Reports & Forecasts: August 2014

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
The weather is finally starting to cooperate! Trout fishing has been excellent for the last few days. The lake is loaded with trout, from Turners Bay all the way to the South Bank. The action mid-lake has been especially hot. Plenty of trout are snapping under hovering birds, waiting for all you bird fishermen. Long Point, Commissary Point, and South Bank reefs have been producing as well. Quarter ounce jigheads with MirrOlure Lil' Johns in opening night, golden bream and glow/chartreuse have been the ticket. If trout aren't your thing, and you would rather catch reds, Prien Lake and Black Lake have been producing consistent limits. Points and islands are the name of the game for redfish in these areas. Most of the reds have been caught on live shrimp rigged about a foot under a cork. The weather is starting to settle down, and the trout fishing is just getting cranked up. I believe we are in for one heck of a summer and the best is yet to come. Hope to see everyone fishing very soon.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
James experienced excellent trout fishing on calm bays on days leading up to this report. "We have been whackin' 'em pretty good when winds are light. Fishing deep water, around ten feet or so, keying on slicks and balled-up schools of shad. Topwaters like She Dogs and She Pups are working well, even in these depths. Our trout fishing will continue to be like this throughout August. We'll be working areas along the channel and other places where deep water is close by. Slicks normally lead us to the schools of fish, and catching them is easiest during the right parts of the tide-movement cycle. Windy weather will normally cause us some problems this time of year, making it harder to effectively work the areas where fish are concentrated. Wading doesn't generally produce as well. Except along the beachfront. Speaking of that, we are already starting up our tarpon season. Everybody saw some fish this past weekend, and a couple were caught, along with some nice ling. Outlook for catching silver kings in August is outstanding."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim reports seeing several excellent signs and trends on his fishing excursions lately. "The topwater action has picked up some. When the water is somewhat calm and clear, we're catching quite a few nice trout on top lately. I had one over 28 inches the other day, and we've had good numbers of fish around 25 inches or a little bigger. When the topwaters aren't working as good, I'm throwing soft plastics mostly, in dark colors like plum and pumpkinseed/chartreuse when the water is in good shape, and bright colors like limetreuse and glow when it is murkier. We are catching most of our trout out in the middle, keying on slicks to find them. There are big herds of reds out there too, and on the days when the trout bite is slower, they have been saving us somewhat. We are catching lots of upper-slot keepers and a fairly high percentage of oversized ones too. The soft plastics are working best on the reds. Lots of times, we are able to locate them by seeing the mud boils they create when they stir up the bottom."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
Randall says the best fishing he's experienced lately has been in the surf, despite the presence of more than normal amounts of seaweed. "We have been able to make some really good catches. The key is to find a stretch without too much seaweed where there's plenty of bait. All of our fish are coming from under thick rafts of mullet. We're throwing topwaters like Pink Skitterwalks really close to the sand early in the morning and moving out some as the sun gets a little higher. You've got to keep the lure moving right in there with the rafted bait, knocking the mullet out of the way ideally. This seems to drive the fish crazy and make 'em strike. We've also noticed another cool thing. Seems the trout will gang up on the ribbonfish and pressure them into the rafted seaweed. The other day, we were seeing ribbonfish flying out of the water and landing on top of the mats of weed. It was cool. We also expect to see some outstanding redfish action in August. Normally, we see plenty of schooling activity on the flats behind the pass this month."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service | 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
Tommy says he still holds out hope for getting into the surf in August, but acknowledges a problem with such an expectation. "I've never seen so much seaweed along the beachfront in my life. August weather usually makes the surf fishable, but we will need a break from all the seaweed to make it work. If we can't get into the surf, we'll mainly stay in West Bay and work some of the grass beds lying along the outer edges of the sand bars early, throwing soft plastics on light jigheads right into the grass, then switch over to slightly heavier heads and toss them along the drop offs into deeper water, say five or six feet. We like to throw colors like black magic, chicken on a chain and lately, slammin' chicken. We'll also keep our eyes open for signs indicating the redfish are schooling up. If we see lots of bait busting along shallow shorelines, it can lead to a bonanza. If we head over to East Bay, we'll try drifting mud flats and areas with scattered shell in the west end using heavy jigheads, or wade the mid-bay reefs if it's calm."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Windy conditions continue to plague our local waters. Our deep-water structures around the well pads in West Matagorda have been inaccessible, along with our shallow reefs being blown out most days, making for a summer of grinding so far. On the few days we have had with lighter winds, we have caught plenty of trout on live shrimp rigged about eighteen inches under Vudu corks. Limits of upper-slot drum and redfish have dominated our boxes when the weather has been right. August should bring us some calmer seas and let us get out to the rigs. During the heat of the summer, the shell pads out around the platforms can hold tons of trout. Free-lining live shrimp or throwing eighth ounce Vudu Shrimp can add up to some good catches this time of year. The surf has not turned on yet. I do expect the seaweed will start to decrease and lighter winds will allow us access to some great fishing eventually. Throwing topwaters off the beach early, then following fish to deeper guts as the day progresses is a great plan to follow when surf-fishing.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Lynn predicts continued excellent fishing throughout the summer, which has started off sizzling in the Port O'Connor area. "With all the freshwater coming down the Guadalupe River, the fish are starting to stack up on shorelines south of town. I'll be targeting them by focusing on stretches with guts and sandy potholes in the grassbeds, using topwaters primarily, and switching to soft plastics when the bite is a bit tougher. Typically, August winds are light, making topwaters especially effective, particularly during early morning sessions. The shell reefs in San Antonio Bay promise to be productive too, given the influx of sweet water. Targeting fish on top of them and around their edges when it's calm will be another plan. Of course, we're still hoping to get a prolonged run of fishing in the surf too. Surely, winds will begin to remain calmer on a regular basis this month. If they do, we'll head out along the beachfront, targeting trout early with topwaters close to the sand, and moving out a little deeper with soft plastics later in the morning."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake plans on fishing in the surf if possible during August. "I expect the surf to pick up and be more consistently productive this month. We'll be taking our topwaters, tails and even the bait onto the beachfront if it does. Other than that, I plan on hitting some specific areas which tend to produce well when tides are low, which they usually are during the second half of summer. All of the local bays have troughs which tend to fill up with fish which pull off shorelines and out of back lakes when tides drop way out. We'll target areas around the entrances to big marsh lakes and adjacent to large, shallow flats using soft plastics like Norton Sand Eels in colors like plum/chartreuse and pumpkinseed/chartreuse. We won't hesitate to use live bait either, if the bite is somewhat tough. Basically, during the heat of the summer, we will just plan on doing whatever it takes to get the fish to bite. Typically, we see some schooling activity and a move toward the pass area among the redfish sometime during the second half of the month."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
Winds have been rather strong recently, but if we get normal conditions during August, we should have calm winds during the first few hours after sunrise. The calm winds will allow me to look for the schools of redfish that are usually common this time of the year. I will run slowly in two to three feet of water and look for the wakes the reds make when trying to get away from the noise of my motor. I will then run my boat and stop so I have the wind, and hopefully the sun behind my back. I will approach the school from about 100 yards, with my trolling motor, and cast to the edge of the school, using half ounce weedless gold spoons or other lures like Bass Assassin Die Dappers in sand trout, pumpkinseed, salt & pepper, silver phantom or plum/chartreuse. If I cannot locate the reds, I will look for potholes, grass lines or drop offs in about three feet of water and fish with live croakers or piggy perch for trout.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
The water is looking good throughout most of the area, and Joe plans on taking advantage of a variety of options during the hot month of August. "The clear "ocean water" down south in Nine Mile Hole, the Land Cut, Rocky Slough and Yarbrough is really pretty. And there are plenty of places down there to do some sight-casting for big reds and also to catch trout. The trout fishing is better lately. We're working patterns along the edges of structural elements like rocks, channel edges and the fringes of spoil humps, tossing soft plastics mostly. The clear water allows us to see exactly where we should place our casts. Fishing for reds has been better closer to the JFK Causeway. For the most part, the water up here isn't as clear, making it more difficult to see and cast to specific fish, but we've been able to catch some good ones anyway, just drifting and throwing soft plastics. I expect things to continue pretty much the same throughout the next month, and lighter predicted winds should make things a bit easier on average."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
As of late June, conditions have been horrible on PINS, with never-ending large amounts of sargassum weed arriving daily and crippling fishing efforts, not to mention making driving hazardous and dangerous. What happens and what's available in August will be determined by the status of the sargassum at that time. Driving probably won't get better till we have something tropical push the water level to the dunes and clear the beach forward of the weed deposits. August is right in the middle of hurricane season, so monitor weather forecasts before planning trips. August can be great fishing if the conditions are moderate. Long-sleeved shirts and broad-brimmed hats are advised, as is ample use of sunscreen and remaining hydrated. Tarpon, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, redfish and hoards of ladyfish (skipjacks) are all possible in August, and all of our surf shark species are possible. Whiting will be in good supply, but run a bit on the small side. Target flocks of feeding birds and bait balls of anchovies.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000
Fishing has definitely improved down here in Port Mansfield for those willing to get out early and work the traditional summertime patterns. The best trout action is almost always early. Here lately the wind has been blowing pretty hard some days but if you grind it out you can still pick up some solid fish. The trout have either been in waist to chest high water or on the flat right next to the ICW. The topwater bite has been OK on average. Occasionally you can have a really great day on tops. For the most part we have been using K-Wiggler Ball Tail Shads. Mansfield Margarita and Lagunaflauge continue to be my go-to colors on eighth ounce jigheads. Reds continue to be a puzzle for me and when we do find some they are in smaller schools. Gold weedless spoons are still very effective lures. The big monster schools of reds we used to see on the sand just aren't around anymore. Hopefully one day we will see that pattern coming back into play. Until next time; tight lines and calm seas!

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
It seems like this year has been windier than any we can remember. Usually by this time of the year, we've already had a couple of weeks of calm mornings, but June has been windy from sunup to sundown and the fourth is looking like it might be a little less windy, maybe even a little wet. The fishing has been good; a recent trip produced a thirty inch trout and we're catching lots of oversized redfish, but the water has been very muddy. There has been no clear water on the west side, and sight-fishing has been limited to a strip of water next to South Padre Island that is somewhat blocked off from the predominant southeast wind. We've had all of our success using Cajun Thunder corks with a Gulp! Live three inch shrimp. Freddy says, "Keep drifting where you know there are potholes even when you can't see the bottom. A little later in the day, you can usually see some definition when the sun is higher." We're dealing with the unfortunate water conditions, but hopefully, we can put a stop to open bay dredge disposal for the future of the bay.