Reports & Forecasts: November 2014

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
Here we sit in the first week of October, and we just got our first real cold front of the year. Fishing has been nothing short of fantastic for the last few weeks and continues to improve with every falling tide. Several things generally occur in the weeks following October. In my opinion, November is very underrated. It has become THE month for loading the boat with both trout and reds. The best redfish trips of the year come in November, because they aren't quite in cold water mode, so catching them schooling in marsh ponds is still commonplace. Trout fishing is great. The fish are under the birds, around reefs and on shallow flats. It's probably your best month for catching a limit of trout and redfish. As long as an unfriendly wind is not blowing thirty knots out of the north, you're likely to catch both trout and redfish without having to put in too much effort.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
James was out fishing when he gave this report. "We're doing okay today. It's kind of windy, but we've got a good variety of fish, some reds, trout, flounder and a couple big croakers. We have been limiting a lot lately. Some birds are working already, but we need cooler water temperatures to kick that off better. We've been catching lots of small fish lately, with the best action on four-inch Die Dappers in slammin' chicken and the Houdini Bass Assassin Sea Shads. Also catching a few on chrome/chartreuse SheDogs. Fishing out of the boat has been better than the wading, but by November, that will likely change. The colder it gets in November, the better the fishing will be. We'll have more birds working, and the fish on the shorelines will get bigger, the trout, I mean. We'll do a lot of wading then, and we'll throw topwaters while they work, and switch over to the sinking twitch baits when they don't. It's set up to blow up once the weather cools off a little bit more."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim splits his time between the duck blind and the boat this time of year, hunting ducks and doves and fishing for trout and redfish. "Fishing has been steady lately. There have been plenty of fish being caught in both Trinity and East Bays. Guys are catching 'em wading more and more of the time. Haven't seen too many really big trout, but there are good numbers of just solid trout biting. Fishing out of the boat is good too. Birds are working here and there, and the people who know how to locate the mudding reds out in the middle have been whackin' 'em. These things will only get better as we get a few more decent cold fronts. Wading will pick up, and we'll see some big trout caught on topwaters and slow-sinking twitch baits in shallow water, from about upper-shin deep to mid-thigh deep. The main duck season will also crank up this month, so I'll continue to go back and forth from the marshes to the big pond. I'll be running both guided hunts and drop-off hunts once the season opens."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
"We've got a lot of small brown shrimp moving through the bay right now, after all this rain and cooler weather. Birds are working over the migrating herds. Most of the trout we're finding under the flocks are small trout. We've been targeting the reds mostly. They are generally underneath the trout, rooting the shrimp up off the bottom. Action has been steady on Halloween Norton Sand Eels, and the new MirrOlure topwaters. On some days, we've been able to cull bigger trout out of the schools under the birds by throwing topwaters. Today, one of my guys caught a 40-inch red on one. This pattern will begin to die out as stronger fronts push the tide and shrimp out of the bays. Then, we'll key on areas with four to six feet of water over mud and scattered shell." He also mentions he's excited to see and try his new JH Performance boat. "My new JH 240 will be on display at this year's boat show. Can't wait to start using it. We got blown off the water by storms today and the boat just ate up the heavy chop while getting us in."

Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service | 713.725.2401
Charlie says he will be spending most of his time in East Matagorda Bay during November, and the options are plentiful and productive. "November is one of the very best months for fishing in the Matagorda area. We'll drift off to West Bay on occasion, but mostly we target fish in East Bay this time of year. Normally, birds will be working, and you can catch plenty of trout and reds out of the boat by finding and following the flocks. The fishing is good over scattered shell and around the reefs out in the middle in East Bay too. Wading the reefs can be really good when winds are light. Of course, we have some of the best wadefishing anywhere along both shorelines during fall, too. We'll target big trout and schooling reds by focusing on areas with good amounts of baitfish. About the only thing that hampers fishing during November are strong cold fronts. They'll shut things down temporarily, but once the winds subside, the action will pick right back up. The Thanksgiving month is one of the main reasons this place is famous."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Epic is a word that best describes the fishing in the Palacios area right now. Hordes of redfish are prowling along area shorelines, chasing migrating schools of shrimp and mullet. The action is unlike anything I have seen in many moons. Schools of 25-50 upper-slot fish look like jacks coming down the shorelines, destroying baitfish. Vudu Shrimp, Bayou Chubs and Norton Bull Minnows in white/chartreuse or pumpkinseed/chartreuse have been producing well. Trout have been plentiful over local shell pads on live-shrimp rigged about three feet under popping corks. Sand trout approaching 15 inches have also been a blessing over the shell pads, mixed in with the specks. Night fishing continues to be good at the East and South Bay Piers, where small glow shad spec rigs and small shrimp spec rigs have accounted for a majority of the bites. November should produce some heavy fish with all the bait in the bays, and I am looking forward to chasing some big ole trout and reds over our mud/shell flats during the colder months to follow.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Lynn continues to fish the sandy pockets in the grass beds along shorelines at the time of this report, but he expects to switch patterns as stronger fronts cool the water down some more. "We've got redfish schooled up and chasing bait along the shorelines in the area right now. That action should persist a bit longer, but once we get some more strong cold fronts, the tide will usually get blown out, and the fishing over the sandy, shallow areas won't be as good any more. We generally like to target our fish over a muddier bottom starting in November, especially in areas where the mud is covered by scattered shell. Find such spots in the vicinity of marsh drains and in shallow areas close to deep basins, and the fish should be there. The other big key during this part of the year is to locate the herds of baitfish. They get really schooled up as they migrate toward the Gulf. Fishing areas where lots of baitfish are moving through is important. Best bite is generally on topwaters and slow-sinking twitch baits."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
In November, Blake intends to be wading shorelines in both San Antonio and Aransas Bays, focusing on areas with grassy bottom, mixed with sand. He says he'll probably be throwing topwaters a bunch, as well as the limetreuse Gulp! Swimming Shads and his old standbys, the pumpkinseed/chartreuse and plum/chartreuse Norton Sand Eels. He also plans to fish the back lakes for redfish, focusing on the deeper holes around the drains leading in from the main bays. He says the fishing has been really good recently, and he expects the hot action to continue. Of course, November is duck hunting time too, so he'll be splitting his time between the blind and the boat. "I love this time of year. We do a lot of cast and blast trips. It's fun to get out there early and get some shooting in, then fish our way out of the lakes and into the bays. The variety of experiences we get during November is about as good as it gets. It's a great month to spend time outdoors in the Coastal Bend."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
We have received a few inches of much needed rainfall in the Upper Laguna Madre, which should benefit our fishery. It's also time to bring out the breathable waders and check them for leaks, as the water will be cooling down enough to make wet wading uncomfortable. And because I will be wading in about three feet of water, I will also be wearing my ForEver Last wading boots. Boat traffic should be on the decrease. The water clarity has not been very good lately, so, I'll be fishing with noisy and/or smelly baits. Bass Assassin Blurps, Berkley Gulp! or live shrimp under a Bass Assassin Kwik Kork should prove productive. Another lure I will be using if the water clears up will be natural-colored Bass Assassin Die Dappers rigged on eighth ounce SpringLok jigheads. Many of my clients will enjoy sight-casting for reds and black drum in less than twelve inches of water with chartreuse or pink colored, shrimp flavored Fish Bites, double hooked on jig heads. Bright sunny days work best for the sight-casting game.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Water quality continues to vary throughout different parts of the Upper Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay, Joe says, and he expects no big changes in that area as we head into November. "We did get some fairly heavy rains recently, and the tide has been really high. High tides and hot water make for some tough fishing. Once we get some stronger fronts with more west in them, the tide will go back out to a normal level, and fishing will get easier. I plan on fishing areas around the Causeway for the most part during this month. In the fall, we get good tide movement in the Boat Hole and around the Crash Channels. Moving water makes for a good bite during any season, but especially during the fall. We should also see migrating herds of baitfish and shrimp moving up the Lagoon toward the bridge. By the end of November, we often have lots of small keeper trout working over birds in and around the ICW just south of the Causeway. Catching them then becomes easy on soft plastics for those with boats rigged with trolling motors."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
Fishing is generally very good in November, but it's all about being in the right place at the right time. Cold fronts arriving to the coast will bring heavy seas and high tides. Fishing trips must be planned to occur during spells of moderate weather in between the fronts. Avoid hard east and northeast winds as these are often capable of pushing water all the way up to the dunes. Slot and oversized redfish, whiting and Florida pompano will be in good supply for anglers fishing on bottom with fresh, peeled, dead shrimp and also Fishbites. Jack crevalle will be abundant and several shark species will be available. Extra care in planning and packing are greatly advised and a detailed list of emergency supplies and appropriate tools should be carried on each beach outing. The summer crowds are all gone, and quite often we find very few people on the beach to lend assistance should difficulties be encountered.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000
Through the past month we have received a good amount of rain and still going to get more. With all the rain and normal equinox bulge in tides the water level is up by almost two feet. This increase in depth has the fish scattered out. You will at times find good concentrations of trout in deeper water, mixed with a fair number of sand trout. Kelley Wiggler Ball Tail Shads on 1/8 ounce jigs has been the go-to lure for me and my clients. With the unusually high water level the reds have been further east than normal. So now we are fishing areas that we normally can't even think of fishing. Reds are suckers for 1/4 ounce weedless spoons, gold or silver. There have been several good-sized schools of reds on the sand both north and south of the East Cut. The area east of Green Island has also been holding redfish on the line where the sand and grass meet. You will have to make long drifts but you will pick up hefty reds. Tight lines and calm seas!

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Now that the fall tides are dialed in, we're only concerned with what the weather is going to throw at us next. This has been a rainy season, and we can see the difference it makes in the bay. When you encounter dark water that is not cloudy, but at two feet you can't see the bottom, that is the result of fresh water layered on top of the saltwater column. When driving by the mouth of the Arroyo, we often see a plume of this darker water spreading out from the sides of the ICW. Freddy says, "Brackish water will push deeper, but reds aren't bothered by salinity differences; they'll feed anywhere. To stay in the trout, fish on the east side where there is less drain off from flooding. Also, fall is a good time to fish the jetties for oversized, spawning reds." We've been limiting on reds easily, with an occasional flounder in shallow, but working a little deeper for trout, throwing Cajun Thunder round, and cigar corks, in red and chartreuse, trailing Berkley Gulp! Live three inch shrimp in light colors and new penny. Stop open bay dredge disposal!