Reports & Forecasts: August 2013

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
Most of our fishing will be done in deeper water around the ship channel, at nearshore platforms, the jetties, and over deeper reefs in the lake.  Tide is key in the month of August.  Trout have developed strict feeding habits due to high water temperatures and their unwillingness to expend much energy to catch food.  The fish we are going to catch will be laying in deeper, cooler water. Finding some break in the current is a key when hunting summer trout. Points on the channel, oyster reefs near the channel, the jetties, oil rig legs; all of these structures create eddies which in turn create great places for trout to suspend without using much energy to eat.  Think of the tide as a conveyer belt bringing bait straight to the trouts' noses.  Many times, trout will not move more than a foot to eat, depending on water temperature and strength of tide.  Therefore, don't get too excited when you catch a fish.  You have to remember exactly where your bait was in the water column so you can repeat the process and catch another one.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
Like others in the Galveston area, James says the fishing has been excellent lately, especially when the wind cooperates.  “If it's calm, you can pretty much catch 'em in all the area bays.  The deep reefs in both East and Trinity Bays are holding lots of solid trout, plenty of four and five pounders.  When it's calm, I've been catching steadily on a blue/chrome SheDog.  My customers are doing better on soft plastics.  We're keying on slicks to find the fish.  The schools of reds are there on lots of days under the slicks too.  Most of them are too big, but if you do catch keepers, they will be big ones.  I had a customer the other day land a 45 inch red on ten pound test line.  It took a while, but he had fun.  If it's windier, the only way to catch many fish is to key on some kind of structure like a well pad and fish it hard during the right part of the tide.  I've got a couple of good spots like that.  In August, we'll crank up the hunt for the tarpon.  It's pretty much a guaranteed deal that when the surf is green to the beach, we'll be hooking the silver kings.”

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim says the weather is the main key determining the quality of the fishing in Galveston this summer.  “When it's calm, everybody is really catching lots of solid trout from two to about six pounds.  Most of the best action is in the surf and around the mid-bay reefs.  When fishing the surf, the key is to be there early.  Topwaters work great for a while on most days when the water is green to the beach.  Out in the middle of the bay, finding the slicks is the most important factor.  The fish will hang around in the vicinity of the reefs, but they won't always be on the shell.  Sometimes, they will move around a little, and we will find them over a mud bottom several hundred yards from the reef.  When fishing out of the boat, we're throwing mostly Tidal Surge soft plastics.  Lately, pink has been a good color.  But mostly, it's all about location, and finding the slicks is the biggest key.  There are some big schools of reds out in the middle too, and they tend to make mud slicks when they are ganged up and feeding.  Overall, it's good and steady.”

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
“I'm sure you are hearing this from everyone, but the surf has been on fire lately.  On several occasions, we've been back at the dock early with full limits of trout.  Out there, topwaters are working well, especially the One Knocker in pink and silver,” Randall reports.  “Fishing in the bays is outstanding lately too.  We're keying on deeper areas with scattered shell on the bottom and using soft plastics some days and live bait on others.  The water is a little dingy, so Sand Eels and Sand Shads in colors like salty chicken are working best.  Of course, the live bait makes it even easier to catch fast limits and stay close to the ice chest.  I'm looking for the surf to stay good throughout August, since it is normally the best month of all for fishing the beachfront.”  He also corrected me on something I reported last month.  “My place is on Bastrop Bayou, not Chocolate Bayou,” he laughed.  If anyone reading this ran up and down Chocolate Bayou looking for Randall's dock and his two JH Performance boats, I sincerely apologize!

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service | 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
Tommy mentions the surf first when he gave this report.  “We'll be in the surf every time the wind allows in August.  The fish are thick out there right now.  We like topwaters in the shallows early, then typically switch over to broken backs like the ED Special later in the day.  When fishing for trout in West Bay, we focus on the shoreline grass beds with topwaters early, then move out to the guts between the bars fronting the coves later.  Sometimes, we move back to the shoreline and work the beds with soft plastics, using light jigheads and heavy worms like the Norton Sand Shad.  The key is often a slow presentation, mostly just a swimming type of motion.  Redfish are already schooling up, and they will definitely be in August.  We like to fish drains going into the marsh when looking for them.  We also fish the mid-bay reefs in East Bay when winds allow.  And, we will still be targeting tripletail on most days.  We've been seeing steady action on them lately, and that should hold up throughout the summer.”

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
The full moon, low tides, and constant southwest winds have made for a tough bite the last week and a half. During the week prior to the full moon, we experienced some of the best fishing of the summer. We landed 21 tripletail from 8 to 25 pounds in a five-day stretch, which is about as good a run as I can remember in recent years. Most of these fish were caught on live shrimp rigged five to six feet under popping corks around structures in West Matagorda Bay. Our trout pattern has taken off when we can get to the rigs to fish.  We are catching lots of good eating-sized trout from 15 to 18 inches.  They have been hanging out below the wells out in the bay.  Live shrimp freelined with a splitshot has worked best for us. The redfish bite has been good as well, since the reds have started schooling up in small pods on the shorelines, chasing grass shrimp and shad. Gold quarter ounce weedless spoons and pearl/chartreuse paddletails have worked best to catch them.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
In August, Lynn plans to head out early to take advantage of the coolest part of the day.  “It's gonna be hot, so we will fish early and try to get back early.  We'll be hitting the surf any time we can, fishing the shallow guts close to the beach with topwaters at first light.  If we find plenty of fish, we will usually try to stay with them later into the morning, and we often switch over to soft plastics as the sun gets higher.  When fishing in the bays, the lures are pretty much the same.  We throw the white/chartreuse head Spook Juniors and pink Baby Skitterwalks early, then switch over to Kelly Wigglers in colors like chicken on a chain later.  We use both rat tailed and paddletailed versions of the soft plastics.  Our areas of choice in the bays will be flats with grass and potholes close to the pass.  We'll wade pretty deep and throw at some deeper edges.  We also like to work shell reefs close to the ship channel in August too.  Lately, the fishing on spoil banks like that has been good, especially when the tide is moving right.”

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake says the fishing for trout throughout the early part of the summer is the best he's seen in quite some time.  “I'm not sure where all these trout came from, but they don't seem to be going anywhere.  We are catching lots of quality fish in most of the area bays, plenty of 22 to 24 inch fish.  We've been having good luck wading and throwing soft plastics on reefs out in the middle of the bays.  Some of the deeper reefs which can't be waded are producing well too.  Of course, if the soft plastics aren't working as well, the live croakers are still keeping the rods bent.  I'll probably be fishing similar patterns in August, especially the first half of the month, keying on drop offs on shallower reefs when wading and fishing the deeper ones out of the boat.  I'll start making more of an effort to locate the migrating schools of reds later in the month, particularly if the tides get really low, like they do most years during that time frame. Working areas around the drains into the back lakes and also on the flats close to the passes is a great way to catch plenty of reds.

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
Yahoo!  The water is clearing up in Baffin Bay and in some areas to the north and south.  This has opened up more fishable water and this is great news!  Fishing with live croakers and piggy perch is probably still yielding the better catches by fishing with them along grass lines, in potholes and along drop offs in two to three feet of water.  Finding good concentrations of bait in the area selected to fish is the key to being successful, and wadefishing will also contribute to success.  Natural-colored MirrOlure SheDogs have also been attracting some very nice trout, up to 29 inches, in water that does not have too much floating grass.  The Bass Assassin Die Dappers rigged on sixteenth ounce Spring Lock jig heads, in colors like salt and pepper, silver phantom with chartreuse tail and sand trout continue to be my go to baits.  Sight-casting in ultra shallow water with the Die Dappers and shrimp flavored Fish Bites continues to gain popularity with me.  I’m seeing more and more sting rays, so don’t forget your ForEverLast  RayGuards.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe says the clear water has moved into much of the area around the Land Cut and also around the front of Baffin.  “Over the last few weeks, the water clarity has improved a bunch in lots of areas, and the fishing is great.  We're catching plenty of trout by focusing on deeper rocks and grass beds in areas like Yarbrough and Rocky Slough.  Topwaters are working well on some days, soft plastics better overall.  The key to catching is to find lots of rafted mullet and then make quality casts around the edges of the deep structures.  Some of the trout have been big lately, and the percentage of keepers is good too.  Not all the fish are deep, of course.  Sight-casting opportunities are good when the fish are found in the shallows, now that the water is so clear.  When casting at fish after they are spotted, it's best to work paddletail soft plastics close in front of their noses.  Sometimes, they will charge at the bait from a few feet away, but at other times, placing the lures right in front of their noses is required to make them bite.”

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
The upwelling of offshore currents and the muddy water conditions experienced last year returned and impacted the PINS beach in mid-June.  August is normally hot and calm with clear water.  If this is the case, fishing can be very good for a multitude of species.  If the muddy upwelling continues, catching will be poor.  Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, tarpon, large jack crevalle, redfish and speckled trout are present when the water is clear in August, and this is traditionally our best month for sight-casting to large speckled trout with artificials.  Fly fishing also excels in August.  A variety of artificials will produce and single strand wire leaders are necessary due abundant toothy critters.  Mullet may begin to migrate into the surf, and if they do, live finger mullet will produce the best results. If the anchovy migration gets underway, untold numbers of skipjacks and Spanish mackerel will be feeding on them. The area of their greatest abundance is the target area for all species.  Keep an eye on the sky, and an ear on the weather report.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza – 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge – 956.944.4000
August brings opportunity for Port Mansfield anglers looking for seasonal adventure.  Ruben says, “This is the season for tarpon, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, and sharks on light tackle at the jetties, in the surf, and within a mile or two of the beach – weather permitting.  When my clients are looking for something special I like to head toward the East Cut jetties at first light.  Early morning is usually the calmest part of the day and we often find frenzies of kings, Spanish mackerel and jack crevalle feeding along the rocks or just outside.  The action can be phenomenal!” Look for pelicans and gulls working bait balls. Good lures are topwaters, 51 and 52 Series MirrOlures and large silver spoons.  A short piece of wire leader is a must.  Cast to the edges of baitballs and try to get your fish away as quickly as possible to avoid break-offs from other toothy critters swimming into your line.  The flats adjoining the East Cut just inside the jetties make a great second stop for trout, reds and flounder.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Fishing in early July has been just like the tide chart, full of peaks and valleys. One trip, we’ll limit on trout, catching three or four nice reds and an oversized, leaving us with high expectations for the following day, only to be disappointed. Freddy says, “Back in the day, you’d find fish in an area and count on at least four trips of consistent catching. These days, it’s getting totally unpredictable, and it’s better not to pass up anything that looks good, instead of running to yesterday’s killer spot.”  We’re continuing to throw the Berkley Gulp! three inch shrimp on a Norton hook under a Cajun Thunder round cork. Usually, we’ll start out with the pearl and switch to a new penny later in the day. Some days, we’re nailing really nice trout up to twenty seven inches in clear potholes at three to four feet, but after a few boats cross the drift, it’s time to move on. We’ve had good luck in shallow water, but again, boat traffic is a major factor in making a successful decision to stay put or look elsewhere. Let’s put a stop to “open bay dredge disposal.”