Reports & Forecasts: Nov 2012

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

It's October and we are whackin em'! The bird action started a little late this year, which means it should last a little longer. We could possibly see action through the middle of December. With every passing front, the bite should get better and better. As the fall weather pattern starts to develop, we should see more and more shrimp coming out of the marshes on the east bank of Calcasieu, in West Cove and Joe's Cove. Starting the morning at one of the deeper bayous should produce good numbers of trout, reds, and flounder. Once the bite slows at the cut, it's wise to move toward the middle of the lake and search for birds. If big trout are the target, the sand flats around Turners Bay, West Cove, Washout, and Long Point should produce. Most will be caught on suspending baits like Corkies, MirrOdines, and Catch 2000s. Topwaters will produce well on warmer days. The annual flounder migration to the Gulf will be in full swing when this report comes out. Points, coves, reefs, and cuts are places of interest for flounder fishing.

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

Fishing was still "summer-like" when James gave this report. "We've been fishing out of the boat most of the time. Best bite has been over shell and mud in about four to six feet of water. It's basically like a hot summer pattern. Numbers have been good. We've been averaging twenty trout or more a day, with some reds thrown in as a bonus. Lately, the biggest trout have been around five pounds or a little more. Soft plastics are working best. Not getting many bites jigging them at all, working them straight in is better. We are seeing signs of the fish moving shallower. Today, we made a pass down a shoreline with small topwaters and caught both trout and redfish. We got some blow ups on both white and pink Top Dog Juniors. Once the weather gets a little cooler, the shorelines should stack up with plenty of fish. And the birds will start working too. We've had a little bird activity, but not much, and the fish under them aren't quality fish. All that is about to change. November is setting up to be excellent."

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service - 409.996.3054
Jim is smack in the middle of his busiest season, "shifting gears" between hunting and fishing. "We've been smokin' the doves. Lots of easy limits. That's winding down now, of course. But duck season is just around the corner. I'll be hunting a couple of days a week, fishing three or four. The fishing has been good lately. While it was still hot, all the action was out in the middle, especially for the bigger trout. We were doing well targeting slicks and mud boils in deep water up until a week or so ago. This last cold front made the shallow water fishing better, though. Right now, the trout in the marsh and on the shorelines are kind of small, but that's about to change. We'll be finding some of the big trout close to the bank in November, for sure. The reds have been thick and aggressive already. That action should continue right on through Thanksgiving. This is just my favorite time of year. There are so many options in the outdoors in the great state of Texas. It keeps me busy in a good way."

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

A few birds are already working as of the time of this report, and Randall expects more of that action to come. "The shrimp migration is the biggest key to fishing success this time of year. We will target areas along the pathways the shrimp use when they move from the bays to the Gulf. If the birds are working, we'll take advantage of them, but even if they aren't, fishing the migration routes is still a wise idea. Redfish stay pretty shallow most of the time; we usually catch plenty in November by sightcasting at tailing fish. If the water is off-colored, we'll use a Sand Eel like salty chicken. If it's more clear, we'll stick with something a little more natural-looking, like red magic or black magic. Normally, we're using quarter-ounce jigheads, maybe three-eighths ounce. Topwaters work great on some days this time of the year too, and we won't hesitate to get in on that action when it's available. Once the weather cools down and stays cool between the fronts, the action will get steadily better."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service -979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037

Charlies enthusiasm for the fall season was apparent when we talked. The best time of the year is coming up. November is the first of the best four months for fishing in the Matagorda area. Right now, the shorelines are full of fish, and the middle of the bay is too. Both bays are holding good numbers of trout and redfish. Most of us spend more time in East Bay in November. If the shrimp crop is big, the birds will be working regularly, and crowds can become heavy. Without the shrimp and birds, crowds will be lighter. Regardless, well be catching plenty of trout and reds, throwing Bass Assassins in colors like chicken on a chain, plum/chartreuse and pumpkinseed/chartreuse. When the bait is moving around good on the surface, well throw topwaters at em. This is one of the best months for throwing topwaters around here. Catching the bigger trout is easier to do by wadefishing, so well try to stay in the water as much as possible, targeting rafts of bait in the shallows when hunting for a wallhanger.

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam - 979.240.8204

The incredible amount of redfish we are catching continues to amaze me. We have caught more reds this fall than I can remember in many years. There are schools of redfish in back lakes, around the river mouths, in the sloughs, along area shorelines, and just about everywhere else, chasing massive amounts of shrimp. The lures we've used have not mattered; we have thrown spoons and paddletails in pumpkinseed/chartreuse, red/white and pearl/chartreuse. If you get something in their line of sight, they will bite! Another pleasant surprise is the amount of tripletails in the bay. We are still catching good numbers of fish up to 18 pounds on live shrimp fished around structures in West Matagorda Bay. November should be outstanding with all the bait in the bay. Trout should be moving to area shorelines around mud and shell as the water starts cooling. Redfish will still be roaming the flats chasing shrimp, and flounder will be moving out of area drains and bayous toward the Gulf.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith - Back Bay Guide Service - 361.983.4434
Lynn reports excellent fishing for redfish lately, and he predicts the trout bite will pick up now that the weather is changing. I havent seen any schooling reds, but were catching singles steadily on most trips. Just yesterday, I landed a forty incher. It almost spooled me twice. We should continue to see consistent action on the redfish throughout November. Ill change my basic plan of attack starting this month. Most of the time, we wont leave the dock until nine or ten oclock. I like to wait for the flats to heat up a little before starting my fishing day. Well mainly target flats adjacent to deeper water. The fish like to hug the edges near the deep basins this time of year. Well be throwing soft plastics mostly, in colors like pumpkinseed/chartreuse and red shad. Well also throw gold spoons when we are specifically targeting the reds. And, this is a great time of year for slow-sinking twitch baits like Paul Browns Original Lures and Catch 2000s. On the warmer days, topwaters will work well too, especially if several days come between fronts.

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

November is a busy month for Blake. "I'll be getting into the cast and blast season hot and heavy. I'll be duck hunting in the back lakes of Aransas Bay a lot, and I'll do some fishing in there too. We've already got plenty of ducks flying around, so the hunting should be good. Fishing has been steady lately, and should improve even more as we get into the cooler part of the year. I'll be targeting shorelines adjacent to the entrances of the lakes, throwing topwaters as long as they are producing. Most of my efforts will be made in water about knee to thigh-deep. Both the redfish and the trout seem to prefer depths like that this time of year. Of course, if the topwaters aren't working as well, I'll go right back to my old standby Norton Sand Eels. They come in particularly handy while the fronts have a tight grip on the weather. And, we'll throw some spoons when we are putting a priority on catching redfish instead of trout. All in all, it's a great month, with lots of options, steady action and plenty of variety."

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

Recently, one of my clients reminded his fishing buddies of rule #2 when fishing with me. He reminded everybody that the first five flounder belong to the captain. The flounder are showing up in very good numbers compared to the last four years. I like to use a three-inch Berkley Gulp! shrimp or a two-inch piece of shrimp-flavored Fish Bite, or a combination of both, rigged on a quarter-ounce Spring Lock jighead. I will cast the bait along the edges of channels, the intracoastal waterway in particular, and drag the bait very slowly on the bottom. The trout and redfish action will continue to be very good by fishing with live shrimp under a popping cork or by rigging a quarter-ounce jighead with a Gulp! shrimp about twelve inches under a Bass Assassin Kwik Kork. Natural-colored Bass Assassin Die Dappers rigged on sixteenth-ounce jigheads will attract trout and redfish along the edges of grass lines, potholes and drop offs in two to three feet of water. Black drum continue to go after shrimp Fish Bites in less than twelve inches of water.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez - 361.937.5961

The types of patterns which produce best in the Corpus Christi area in November largely depend on the weather. "If it's cooler, we'll be fishing the edges of the main channels, targeting trout, reds and flounder as they take advantage of the abundance of shrimp using the intracoastal waterway as a migration route. When fishing this pattern, adjusting the jighead size to match the conditions is critical. If it's windier and/or if the current is strong, heavier jigheads are a must. They allow for maintaining contact with the bottom as the lure falls in the water. If it's not as cool, we will still be fishing shallow flats and sightcasting both trout and redfish at times. The water is nice and clear around much of the area, so the potential for this kind of fishing is great. Normally, we don't see quite as many big schools of reds this late in the year, but there are plenty of singles and stragglers to target. And sometimes a few big trout are found mingling in with them. Overall, it's a productive month for those who adjust their strategies to match the conditions."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer - Padre Island Safaris - 361.937.8446

Our fall season has thus far been so atypical that I almost hate to make predictions on what we will see in November but I will do my best. This is prime sightcasting time for large jack crevalle at the surfs edge with artificials and flies. This action starts in late September and usually continues until about the 10th of December, but make no mistake November is the peak of the action. Finger mullet will be in full migration mode so let them as well as the birds lead you to the fish. Live-lining finger mullet will be the most productive method of fishing but a silver spoon is a good imitator and will bring results as well. Slot-sized and bull redfish will be in excellent supply and November should also mark prime pompano fishing on the bottom with Fishbites and fresh-peeled shrimp. Slot-sized black drum and plenty of whiting should be available for bottom fishers. Bull and blacktipped sharks should be in good supply with the potential of tiger sharks. Good fishing!

Port Mansfield | Terry Neal 956.944.2559

We have had our first cool front, which was not really all that cool, but it is a start after the heat wave of summer, and it brings the promise of great things to come. With shorter days and longer, cooler nights, we should see fish showing up on the flats early and holding there until close to midday before dropping back into deeper potholes. Along with schools of reds and scattered trout, there should be big schools of black drum cruising the color changes. The real secret is to locate some kind of bait and work alongside it. There are going to be lots of undersized trout; please handle them gently. These are our fish for next year. The offshore fishing continues to improve as the deeper currents start to cool down. The sow snapper in state waters will hang on the edges of the structure waiting for a shiny jig to come bouncing off the bottom. Grey snapper are a bonus catch, as they don't count towards the red snapper limit. Keep what you will eat; release the rest.

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

Even though fishing has been tough, timing is everything. With the right wind and a little luck, an outgoing tide can offer up some exciting action. Redfish will snuggle in close to a shoreline and smack anything that moves in their pothole, or in the spaces between grass clumps. The best bet for super shallow fishing is a Cajun Thunder cigar cork with a new penny or nuclear chicken three-inch Berkley Gulp! shrimp. The way things stand in the south end of the LLM, actually being able to see holes requires a light wind; otherwise, the water will cloud up quickly. Freddy says, It pays to take your time and work over areas that traditionally hold fish, slowing your retrieve in the muddy conditions, before running to greener pastures. You just cant count on seeing anything, so theres no point in driving down every bank, depriving yourself and everybody else of a successful drift. Weve caught some really nice trout and an occasional flounder on the CT round corks in deeper holes. Lets pull together to stop Open Bay Dredge Disposal before its too late.