Reports & Forecasts: August 2017

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

August is a great month for fishing in western Louisiana. It's hot, but so is the fishing. During the last full month of summer, focusing efforts on deeper water leads to the most consistent catching. Trout will seek to escape the high water temperatures by moving down into the depths. Consequently, the Calcasieu Ship Channel will be the focus of our fishing most of the time. Deeper reefs in the middle of the lake will also produce fish, but strong tides are necessary to trigger the bite out there. As tides slacken, we move closer to the ship channel, where currents flow faster. Nearshore platforms, the surf, and The Cameron Jetties will also be productive at this time of year. In all of these areas, shrimp-imitating soft plastics on one-eighth to three-eighths ounce jigheads produce bites at the best rate, especially for those who remember to use the lightest jigheads the tide will allow, since lighter jigheads allow for the most natural looking presentations . We hope to see all of you fishing very soon!

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

James mentions excellent fishing in offshore and nearshore waters on recent trips. “We caught quick limits of red snapper out deep and two tarpon on the way back in, one about 120 pounds, the other about 90. Hope to be chasing the Silver Kings more next month too. Lots of good wading lately in lower parts of the bay for trout lately. We've had a good bite on small topwaters like ShePups in bone and pink. Some of the trout are good sized too, running three-four pounds. We do pretty good on swim baits like the Bass Assassin Sea Shads too, of course. When we're fishing out of the boat, it's been kinda hard to find the fish. They aren't throwing slicks real good like they do some years, so it pays to have some reliable deep structures marked. We expect more of the same in August. Wading should be good on flats close to places with deep water and some tidal movement. Fishing out of the boat should be good for trout around deep structures. And, we've got plenty of tarpon in the Gulf. It all sets up really good for the end of summer.”

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service - 409.996.3054
Jim reports inconsistent action over recent trips, some of it very productive. “We've had a stretch of unstable weather. When the wind blows, it gets tougher, of course. Lately, the weather has settled, and fishing is more consistent. Several days, we whacked 'em pretty good, easy limits of two to five-pound trout. When we're able to find the reds mudding in open water, we're catching plenty of the line-stretchers. We're catching fish on light colors like glow and chartreuse when the water's in good shape. When the bay's muddier, we're doing better on dark colors like plum and pumpkinseed. We're targeting our fish in five to six feet of water, using slicks to locate 'em, mostly. Birds are working on some days, making things easier. Topwater bite has been good most mornings, with lots of blow-ups. Except on rare days, the floating plugs aren't working well once the sun gets up off the horizon very far. I'm looking forward to the start of teal season now. It's right around the corner. I'm booking hunts as we speak, and still have some open slots.”

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

Randall reports hot fishing on shrimp-imitating lures during a recent upswing in the action in his area. “All the trout we pull out of the water seem to have shrimp whiskers sticking out of their mouths. It's a hoot. Natural-looking soft plastics like Norton Sand Eels in colors like chicken on a chain are working well. As usual, trout are taking topwaters better at first light and slightly thereafter. I've been having best luck on the white Skitterwalk with the red head, as is often the case. In August, I expect hot action along the beachfront. We're already catching plenty of fish out there, and the weather usually becomes consistently better for the surf at the end of summer. Topwaters and tails work great in the guts fronting the sandy strip. People need to beware of the currents in the waters of San Luis Pass. We've had three people drown recently in swift waters around the area. Waders should remember not to walk into water over knee-deep when currents run swift. No fish in the Gulf of Mexico is worth the risk!”

Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service | 713.725.2401

“We haven't been able to get out into the surf too many times this summer so far, but that can change any day. August weather usually gives us several chances, so we always have our eyes on the beachfront this time of year. When we have the chance to fish it, using topwaters early tight to the beach is a good bet. Walking into the deeper guts tends to work better as the sun climbs higher. This month, we usually see the redfish ganging up on the shorelines in both bays. We target them with small topwaters and tails in knee-deep water around the coves and drains.. It can be a real blast to tangle with those fish this time of year. Most of the ones we catch in August fall somewhere in the slot. Drifting areas adjacent to mid-bay reefs in East Bay is another productive option this time of year. Lately, live shrimp under a popping cork have been producing bites best, but we do have success catching trout on artificial lures when the weather is nice. Like any month, August presents several productive options to anglers in the Matagorda area.”

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam - 979.240.8204

Our main focus lately has been around deep wells out in West Matagorda Bay, and on the sand and grass flats close to town. Trout have been around rigs in twelve to fourteen feet of water, sticking close to the shell pads. We've been doing great free-lining live shrimp with a small split-shot, and fishing VuDu shrimp in Cajun pepper. We are not catching many big fish, but we are catching a bunch of keepers. The redfish bite has picked up tremendously. We're starting to see a few schools chasing shrimp down shorelines and also congregating around bayou/creek drains, ambushing bait as it is flushed out of the marsh. VuDu mambo mullet in pearl/chartreuse and quarter-ounce gold weedless spoons have worked to trick the reds. Tripletail fishing remains spotty, with most of the fish staging close to Port O’Connor. August is a good month for the surf. We usually start getting a few fronts that knock down the waves on the beach and make catching easy. Keying in on shallow guts early, then moving out deeper seems to work best in our area.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service - 361.983.4434

Lynn expects to focus his efforts on areas close to deep, cool water in August. “We're in the surf a lot lately, and we'll continue trying to head out there as much as we can. We hit the beachfront early in the morning when we have light winds. We will also target trout on some of the flats around the pass, where guts provide some depth close to the drop-offs. Moving water is critical to stirring up decent feeding activity when the water is so hot. We like to wade in areas along the shorelines close to the jetties and the pass which have grass beds mixed with sandy pockets. And, we want to see big rafts of mullet. There's lots of bait in the bays at the end of summer, so most of the best catching happens in areas with plenty of mullet or other prey species. We also like to fish some on the shell banks and spoils lying close to the Port Lavaca Ship Channel this month. The current flows well there, and the deep water provides a place for the fish to fall off the flats and escape the heat when they want to and need to.”

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

“Fishing has been really good in the surf when the weather's reasonably calm. We'll keep heading out to the beachfront as much as we can during August. It's normally one of the best months of the year to fish out there. We've also been doing really well fishing mid-bay reefs lately. We've got tons of trout in the area bays right now. Catching plenty on most every trip. Fishing for reds has been steady too. We usually start to see them schooling up on flats adjacent to the passes this month, so I'll be on the lookout for that. As far as methods and lures go, it's pretty simple, really. We'll do what it takes to catch fish. On some days, that means using live croakers. On other days, chrome topwaters like Super Spooks with chrome work fine. And, as always, we will carry our Norton Sand Eels in dark colors with bright chartreuse tails and throw them at the fish too. Fishing has been really productive lately, and I expect the trend to continue right on through the end of the summer.”

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

Fishing in the ULM this summer continues to be very good, and August should be no exception. Many of the fish will move into very shallow water early in the mornings and then gradually drop off into deeper water as the sun warms up the shallows. The winds should also be lighter early in the morning and then start to gain speed as the day progresses. I will start with a smaller lure like the Bass Assassin Elite Shiner in colors like mama’s 14K, meat hook and ripper rigged on one-sixteenth ounce Spring Lok jigheads. As the day progresses, I’ll switch to a bigger lure like the Bass Assassin Die Dapper in colors like salt & pepper/chartreuse tail, sand trout or chicken on a chain, and I’ll also be moving into deeper water, but not more than three to four feet deep. Sight-casting for redfish and black drum with chartreuse, shrimp-flavored Fish Bites will also be a good option. Of course, free-lining live croakers and piggy perch along grass lines and drop-offs will also produce good numbers of trout and reds.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez - 361.937.5961
Fishing remains excellent in the ULM/Baffin system, Joe says. “We have pretty water over most of the area. When we get the bull tides after storms, it makes for tougher fishing. Most of the action is tight to area shorelines, or on the spines of spoils then. With normal tide levels, we're having success targeting trout and redfish over sandy bottom, in areas close to grass beds. Most of the fish are biting in water around thigh to waist-deep. In areas with the clearest water, we're sometimes able to locate the fish by sight. In other places, we key on thick rafts of flipping mullet to lead us to the right places. In any case, the best bite has been on soft plastics rigged on light jigheads, either eighth or sixteenth-ounce. Erratic presentations work well on some days, when the fish are somewhat negative. When the bite is better, it's possible to catch them on paddletails reeled steadily in front of their eyes. We expect the steady catching to continue in August. It's a great time of year to target reds in open areas of the Lagoon, among other things.”

P.I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
We were lucky to dodge Tropical Storm Cindy, though she did send sloppy rain, high tides, and a good deal of sargassum. The upside was copious baitballs of anchovies and shad that formed just off the beaches. Skipjacks came in thick as the baitballs came into the surf. Also fortunate was the amount of seatrout they attracted. Trout are still being caught when the surf calms. Everything from spoons, soft plastics, and live bait have been working well. While most of the jackfish have moved offshore chasing the deeper baitballs, tarpon have been seen right up on the beach. Tarpon will take spoons and large topwaters if you are unable to obtain live mullet. Spanish mackerel are also moving in close with the birds and bait. Be very careful wading, sharks often shadow the baitballs into shallow water. Shrimp may provide hit or miss action for whiting, pompano, and both red and black drum. While shark action has generally waned in the heat, nighttime angling could produce tigers and possibly bigger bulls. Stingrays are plentiful too.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000

Early-morning trout action has been steady on ICW spoils. Topwaters have been giving us bigger fish; casting into the depths and working back toward the drop-offs. Soft plastics on quarter-ounce jigs take over when surface action fades. The west shoreline up north has been good on lighter wind days. Best strategy on the east side is wading waist to chest-deep, targeting grass beds and potholes. Floating grass is often a problem everywhere. Single-hooked topwaters and weedless plastics help, as does working heavier jigs below the mess. Lately, the reds have been either up shallow on the west shoreline or along the shelf on the east side. On the west side, target them between knee and mid-thigh deep with small topwaters and weedless spoons. On the east side, expect them to be calf-deep, and scan constantly for sight-casting opportunities, using the same lures as on the west side. Another solid option for catching reds is drifting depths of five to six feet, throwing new penny Gulp! shrimp dangled under popping corks.

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

If you’re a tournament fisherman, and wading is not paying off this summer, either because of boats burning the shorelines or too much competition for shallow spots, consider fishing the drop-offs and color changes mid-day with FP3 and Berkley Gulp! three-inch shrimp. The combination of scent from the Gulp! and vibrations from the FP3 works equally well in deeper, murky potholes or skinny, clear flats. Freddy says: “When boat traffic is overwhelming, we concentrate on the areas others might ignore because the water may not be clear enough to see the bottom. Give yourself the option to succeed in totally different environments using the same rig, but switching from lighter-colored Gulp! lures like pearl early to more colorful ones like nuclear chicken when the sun move high overhead.” We’ve been catching some twenty five to twenty eight inch trout, along with limits of smaller keepers, especially when the wind is down, but the windier days have been the best for reds, especially oversized ones. Stop open bay dredge disposal!