramatically and planned trips are better rescheduled.

Port Mansfield | Terry Neal | 956.944.2559
In my June report I wrote, "Summer time and fishing is easy." It's still true. As the tides continue to push Caribbean-green water into the Laguna Madre the fishing continues to improve. Huge schools of mullet continue to inundate the bay. These two factors are responsible for some of the best trout fishing that anyone can remember in many years - trout fishing has been fantastic. There are also reports of limits of good snapper coming off the new reef that was created a few years ago. If my information is corrected, this structure is about six miles off the jetties and covers a fairly extensive area and is well marked. Ling and king are showing around the Gulf side of the Port Mansfield jetties hammering the schools of mullet. At the time of this report, there is no fuel available in the Port Mansfield harbor. The Exxon station at the edge of town is our only source. Bring jerry cans or plan to pull your boat to refuel. Keep only what you can eat; release the rest.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Floating grass is a huge problem at the time of this writing. The feeder bands from tropical storm Arlene reached the Rio Grande Valley, dumping much needed rain and filling the southwest corner of the LLM with floating turtle grass, making fishing difficult. They're out there, but between boat traffic and slow tides, it can be tough to limit on redfish. We're not having any trouble filling up on decent trout, with a really good one or two caught on every trip. Now that the water is clearing, we're throwing some half to three quarter ounce gold weedless Precision spoons and when the grass allows, the Cajun Thunder cigar cork with a Berkley Gulp! three inch shrimp. Freddy says, Experiment with the color of your Gulps, but keep the glow and new penny handy. When the water gets that trout green look, fish usually are attracted to more colorful baits, but you will find that different depths can change their preferences. Summer crowds drive fish into deeper water, so head out a little further from shore and let them run 'em to you.