Reports & Forecasts: Nov 2010

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
The only thing better than October fishing is November fishing! I t is, however, harder to get on the water in November, due to the increasing frequency of fronts. The fishing quality on days you can get out is usually fantastic. Birds will continue picking throughout the estuary. Oyster reefs will continue to produce lots of trout. At present, salinities are very high ,so concentrate your efforts on the northern part of the estuary, if drought continues. Most of the fish we are catching now are coming from areas north of the Intracoastal Waterway. As we get more and more fronts, the fishing will get better and better. Soft plastics in avocado/chartreuse, glow, opening night and chicken on a chain are our best colors. We will also start to throw some pinks and oranges starting this month. MirrOlures, Catch 2000s, 52MRs, MirrOdines, Jointed Thundersticks, and Corkys are best for big trout. These fish will put on weight by November to prepare for the coming winter. We will start wadefishing sand flats and oyster reefs to catch more of the big trout.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
Though the fishing at the time of this report was almost summer like, Jakes predicts a change for November. "We're still catching most of our fish around open water structures like well pads and reefs here of late, but by November there should be a big change. We do have some birds working already, but that will get better in November. We are catching some fish on the shoreline wading too, but not limits generally, just quality fish in relatively small numbers. Did have one nice trout yesterday about five and a quarter pounds, and several other threes and fours, all on white ShePups. There's a ton of shrimp on area shorelines to date; these weak fronts haven't dumped the marshes yet. By the time this magazine comes out, the fronts should have dropped the water temperatures and level and the bays will be full of shrimp heading for the Gulf. Then we'll have plenty of options. There'll be good fish under birds and better ones on the shorelines. I'll favor the wading plan as much as I can. November is a good month to catch some fat trout wading."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim always says the same thing about November. "It's arguably the best month to be in the great outdoors. My plan for this month will be to fish during the week and hunt on the weekends. Duck season opens at the beginning of the month, and the season sets up great. We should see some fast shooting. As far as the fishing goes, there are a bunch of good patterns to consider. The marsh lakes are full of trout and reds when tides are high, and they offer protection from the wind. The shorelines in both Trinity and East bays will be stacked with trout once the water cools down a little more. We're already experiencing a steady topwater bite, and that should only get better in November. I'll wade as much as I can when fishing and will probably start backing the timing of my charters up. Once the fall season kicks in real good, it's a smart plan to fish from mid-day into the early evening. Sometimes it seems like the bay is void of life until the sun starts setting, then everything cranks into high gear for a couple of hours. I love November!"

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
The fall fishing is already in full swing and looks to be improving, according to Randall. "We are seeing lots of shrimp in the bays. I thought all the fresh water might move them out, but once the salt water came back a little bit, the fishing came right back too. We are using lures that are easy to see in the stained water. Topwaters in most any color are working pretty good, especially the little Spooks in black/gold/orange. We are also having good results on Sand Eels in fire tiger and salty chicken. November is normally an excellent month around here. We will catch plenty of trout, whether we're wading or drifting. When I have customers who want to drift, we'll key on the birds and deeper shell, particularly areas with scattered shell and a mud bottom. When wading, we'll key on shorelines more and hope for fewer, but bigger fish. The whole key to November fishing is the weather. The calmer days allow us more options, and we can fish however and wherever we want. Those days can turn into some of the best of the whole year."

Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service | 713.725.2401
"Lately, with most of the calls coming from people who prefer to fish from the boat, we've been working the birds in East Bay. Fishing is outstanding. Last couple of days, we've limited out by nine o'clock or so. I've found something interesting that I really haven't experienced much until recently. Seems that you catch bigger trout if you use a rattling cork and suspend a soft plastic under it. I've been using quarter ounce jigheads and corks and catching a lot of two to four pound fish that way. If you take the cork off, and fish deeper, the fish get smaller. If you throw a topwater, you won't catch anything. In November, the topwater bite usually gets better, and the first two weeks of December are about the best of the year for big trout under birds in East Bay. I won't mess with fishing around the birds unless it's not very crowded. Keying on slicks and sweet spots around the mid-bay reefs is productive too. I know there will be some big trout biting on the shorelines, if I can just get some people who want to wade, we'll get 'em."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
So far, this has been one of the best fall runs on redfish in recent years. We are catching multiple limits of redfish every time we go out and then playing catch and release the rest of the day. For bait fishermen, live shrimp rigged eighteen to twenty four inches under popping corks drifted over flats in three to four feet of water have been the ticket. For lure fishermen, any kind of tails in white/chartreuse have been the big producers. SheDogs in pearl/chartreuse and Spook Juniors in bone have been the best topwater plugs. The quarter ounce weedless gold spoon has also been a killer along the flats. The trout bite has been sporadic, with a few fish starting to show along area shorelines over shell. Live shrimp under popping corks and Gulp shrimp under corks have worked best for the trout. November should find fish staging over mud and shell as waters cool down and plugs such as slow-sinking Corkys or suspending MirrOlures will work well. When it's cold, make sure to fish around lots of bait for best results.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Lynn predicts that November will closely resemble October in terms of his choice of patterns to fish. "Right now, we're fishing shorelines mostly, keying on sandy, grassy areas. The redfish are schooling and running down the bank. We're either catching them by keying on bait activity or by sightcasting to them when we see them tailing. When we're prospecting around nervous bait, we're having good luck with small topwaters like Spook Juniors, but when we find the tailing pods, soft plastics and gold spoons work better. Stealth when wading makes it easier to get close enough to the tailing fish to have a good chance to catch them. We should also see the trout bite improve as the water cools down some more. November is a good time to catch some of the bigger trout on area shorelines. I still like to fish sand and grass mostly, as long as the water doesn't dip down into the fifties. We'll throw topwaters and Corkys for the trout as much as we can, but won't hesitate to try soft plastics if we locate fish and the bite turns tougher."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
November is cast and blast season for Blake. He says there are lots of ducks around and his hopes for fast shooting are high. "They gave us a two pintail limit this year, so that's good for hunters in this part of the world. The duck hunting should be excellent. After we finish shooting, we like to fish our way out of the marsh. If fishing continues as it has been, that will be productive too. We're still catching lots of trout. All this fresh water has them stacked up in some places. I'll be trying the reefs and guts in San Antonio Bay, also cuts in Aransas Bay near the entrances to the back lakes and I'll probably spend some time in Corpus Bay too. The water over there is crystal clear right now. Most consistent bite lately has been on dark colored Sand Eels, like red shad. We're also catching some fish on topwaters, mostly early in the morning. And gold spoons have been good for the reds. Overall, the potential is excellent for some fall action. Trout fishing in particular has improved a lot over last year and sets up great."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
A few inches of rainfall is always good for the Laguna Madre, but the amounts that we got from the storms we've had in the Gulf of Mexico lately was too much. Too much fresh water has made it tough on the speckled trout hunters in Baffin Bay and the areas close to Baffin. The fish are still there, but the water has become tainted with brown tide, so if you plan a trip to Baffin Bay you'll need to take live shrimp or something smelly and noisy like Berkley Gulp or live piggy perch. The water in the upper end of the Laguna is still pretty good, although it is beginning to lose some of its clarity too. In November, I intend to fish in clear water that is less than two feet deep with half ounce weedless gold spoons, Bass Assassin Blurps and Berkley Gulps in natural colors rigged on sixteenth ounce Bass Assassin Spring-Loc jigheads. As the days progress, I will move into areas holding good concentrations of bait in four or five feet of water. Reds and black drum will continue to stay in schools and shrimp will be the best bait for targeting them.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe reports excellent water quality around the JFK and north into Corpus Christi Bay lately. "I've been fishing up north a lot. There are plenty of redfish, of course. Fishing for them has been good all year, and now we're full into the fall migration. Locating the schools is pretty easy over the last month or so, because we've had lots of days with light winds and bright skies, so you can see the schools making wakes as they move. When it's windier, it's easier to see into the water and you can sightcast to individual fish better. The trout seem to still be hanging around the dropoffs into a muddier bottom where it's three or four feet deep and the water is not quite as clear. November is a great time to catch both trout and reds and if the water quality situation stays the same, meaning it's better up here around town, I'll mostly fish up this way. Shamrock Cove and East Flats are other favored areas of mine for this time of year. The water's usually clear and there are numerous shallow flats perfect for sightcasting opportunities,"

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
There are plenty of fish on PINS in November but we will be ducking cold fronts and high tides the entire month so the timing can make or break your trip. Sharks of several species come in close in November. Both of the two biggest tiger sharks I was ever around came in early November. Slot and oversized redfish, whiting, big Spanish mackerel and pompano will all be available as will large numbers of adult jack crevalle. Good flounder are to be had working Bass Assassins slowly along the bottom at the jetty. The pelicans will lead you to the schools of jack crevalle and will even let you know in advance they are ahead of you. Live and dead finger mullet will produce for bottom fishermen as will peeled, fresh, dead shrimp and Fishbites. Seems I do better with the pink or chartreuse shrimp flavored Fishbites on the pompano. East or hard northeast winds will stack water high on the beach and are to be avoided. The second day behind a norther is usually the most user-friendly time frame.

Port Mansfield | Terry Neal | 956.944.2559
November promises to be exciting on the water. Our ability to identify and take advantage of patterns will be greatly improved with cooler temperatures and fewer boats. Cruising the flats, we're going to find schools of mullet working. One day you might find reds chasing finger mullet and the next it might be eighteen to twenty-four inch trout on the edge of the mullet schools. The area north of the East Cut continues to amaze me with the number of trout and reds that have been caught there over the years; granted it's where the Gulf current enters and a constant supply of bait is often available in that portion of the Laguna Madre. The water continues to change almost daily and this should continue as incoming tide mixes with the off-colored and predominantly fresh water we have in the system. Secret to catching in these conditions: find bait and be patient. The Mansfield Maulers work very well for attracting fish. Keep only what you will eat: release the rest.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
YeeHaw! If you'd like to see a picture of the winning red in the ladies' Redfish Rodeo, held annually at South Padre Island, go to our website and check out the girls in the pink camo. We've been limiting on trout and reds every day since the beginning of September when we have windpreferably a north wind with an outgoing tide. The bay is still full of fresh water, but a recent norther has cleared things a bit and blown much of the thick floating grass off the shoreline on the west side. We're catching some lunker trout that are heavy with eggs, even this late in the season. Freddy says, "The fish are feeding on perch and tiny shrimp hatched on the full moon. When the strong north wind churns up the waves, try pulling the cork faster, like a top water, to attract fish that are hanging low in the water column but, be sure to slow down when you see the initial strike to allow the lure to sink a little." Our most consistent producer is a Berkley Gulp Shrimp in new penny and pearl, under a Cajun Thunder round cork. The bite's been great.