Reports & Forecasts: August 2012

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe - Big Lake Guide Service - 337.598.3268

By August, water temperatures are high and fish seek deeper water. The ship channel, close rigs, and deeper reefs in the lake will be productive. Long gone are the mornings throwing topwaters on shallow flats. When water temperatures reach their peak, we sometimes use live bait. Carolinarigged mullet, croakers, or live shrimp are usually what we try. When fishing in the channel with live bait, it's important to use enough weight to keep the tide from sweeping the bait away. The bait needs to remain stationary on the bottom so lethargic fish don't have to expend energy to eat it. When fishing soft plastics, we switch to fluorocarbon line and lighter jigheads. so they get down to the bottom quickly and stay there with a slower presentation. Redfish will be wallowing in shallow marshes in a foot of water or less. They will eat topwaters early in the morning but once the sun gets higher, more subtle lures work better. Gulp!s rigged on sixteenth-ounce heads usually get a reaction. Live shrimp under a popping cork works too.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - - 409.935.7242

James says the typical summer pattern has been consistent for him lately in the Galveston area. "We're fishing out in the middle in pretty deep water, mostly ten to thirteen feet, catching lots of trout and reds too. The best lures for the trout lately have been Bass Assassins in pumpkinseed/chartreuse rigged on three-eighths-ounce heads. Some of the time, the trout fishing slows, but when that happens, the redfish have been keeping us busy. We're finding them schooled up in big herds, making mud boils and slicks. They are feeding on ribbonfish. It's kind of cool. Best way to catch 'em is with a shiny topwater. We've been throwing the blue-back/chrome She Dogs mostly. Tarpon fishing is looking promising too. I caught one about 120 pounds last Sunday. The total catch for the boats out over the weekend was about a dozen. We're seeing lots of fish already, so August and September should give us a great shot at numbers of the silver kings if we don't get too many storms out there stirring up the Gulf."

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service - 409.996.3054

Galveston's bays have gotten saltier over recent months, and good fishing has returned to more places. "People are well spread out lately. Some are catching in Trinity Bay, others in Upper Galveston Bay, and of course, it's been good in East Bay too. We're finding limits of both trout and reds pretty easily on days when the winds allow us to fish the way we want to. Our drill is to work depths of five to seven feet, looking for slicks and schools of bait to lead us to the right specific areas. Some days, the fish are over shell, but on others, they are over more of a muddy bottom. The reds in particular are easier to locate when they are making mud boils. Some days, they move fast, and it's hard to keep up with them. On other days, double hook-ups are more common. The reds are running big, with about 60% oversized. The trout are just solid fish in the pound and a half to about five pound class, with an occasional big one. Surf has been good on the calm days too. We'll keep fishing these patterns right through the end of August."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service - 979.849.7019 - 979.864.9323

Like other guides, Randall says he will be keeping an eye on the surfcome August. "In the hot, still month, fishing along the beach is usually great. We've already been able to get out there a few times, and we really whacked 'em. Topwaters work great when the water goes green to the beach, and the best fishing is most always close to the sand, early in the morning. Lately, we've been getting just enough west wind in the morning to keep it mucked up, but we'll see some good days during August, I bet. When I'm not fishing the surf, I like to look for reds in shallow water this time of year. The water is clear a lot, so we can see the fish on most days. If we can see 'em, we can usually catch 'em. We go after the reds with topwaters on occasion, but Norton Sand Eels work better most of the time. When it's windier, we will use live bait if we need to. Lately, on days when the lure fishing would likely be really tough, we've been catching limits on live bait, mostly piggy perch and croaker, because they make some noise. Early limits are the norm."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service -979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037

Tommy mentions the surf as option number one for August fishing in the Matagorda area. "We'll be trying to get into the surf every time we can. We've already had some good days out there in July, and it should be more consistent in August. We'll throw topwaters out there early, then switch to soft plastics of other sinking baits as it gets later. East Bay has been the best so far this summer. We're catching some nice trout out in the middle in both ends, over mud in the east end and over scattered shell in the west end. The key is to work soft plastics really slow and close to the bottom in five or six feet of water. Wading the mid-bay reefs has been good when it's calm too. I like to fish them the same way I would fish the surf, with topwaters early, switching to sinking baits later. We should see some redfish schooling around drains on the south shoreline of East Bay toward the end of August. When I head over to West Bay, I'll be focusing on the deeper grass beds on the outer bars, working them thoroughly, sometimes twice a day each."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam - 979.240.8204

It's hard to describe how good fishing has been these past couple of weeks. Last weekend, we caught twenty three tripletail up to eighteen pounds in three days. We also fished the grass flats on the shoreline of West Matagorda Bay and had limits of trout up to three pounds. Redfish have been schooling in the back lakes off the intracoastal, and they've been violently attacking topwaters. The surf has just turned on again, and from the beach at East Matagorda all the way to Port O' Connor, the fishing has been on fire! The only thing I can attribute all the good catching to is the amazing amount of bait present in the bays. Everywhere I go, from the flats, to the wells, to the surf, I don't think I have ever seen so many schools of mullet and menhaden. Look for hot fishing to continue into August. In the heat, we fish shallow early and follow the bait out deeper as the water warms during the day.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith - Back Bay Guide Service - 361.983.4434
Lynn's plan for August outings is dependent on the winds and the ability to get into the surf. "Of course, we are planning on fishing the beachfront as much as possible. We've had a few good days out there already, and August is usually the best month. I like to throw topwaters in the waves early, all day if I can keep getting blown up. Lately, the junior versions of the Skitterwalk have been working great, especially the baby trout one with the blue back. The old standby pink and silver is a consistent producer too. We will be looking to wade some shallow areas close to the beach that have grass growing in the gut. When we can't get to the surf, we'll be fishing flats adjacent to deep water around the passes, targeting schools of bait fish around areas with lots of grass and sand. We'll use topwaters as much as possible when we're in the bay too, then switch over to soft plastics as the sun gets higher and heats up the shallows.

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894

Blake intends to keep running a similar plan in August to what he's already been doing this summer. "I'll spend some time in most of the area bays, fishing sand and grass shorelines some, especially early in the mornings and when it's windier. I'll get out and work the mid-bay reefs too. Doing that is better and easier when winds are lighter. Of course, the surf has been good already, and I'll be looking to take advantage of some opportunities to get out there and join in the catching. I'll be throwing a variety of things at the fish, topwaters at times, Sand Eels more often, and live bait when the going is tougher, or if I have clients who want to go that route. Toward the end of the month, I'll start looking around the drains and cuts and passes for schooling reds. They usually start to gang up somewhat by that time. And, I'll be gearing up for the dove and teal seasons. We've had plenty of rain to create some food in the fields, so the dove hunting should be good. It's a little early to tell about the teal."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata - [email protected] - 361.563.1160

So far, so good! That is what I think about this fishing season up to now. The fishing has not been fast and furious, but it has been steady. I have been catching very good numbers of trout, with many ranging from eighteen to twenty four inches. Brown tide has kept me from fishing in the heart of Baffin Bay, but the water has had good clarity along the Kennedy Ranch Shoreline and in the Yarborough area. Recently, the water has been clearing up in the upper end of the Laguna Madre, and this has opened up many more areas to fish along grass lines, pot holes and drop-offs in about four feet of water. Free-lining croakers has been the most efficient method for catching trout. Redfish have been a little scarce for me, but with the water clearing up in the upper part of the
Laguna Madre, I will be getting my half-ounce gold spoons and Bass Assassin Die Dappers rigged on eighth-ounce jigheads ready to cast while running slowly and trying to "wake up" and locate the schooling reds.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez - - 361.937.5961
Joe says he'll likely be splitting time in the far ends of his local waters in August. "The water is really clear down south, so the fishing in the Land Cut area, Nine Mile Hole, Summer House and along the Kenedy Shoreline is good. I like to work all kinds of deep edges down there this time of year, including the main drop off in The Cut, the deep sides of rocks along the edge off the Kenedy Shoreline, and the edges of the gut in Summer House. Most of the time, trout are hanging out on these grassy edges. They are easiest to catch on soft plastics. We use lighter jigheads when we can, to keep the lures out of the grass better, but switch over to heavier ones in stronger winds and currents. The reds can often be found in the shallower parts of these same areas. With the clear water, it's possible to sightcast them. Paddletails on light jigheads work best for targeting the fish this way. I'll also probably venture north into Corpus Bay some too. Sightcasting the reds up that way is usually good this time of year in Shamrock and East Flats."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer - Padre Island Safaris - 361.937.8446

The quality of surf fishing on PINS in August is determined by two words - water color. It tends to be hot with calm wind conditions and generally smooth, clear seas. August is as close to tropical as it gets in Texas. We will drive slowly along the beach looking for speckled trout and redfish laid up in small pockets quite close to shore and sight-cast with small paddle tails. Don't hit them on the head; let them find it on their own. King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, tarpon, and tons of ladyfish (skipjack) are usually available. Use speck rig jigs or small silver spoons - wire leader is often necessary. There will be plenty of whiting available. Sharks are scarce the first half of the month but tend to show up the second half. Fishing at night with baits kayaked far offshore tend to be most productive. With hot water temperatures small baits often work better than large ones. Topwaters often produce trout early and late and occasionally even in the middle of the day.

Port Mansfield | Terry Neal - 956.944.2559

Looks like our wind pattern is finally starting to settle down. Bay fishing will be good for trout and reds but calmer days are always the hottest so an early start is advised. By the time you read this bay water temps will be pushing into the upper 80s and deeper grassbeds will be good places to look for trout. Redfish will be schooling on the flats, very shallow at daybreak and then moving deeper during midday. The best offshore opportunities also come during August, when it is so hot and still out there you can hardly breathe. One of my favorite things is to take some of my old topwater baits, cut the old rusty hooks off and play with the fish. Nothing like a kingfish coming eight feet out of the water and landing on your bait. The bait balls have started to show up so everything else is not far behind. The new reef is producing some good snapper and some pretty nice dog snapper. A day of fishing beats a day at the office.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty - - 956.943.2747

So far this summer, we've had warm, windy, and occasionally wet days with some extremely high tides due to tropical activity. Limiting on trout is pretty common, but reds are not hanging out on the flats like they used to, thanks to boat traffic. We're managing to limit most days on redfish, but haven't seen the herds, so we're making long drifts and hitting every hole. Our biggest problem has been floating turtle grass, which runs down the line and hangs on the hook and can really hinder the retrieve and take the action out of the lure. Freddy says, "Use single hooks and fish shallow to avoid grassing up. We're throwing the cigar-shaped Cajun Thunder cork trailing a Hogie's black-nickel sixteenth-ounce springhead hook, baited with Berkley Gulp! three-inch shrimp in new penny and glow. And of course, we run Shallow Sport boats to get us as skinny as possible." Please help us stop open bay dredge disposal!