Reports & Forecasts: August 2015

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
It's nearing the end of June, and we are really looking forward to July fishing. We were very fortunate with Tropical Storm Bill in that it didn't rain much at all and the storm surge pushed a load of salty, green water into our system. It actually left the system looking better than it had before the storm. The trout are biting, and we don't see them slowing down anytime soon. August is just around the corner, and things look like they're lining up to be excellent. The shrimp are a little late coming into the system from the Gulf, due our prior freshwater issues. Now that Bill solved that problem, we should see large numbers of them in the months of July and August. August is typically hot, so we will be fishing deeper, mid-lake reefs, jetties, nearshore rigs, and the ship channel. We will typically throw shrimp imitations, such as MirrOlure Lil' Johns, H&H Salty Grubs, and Beetles rigged on quarter, eighth and sixteenth-ounce jigheads. Opening night, glow, avocado, and clear will be the most effective colors at this time.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
James says the same thing the other Galveston experts does. "All this freshwater has the fish stacked up in the lower parts of Galveston Bay and East Bay. We are catching lots and lots of trout, and all of the action is in pretty deep water, over shell. Best bite by far has been on soft plastics in colors like slammin' chicken and limetreuse. In places where the current isn't too strong, I'm using a three-eighth-ounce jighead to keep the lure down close to the bottom, where the fish are. If currents are running stronger, I've been tying on a sixteenth-ounce head at times and just letting the current sweep it along. Fishing for redfish has been a lot slower for the most part, except at places like the jetties. The trout fishing patterns should remain the same throughout August. I don't really think the freshwater situation is going away any time soon. If the weather allows, we will start heading out into the Gulf on a regular basis in search of the silver kings. August is typically one of the best months for targeting tarpon."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim says the fishing pressure in East Bay lately is as great as he's ever seen, and there are two reasons. "We have over one hundred boats a day fishing the reefs in East Bay. I've never seen so much freshwater, and it has stacked up the fish around here. Everybody is catchin' 'em. The key is to fish pretty deep, in water around the main reefs. You've got to keep your lure close to the bottom to make it work, because the fish are staying there, where the water is a little salty. I like to use a light jighead, like an eighth-ounce, which forces me to fish really slow in order to keep the lure low enough. I have been having good luck on bright colors like limetreuse and glow. Others are throwing black and dark red and doing okay too. The areas along the channel in Lower Galveston Bay and around Texas City are producing a lot of fish too. Fishing for reds has been slower for us. We can't really see the mud streaks in this dirty water. It is possible to catch a few of the smaller reds wading shallow areas along the shoreline at times."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
Randall points to an old, familiar factor in determining the productivity of the fishing latelythe weather. "The Brazos River is still running really high, so every time we get south and southwest winds, our water gets muddied up pretty bad. It makes the fishing tough. We do have a great shrimp crop right now, and the fish are there, but it's hard to catch them unless we get our normal southeast winds. When the wind blows southeast, we get clean water pushing in from the Gulf and the catching goes off. We're catching best on Norton Sand Eels in colors like chicken on a chain and glow. I'm using a three-eighths-ounce head, and working it hard. The redfishing has been kind of slow. I believe the fish are out in the middle, and with the water quality, it's hard to find the mud boils and find them the way we normally can. In August, I expect to be fishing the surf a lot. We usually whack 'em pretty good in the surf this month on topwaters. Another option when it's calm is the nearshore area. We caught some kingfish on topwaters out there recently."

Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service | 713.725.2401
Charlie expects to be hitting the surf as much as possible in August. "August means two things. The best trout fishing will be in the surf, because the wind usually settles down and water temperatures are hot. We are currently catching plenty of trout along the beachfront, and some of them are pretty big. Topwaters generally work well out there, since we are fishing in relatively calm weather. If the surf is muddied up, and we are focusing on trout, we'll usually favor drifting scattered shell over a muddy bottom in some of the deeper parts of East Bay. Using fairly heavy jigheads allows us to keep the soft plastics in contact with the bottom, which is a key. Hot water means fish in the bay like to stay somewhat deep. The other thing August consistently brings is the beginning of the redfish schooling season. We normally have large schools of fish roaming the shallows along the shorelines of both East and West Matagorda Bays. Wading is the best way to target them, of course. They are usually pretty easy to catch once they are located."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Wow, June has been a tough month of fishing! Tropical Storm Bill dumped a ton rain in the area, and our river and Tres Palacios Bay system are still fresh as of this report. A positive from all the rain is that the freshwater has concentrated our fish, even though we have had to make some long runs to catch them. Back lakes off the Intracoastal Waterway between Palacios and Matagorda have held good pockets of salty water and tons of redfish and drum. Drifting these back lakes with live shrimp rigged about two feet under popping corks has accounted for best action. Trout have moved to the south shoreline of West Matagorda Bay as the freshwater has moved them off mid-bay reefs and wells. Live shrimp rigged about three to four feet under popping corks have accounted for good bites on the guts west of Green's Bayou. Tripletail do not like fresh water; the few that have been caught have come from the surf or further out on the short rigs. Hopefully, as the bays get saltier, they will return to our bay system. The amount of crabs and shrimp in the bay is nothing like we have seen in a long time--this fall should be great!

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
The first priority for Lynn in August will always be trying to get into the surf when possible. "In August, we should be in the surf big time. The seas should be flattening out, and when that happens, we catch plenty of trout along the beachfront. We like to throw large topwaters out there, starting early in the gut closest to the beach and moving out as the sun rises higher. We normally switch over to soft plastics if the topwater bite peters out. If we can't get into the surf, we'll most likely be fishing areas close to the Pass and the ship channel. It's a good idea to stay close to deep water with strong tide movement when temperatures are at their highest. We like to look for big rafts of mullet on flats close to deep water. Those flats are normally sandy, with plenty of grass. Usually, we find the fishing to be best on the deeper grass beds, which lie closest to the deep water. When fishing these areas and patterns, an incoming tide early in the morning usually produces the easiest catching."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake will be using a variety of methods to target both trout and redfish in August, he says. "I like to fish places where the reds are schooling up to begin their migration to the Gulf this time of year. I fish areas on the flats around the Pass, and also around drains leading into the backwater areas in bays like Mesquite and San Antonio and Aransas. I like to use soft plastics when targeting the reds. Of course, I normally throw Sand Eels in colors like pumpkinseed and purple/chartreuse. Lately, a plum Bass Assassin has been working great. When targeting trout, I will fish the surf when winds allow. I also like to wade shorelines which have a hard, sandy bottom covered by grass beds. Lately, we've been on a run catching trout like I haven't seen in many years. Catching lots of nineteen to twenty one inch fish. Topwaters are working well on some days, with the soft plastics taking up the slack when it's slower. I will also be using live croakers some of the time throughout August if I need to."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
Baffin Bay is in great shape! All the rain that we've been getting this year has been good for Baffin. We have the best water quality and clarity I've seen in a long time! I've been spotting a few schools of redfish early in the mornings on days when the wind is blowing less than ten miles per hour. I'll get upwind from the school and keep up with them with my trolling motor and cast natural-colored Bass Assassin Die Dappers or half-ounce gold, weedless spoons. I've been finding numbers of trout and redfish in less than two feet of water in areas with sandy potholes using Texas Assassins in the pumpkinseed/chartreuse color rigged on eighth-ounce Assassin Screwlock jigheads. Many of the trout's stomachs are loaded with shrimp, so at times, I'll use three inch Berkley Gulp! Shrimp under a Bass Assassin Kwik Kork with a short drop. Of course, live croakers will also be working along grass lines and drop-offs in two to three feet of water. August will be a great month to do some sight-casting with shrimp-flavored Fish Bites.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
The lower salinities helped clear out the brown tide, and fishing has been outstanding in the clear water all over the area lately, Joe says. "The water is beautiful, so we're able to pick and choose where we fish and are able to target both trout and redfish effectively, with sight-casting opportunities available much of the time. Some of the trout and redfish are hanging out really shallow, particularly early in the mornings. They are preferring areas with a sandy bottom, surrounded by grass beds. Some of these areas can be found tight to shorelines, but others are along the spines of spoil banks and humps. Finding the schools of redfish has been pretty easy much of the time. They can be seen pushing wakes when it's calm, and when the wind is up, they are fairly easy to spot once the sun is overhead. As we get into August, the fish tend to stay a little deeper in the hot water, so patterns like potholes next to rocks in four to six feet of water become more productive. We'll throw topwaters and soft plastics mainly when fishing those."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
First off; as of late June, the entirety of Padre Island National Seashore has been affected by upwellings of cold water from offshore. The upwelling has muddied the water and dropped water temps about 10 degrees. Both bait fish and predators have nearly abandoned the colder water and this has turned much of the surf into a "no life zone." Other than hardheads and maybe a few gafftop very little will be caught until this event concludes. Typically the upwellings subside in late-July or early-August. If the water clears and the bait returns, speckled trout will be available in both early and late-August. For some reason, they tend to disappear for a week or so at mid-month. Some really big tiger sharks are possible on kayaked baits a good distance from the shore along with some blacktips. Blacktips of two to three feet can become abundant in late-August. Whiting will be in good supply but they tend to be smaller this time of year. Tarpon are possible if menhaden or bait balls of dusky anchovies are present. Kingfish are possible and ladyfish should be thick.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000
Trout fishing at Port Mansfield has been very steady for us. Lots of solids and juveniles, too. An abundance of small trout is a good sign for the futureplease handle carefully. Keepers have been averaging 16 to 19 inches, which I find make the best table fare. The topwater bite has been sporadic, so we have been relying on K Wiggler Ball Tail Shads on eighth-ounce jigheads. Concentrations of solid trout can be challenging to find some days, but the action is rewarding once located. East-side grass beds that taper to deeper water are good places to begin the search. My forecast for August--elevated temperatures push trout schools deep. Target mid-thigh to waist-deep potholes early and progress steadily deeper. Look for schools of active finger mullet, and keep an eye open for shrimp skipping on the surface. During worst case scenario (calm days), hit the jetties, which are holding decent numbers. Kingfish can be a hoot on light tackle and sometimes tarpon will be seen rolling and feeding. Target flounder along the East Cut.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Back in the 80s, we would see five to six-foot blacktip sharks on the east side during summer months. This year is the first time since then that we are seeing sharks on a regular basis, but these are ten-foot bull and hammerhead sharks. There could be several reasons why these predators are showing up in shallow water--increased numbers of trout, warmer water temps or even the flooding that occurred north of the LLM. We're catching large numbers of trout up to over thirty one inches, way more flounder than in years past, and some good redfish, including oversized, using Cajun Thunder round corks with Berkley Gulp! Live three-inch shrimp. The corks are especially effective on the west side where the water remains muddy. Freddy says, "So far this summer, more rain (which, incidentally is good for the shrimp hatch) and wind than we would normally expect, have combined to help keep already cloudy bay waters from clearing." Tides run very low this time of year, so be careful and help stop open bay dredge disposal.