Reports & Forecasts: August 2016

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe - Big Lake Guide Service - 337.598.3268
Fishing has been excellent over the last month. We are looking forward to fishing the months of July and August due to improving water conditions. We are finally getting rid of the freshwater. Trout are being caught throughout the estuary. August is a great month to look toward the Gulf for trout. Nearshore platforms, the surf, and the jetties will be on fire. Other places to try will be the ship channel and any flats adjacent to deep water. Trout will readily take topwaters on these flats early in the morning and then slip off the flats into deeper water as the sun gets higher and water temperatures rise. Redfish will be plentiful. Look for them to be shallow in marsh ponds. Look for grassy ponds with heavy vegetation on incoming tides, and toward the mouths of those ponds on outgoing tides. Sight-fishing in our area will be at its best from now until November. Reds will also school in the middle of Calcasieu Lake. These fish are easy to spot under birds or slicks. Often, the trick is to have a trolling motor fast enough to keep up with them.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - - 409.935.7242
James sees some changes happening in the Galveston fishery lately, most of them related to the improving freshwater runoff situation. "The fish stacked up again in East Bay, kinda like they did last year, but it's never been quite as easy, and I see evidence that the fish are starting to spread out and head north again. Fishing at the jetties has been good at times. If we get some calm winds, I expect to see a run of catching lots of trout and big ones out there. Areas in Lower Galveston Bay are producing quite a few trout lately, mostly around abandoned well pads and other structures along the channel. Most of the water is ugly right now, with a layer of freshwater layering over the greener salty water. I've been doing best on rat-tailed soft plastics, which seem to sink faster and stay down where the fish are. Several areas around Bolivar are holding big schools of reds. Finding them in the dirty water can be tough, since it's hard to see the mud stirs. Things should only improve in August. We'll be slick hopping and fishing out of the boat, mostly."

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service - 409.996.3054
Fishing has been good when the weather's right, Jim says. "We're catching a lot of solid trout, nothing real big. Most of the catching has been done out in the middle around the shell humps. Lots of people are fishing that pattern, because the fish have been stacked up due to the freshwater. We're starting to get more salty water in the bays again, and the fish are starting to show up in some other places on a regular basis. We had a good topwater bite on the shoreline for a couple days last week, catching very few throwbacks and lots of two and three pound trout. Since then, the tide pulled out really low, and the fish moved back out into deeper water. Once they move out in the middle, we have to go back to looking for slicks and mud stirs to locate 'em. Often, when we find the big mud boils out around the reefs, we will find schools of redfish, sometimes big ones. For some people, catching a bunch of those is fun. We've also got a few birds working, and that makes for some easy fishing out in the deeper water at times too."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 - 979.864.9323
"As long as we have a southeast set in the wind, the water stays in good shape and the catching is pretty easy," Randall says. "When the water stays salty and green all over the place, we'll catch plenty of trout and redfish, either along the beachfront, in the surf, or in the back bays. We have the best luck when tides are moving, particularly on early-morning incoming tides this time of year. When tides fall slack, I often spend time fishing areas close to the ICW, because the water does tend to keep moving there a bit better than in other areas. Best lures lately have been Norton Sand Eels in colors like chicken on a chain. Topwater bite is also generally good this time of year, on lures like pink Skitterwalks. Calmer days with higher tides tend to elevate the potential for catching fish on top. Of course, south and southwest winds make things tougher around here, especially with all the dirty water still flowing out of the mouth of the Brazos River. I do expect August to be good. Light winds and hot water make for predictable catching."

Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service | 713.725.2401
Both East and West Matador Bays are full of fish, and the fishing has been really good lately, according to Charlie. "This is the prime time of year to fish in the surf. We've had limits of trout on the beach several days in a row when conditions are right. Out there, One Knockers are working best. On the good days, we really don't need anything else. On a few days, we wind up throwing soft plastics for a while to reach our limits. Really, the catching is all related to the weather. Wading is generally better than boat fishing in August. Wading allows us to stay right close to the structures that hold fish, and also to fish closer to protected shorelines when it's windy. It's also easier to function when we're out in the surf. If winds are pretty light and people don't want to wade, we can catch good numbers of trout in East Bay. It's holding trout, we just need the right weather days to make it work right when fishing out of the boat. This month can be good for reds too, especially in West Bay, if tides get really low and isolate the fish in the guts."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam - 979.240.8204
We are still dealing with high levels of freshwater runoff from the Colorado and Tres Palacios Rivers. The rains have pushed all our fish out to the wells and deep reefs in the saltier waters of West Matagorda Bay. We have been working the wells with free-lined shrimp and paddle tails in dark colors. Some days they hammer the soft plastics and just about knock the rod out of your hands, but on other days you'll feel just a light tick and know you got one on. Another downer with all the freshwater is the lack of triple tail; they have been few and far between in the bay, but I have heard some good near shore reports from the Gulf. In August, we should begin seeing the redfish gathering in large schools, provided we don't get more heavy rains. When searching for them, be on the lookout for egrets roaming along area shorelines. They are often following the feeding schools. The surf should still be good as well. Since winds are usually light, August is a great month to give the beachfront a shot.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service - 361.983.4434
In the hot summer weather, Lynn likes to spend as much time at the beach as possible. "We'll be fishing the surf as much as we can. Top waters work well in the first gut early in the morning along the beachfront. Once the sun gets higher, we like to switch over to Mirrors like the old 51 and 52M, which sink pretty fast and work well in the deeper guts. We also throw a lot of soft plastics later in the day for the trout, once they move deeper, like Kelly Wigglers and Gambler Flapping' Shads. Usually, we're able to limit on trout pretty early, then target reds by moving back to the first gut. They tend to stay shallow longer than the trout, and seem a bit easier to catch once the specks move out of the way. When we aren't fishing the surf, we'll be targeting areas close to the surf, working shallow flats close to deep water early in the morning, especially when tides are coming in. As with areas along the beach, we like to use top waters first, staying shallow around sandy pockets in the grass, then move to deeper potholes with soft plastics later."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake expects to continue fishing in the surf this month, when calm conditions allow. "Fishing out along the beachfront has been really good lately, when winds are light. I'll continue to head out there every chance I get during August. The fishing for trout has been really good lately. When it's calm, we can park close to the beach and catch a bunch of fish up shallow, where we can see the bars and guts well. When fishing in the bays, we've been using croaks some, when conditions are marginal, but on lots of days, lures like fire tiger Bass Assassins and chrome top waters are catching plenty of fish. Fishing for redfish has been a bit slower lately, but August is the month when they typically start schooling up and moving toward the passes. Since the water is pretty fresh and ugly in the upper reaches of our bays with the continued run off, targeting the schools of reds in areas of Corpus and Arkansas Bays close to the channel should be a good idea this month. Overall, conditions and fishing have been well above average."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata [email protected] - 361.563.1160
I'm really excited about how the water clarity has improved in our part of the Laguna Madre over the last couple of months. The fishing continues productive, with good numbers of trout and redfish, with an occasional flounder. Baffin Bay continues to produce many trout between eighteen to twenty-five inches, and they are looking healthy. Almost all the redfish we've been catching have been slot-sized with an occasional over-sized. I've spotted a few schools of redfish along the edges of some of the spoil islands. When you find them, get upwind and use the trolling motor or drift to approach the school so as to not spook them. Use your favorite Bass Assassin Die Dapper rigged on an eighth-ounce Spring Lock bighead or a half-ounce weedless gold spoon. Free lining croaks along grass edges and potholes continues to be very productive for trout, redfish and flounder. Good numbers of redfish and black drum have finally moved up into ultra-shallow water and they get your adrenaline going with shrimp flavored Fish Bites.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez - 361.937.5961
The blazing hot air and bright blue skies of August provide excellent opportunity for hunting redfish in the clear waters of the Upper Laguna Madre and Corpus Christi Bay, Joe says. "Normally, the reds will pull up close to the spoil islands in the Laguna Madre, or move a ways up onto the flats late at night and into the early morning hours, when the water is at its coolest point. Later in the morning, as the sun gets higher, they will move off the shallow areas and begin roaming around in the deeper water. As long as the water and the sky are clear, and some wind is blowing, it is still possible to see the schools in the deeper water. They look like reddish brown blobs, lighter than the dark green grass on the bottom. When a school is spotted, it pays to determine which direction they are moving, then work the boat well around and upwind of the fish on the big motor. Once in place, use the trolling motor to sneak into their path, remaining ready to cast. Using fairly stiff rods and reels which hold plenty of line helps in battling the brutes."

P.I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
What a roller coaster of surf conditions! Incredible rainfall and freshwater inflow from rivers reaching PINS beaches resulted in cold, dirty water and upwelling for the start of summer. Even though surf sea trout action is reported stellar further north, the conditions on PINS totally squelched it. I expect all manner of crazy action as our surf zone clears and warms. Dusky anchovies should appear closer to the beach. Follow the birds and you could find anything from trout to tarpon to sharks. Schools of slot redfish should be swimming in the guts and will readily hit spoons. Spanish mackerel and skip jack should be abundant on spoons as well. Jacks will be further offshore but may make their way in closer to feed on the bait balls. Shark fishing will remain fairly slow with the exception of the occasional big shark overnight. Now is a great time to practice with the fly rod for the winds should remain calm. If you are lucky, you may get into tarpon and they are often a sucker for a fly. Beware of stingrays in the shallows!

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000
Plenty of trout being caught, mostly nice keepers. Lures and natural baits are both producing well most days. We are seeing a fair number of trout over 25 inches and an increasing number of anglers releasing them! We are catching knee-deep at first light with top waters Spook Juniors and One Knockers. As the surface action plays out, we have been moving belly-deep and deeper, keying on grass beds with potholes. K-Wiggler Ball Tail Shads on eighth-ounce heads are our go-to lures. Red fish have been a challenge, rather scarce on the flats. Deeper grass beds around the Pipeline and Weather Station have been holding scattered reds; drifting is usually more productive than wading as you can cover more water. These fish will sometimes take a top water, but weedless spoons are a better bet. The East Cut jetties are holding good numbers of Spanish mackerel and kings, plenty of jack fish and sharks too. Depending on the tide movement, tarpon can sometimes be spotted rolling on the surface at the ends of both lines of rocks.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty 956.943.2747
Fishing has been very good when we have some wind. A recent trip netted eighteen slot reds and many trout, though not all keepers. We're having all kinds of luck, even in heavy wind, making for very muddy conditions, throwing FP3s and Cajun Thunder with Berkeley Gulp! three-inch shrimp. On days where there is no wind, we are managing to limit on trout with the same set up, but only catching around three reds. This is not unusual for summer months, but this year it seems to be even harder to find redfish, due mostly to high boat traffic. Freddy says, "You need to fish early mornings or late afternoons to avoid the crowds. Unfortunately, every morning a number of boats will burn your drift right off the bat, simply driving to their spot, regardless of well, anything! So, you just have to stick to the plan or try fishing a little deeper water." Summer crowds are a fact of life on the Lower Laguna Madre. Luckily there are lots of flounder around to make up for the lack of redfish. Stop open bay dredge disposal!