Reports & Forecasts: August 2018

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe - Big Lake Guide Service - 337.598.3268
We will spend most of the month of August fishing deep water and flats close to deep water in areas along the ship channel, in the surf, and around nearshore oil platforms. With water temperatures rising into the mid-to upper eighties, even into the nineties, finding cooler water at depths above five or six feet is a necessity for catching. Fishing early in the mornings and late in the evenings often leads to catching better numbers of trout in August. However, catching them in the middle of the day is possible, as well. Paying attention to tidal conditions is very important, since fish feed when the tide moves and turns much better than when it's slack, especially in hot weather. Planning a day of fishing around the tide is an obviously productive idea, especially if one bears in mind that plans change. Locating herds of fish in open water can change plans, as can a slack tide. Beating a dead horse by fishing when tides are slack feels a lot like beating a dead horse and is often a way to get a sunburn rather than to catch trout and redfish.

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

The action for anglers willing to look around in some of the deeper areas of the bay has been decent lately, James says, and he expects patterns to stay much the same as long as the weather is blazing hot. “We've got some fish along the channel right now. When we find birds working over some of the shallower spoil banks, the fish are generally better quality, mostly speckled trout. When the birds are working over mud and deeper water, the fish are mostly sand trout and tiny specks. Fishing around the deeper reefs in East Bay should be good in this hot weather, and there are probably trout around the rigs in Trinity Bay too. Guys at the jetties have been doing well when the current isn't too strong. And, we've got plenty of tarpon. I saw a bunch of fish on Memorial Day Weekend. Couldn't catch 'em, but they're here. If we get a good stretch of calm weather, we should be set up for a nice run on the silver kings. If they aren't biting on a given day, the action on sharks and smoker kings keeps the reels screaming.”

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service - 409.996.3054
Like others submitting reports about Galveston, Jim says the productivity on his recent outings is not as good as the long-term averages. “Most of our trout have moved out in the middle, so catching them can get pretty tough when it's windy. As is usually the case, people willing to wade have a better chance at consistency. We just had a big rain again, and that might stack some fish up around Hannah's Reef like it has done before. If that happens, we might catch pretty good for a while. Mostly, I've been targeting trout for a few hours early in the mornings, then switching over to reds. If the tide is moving right for the first couple hours after daylight, we're doing okay on the trout. The reds are up shallow, so it's easier to target and catch them once the sun gets higher. They provide a chance at a productive trip on the days when the bite on the trout is tougher. I do have high hopes for the upcoming dove season. I've got the fields planted, and with all the rain, the crops should do great.”

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

979.849.7019 - 979.864.9323

With nagging westerly winds muddying up the water quite a bit in June, Randall wound up using live bait to catch fish on most of his charters. Moving into the middle and later parts of summer, he expects winds to calm, allowing for better productivity on lures. “We are hoping to get into the surf as much as possible. Last time we made it out there, the ribbonfish were jumping out of the water all over the place, and we did great throwing Norton Sand Eels on three-eighths ounce heads in colors like glow, silver/glitter and salt and pepper. Scenarios like this tend to be the norm in hot, summer weather. You need plenty of active bait around you at all times. So, we'll be keying on areas with heavy concentrations of mullet, ribbonfish, shad or other forage species as much as possible. Offshore fishing has been really good already, with easy limits of snapper on most trips. The key to doing well out there is beating the crowd, for the most part. Light winds should allow us to continue taking advantage of that opportunity.”

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service | 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037

Tommy provides some sage advice for anglers fishing the Matagorda area in August. “Since it's so hot, I advise slowing down and staying hydrated. We like to target trout and reds early, wading in West Matagorda, throwing at grass beds close to the shoreline, then move out to deeper guts and bars later in the morning. We like to work soft plastics really slow when the sun heats up the flats, and we like to wait a bit before setting the hook when we feel a bite, to give the fish a chance to take the hook. We also do a bunch of drifting in East Bay this time of year, in the areas around Raymond's Shoal. Fishing for trout and reds can be good over there, with the end of the month especially good for reds, as they begin schooling and chasing bait, which makes it easier to locate them. Tripletail fishing is good this time of year, using live shrimp six feet or so under a popping cork, thrown around any type of structure floating or sticking out of the water. And, of course, we spend some time in the surf when calm conditions send green water to the beach.”

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam
www.palaciosguideservice.com | 979.240.8204
We just received thirteen inches of rain that flushed a lot of fish out of the river and Tres Palacios Bay into West Matagorda Bay. The well pads and deep reefs closest to Palacios have been loaded up with trout. We've been free-lining live shrimp on the well pads and fishing the deep reefs about four feet under popping corks for best results. The rain flushed out a good bunch of shrimp, and redfish have found them along the north shoreline of the bay. Redfish should continue schooling, with egrets and gulls chasing them down the shorelines. We've been using quarter-ounce gold spoons and DSL lures to rack up some good catches. Something odd for this time of year has been birds working in South Bay over some decent sized trout and reds. Seems the rain moved some bait out into the open bay, and the fish found them. Tripletail action has been spotty with southwest winds and freshwater pushing fish towards Port O'Connor and the surf. In August, I look for the surf to really turn on; we haven't had many chances to fish it yet.

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

Catching plenty of trout in the surf has been easy on calmer days lately. “In August, we'll be concentrating on flats close to deep water, because of the heat. We'll look for trout around grass beds and sandy pockets in water from knee to waist-deep early in the mornings, a little deeper in the middle of the day. Early, we like to throw topwaters a lot. I especially like the Super Spook Junior in white/chartreuse head. It's easy to see and the fish love it. Of course, on most days, the topwaters work well for a while, but the soft plastics start working better at some point, so we won't hesitate to switch over to worms on light jigheads to continue catching once the sun gets high in the sky. As we do every summer, we'll try to get into the surf as much as we can, on the calmer days. It's been good lately along the beach. In fact, I'm out here right now. We have been catching well in the shallow guts right next to the sand early on topwaters, then moving out and throwing soft plastics in the deeper guts later in the morning.”

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

In August, Blake plans on doing many of the same things that worked for him in June and July. “I'll be fishing a variety of patterns, starting with early-morning wades along sandy, grassy shorelines in bays like Aransas and Corpus Christi Bays, where the bottom is firm and deeper water is close by. I also like to wade reefs out in the middle of the bays. This works better when winds are light. As does fishing in the surf. August is almost always one of the best months for fishing the beach-front, since winds are typically light. We're catching well lately on live croakers, but have also had some success on topwaters like Super Spook Juniors and also on soft plastics like Norton Sand Eels and the split-tail Gulp! shads. August is normally a month in which live-bait fishing works better than lure fishing on a good percentage of days. I've also got my eye on the arrival of the dove season at the end of the summer. We've had lots of rain recently in the Coastal Bend, and I expect we'll have plenty of birds in the area come September.”

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | rz1528@grandecom.net | 361.563.1160

The warmer water temperatures in the Upper Laguna Madre are allowing the trout to move up into water depths of two to three feet for a few hours after sunrise. After the sun has been up a few hours, the trout have been moving into deeper water, about three to five feet deep. Free- lining live croakers and piggy perch has still been the best strategy but natural-colored Bass Assassin Die Dappers and Elite Minnows in colors like Houdini, meat hook and mama’s 14K rigged on sixteenth-ounce Spring Lock jigheads have worked well too. Areas with grass lines, drop-offs and deeper potholes holding good concentrations of bait have been my target places. I've been finding some schools of redfish on mornings when winds are light, along shallow shorelines and some of the spoil islands. Approaching the schools quietly from upwind is the key to catching multiple fish from a single school. Shrimp-flavored Fish-Bites continue to work on reds and black drum in ultra-shallow water for waders wearing ForEverLast RayGuards.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | www.sightcast1.com | 361.937.5961
In August, Joe plans to continue fishing in much the same ways he has all summer. “We have lots of reds schooling in the Upper Laguna Madre this time of year. They can be found in the shallows on calm mornings when they push wakes to stay out of the way of the boats. This works best when crowds are fairly light. In the middle of the day, if it's sunny and bright, with a little breeze, the schools can often be found roaming around in the deeper parts of Beacroft's and Emmord's Holes, also on the east side of the ICW, between Bird Island and Baffin. When found, they are usually easy to catch on a variety of lures, including paddle-tails, crank baits and topwaters. Trout tend to show up on the shallow parts of spoil banks and rock bars early in the mornings, then move to the edges of these structures, closer to deeper, cooler water as the sun heats up the water. They bite topwaters aggressively on some mornings, but are much easier to catch on soft plastics in the heat of the day.”

P.I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
Oceanepics.com | 361-877-3583
Surf action slows considerably as the doldrums of late-summer dominate the weather patterns. One of the highlights can be solid early-morning and late-evening speckled trout action when conditions align favorably. Favored lures include topwaters, twitch-baits and soft plastics. Finger mullet, piggies and croaker will certainly catch trout, and some less-desirable species as well. Seems nobody complains when the by-catch includes redfish or an occasional snook. Bait-balls will begin to range closer to the beach toward the end of August, attracting hundreds of screaming gulls and other birds. Watch for Spanish mackerel, sharks, and even tarpon taking advantage of the bounty. Sharks are often active in the shallows, sometimes beaching themselves as they harass dusky anchovies. Generally, anglers on the Upper Coast will have scattered daytime action on sharks, while the best action down south will occur mostly at night. Tropical events can dominate the weather pattern, so check marine forecasts regularly.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza
Snookdudecharters.com | 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge | 956.944.4000

Winds in August blow mostly light, with nearly dead calm conditions on some days. Bay fishing can be pretty tough on still, slick waters. When this happens, I like to wade the ICW spoil banks or fish the drop-off in either the Land Cut or East Cut. These areas provide deep water access with regularly occurring tidal movements. KWiggler Ball Tails and Willow Tails on heavy heads (three-eighths ounce or more) are the ticket for probing drop-offs and ledges. Another place to try for trout and reds is along the East Cut jetty walls. Calm conditions typically send gentle swells washing onto the beach, so venturing to the mouth of the jetties and a mile or two into the Gulf present additional opportunities to catch king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, bonito, and sharks under diving pelicans and gulls. Wire leaders are a must out there to cope with the sharp teeth of these predators. Red snapper can be caught on calm days by those willing to venture farther offshore. Never pass a weed line when offshore – cobia and dorado love 'em!

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | www.fishingwithpettys.com | 956.943.2747

Summer redfish are elusive so far, due to the heavy boat traffic and sluggish tides in the mornings. The majority of fish are feeding in the strong outgoing tide later in the day. Freddy says. “Us old people have to go out early so we can come in before it gets too hot! Missing the afternoon bite means working harder earlier.” We’ve managed to get limits of reds most days, because we are using the bulk of our trip targeting them on the shallow flats. We’ve caught trout up to twenty eight inches throwing Berkley Gulp! Live three-inch shrimp with an eighteen-inch leader under our FP3 corks, but the numbers on specks are down. If you check out Freddy’s video on fishingwithpettys.com Facebook page, he explains how to rig up your FP3 for maximum effectiveness. We haven’t been picking up many flounder this past month. When tournament flounder fishermen don't bring in many, you know it’s slow. When the wind dies, offshore fishing will take some of the pressure off the Lower Laguna Madre. Let’s stop open bay dredge disposal!