Reports & Forecasts: November 2020

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - silverkingadventures.com – 409.935.7242
James loves the changes in productive patterns which normally accompany the arrival of November. “We should see the wading improve on area shorelines. Typically, this time of year, we catch plenty of both trout and redfish in water less than waist-deep, in coves and along shorelines. This is a great time of year to catch 'em on topwaters, if the weather's warmish. I like throwing little ones like the ShePup, but all different kinds have potential when it's right. On the cooler days, we catch better on twitch baits like the Catch 2000s and Catch 5s. I also still like throwing the 51 and 52M MirrOlures. Good colors seem to be pink, gold and chartreuse. Soft plastics work best on the most negative days, usually soon after the passage of a front. In that situation, rigging Bass Assassins on sixteenth-ounce heads and working them low and slow pays off best. Some years, we have plenty of birds working this month too. The amount of freshwater flowing down the rivers can influence where most of the flocks can be found. In wetter years, West Bay tends to perk up, as fish flushed out of Galveston and Trinity Bays move this way.”

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service – 409.996.3054
Jimmy was checking salinity levels in Trinity Bay when we talked. “The upper parts of the bay got pretty fresh after the heavy rains from the last tropical storm. Lately, the flow coming down the river is already backing down, so I expect fishing to be great this fall, as long as we don't have anymore big rains. The fish typically show up along the shorelines in the back of East Bay this time of year. We catch some really nice trout wading. We also do well working the bayous and drains. Birds are also usually working in plenty of places, so we've got lots of good options. The action in the back might kick off a little later than normal because of the floods we had after the storms, but it should be good by Thanksgiving, for sure. Really, there's no magic type of lure for fishing this time of year. On different days, we do great with topwaters, twitch baits and soft plastics, sometimes all three on the same day. When we're not fishing, we'll be in the marsh, hunting ducks. This is my favorite time of year. It is the perfect time to have some fun along the coast.”

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service  979.849.7019 – 979.864.9323
Randall looks forward to the cool weather November always ushers in. “Our fishing improves steadily as the temperatures decline. Lower water temperatures and falling tides mean the shrimp and other critters will be on the move. As they migrate toward the Gulf, we will be able to intercept them in areas around the pass. Working birds and slicks in an area are the signs we look for in order to narrow our search. The cooler weather also elevates the effectiveness of topwaters. Lures like the standard SkitterWalks and the One Knockers usually draw lots of strikes from aggressive trout and redfish this time of year. Another really useful lure during the Thanksgiving month is a Norton Bull Minnow in chicken on a chain color rigged on a three eighths-ounce screw-lock jighead. The key to getting more strikes with this lure during the fall is to work it with vigorous action. I've been able to upgrade my presentation by going to a Laguna Devil Stick rod measuring 6'6” coupled with a Daiwa reel with a high gear ration (8.3:1). This combo allows me to create lots of erratic action, with some fast speed bursts, which the fish really like in November.”

Matagorda | Bay Guide Service
Charlie Paradoski – 713.725.2401
Charlie describes multiple potentially productive options available to anglers heading to the Matagorda area in November. “Usually, we still have birds working in both bays this month. This means we have shrimp migrating through the open areas of the bays. If the flocks aren't active, it's still possible to catch plenty of trout and reds drifting areas around the reefs, where the bottom is mostly muddy, with some shell scattered around. Soft plastics work best for this drill, rigged on jigheads heavy enough to maintain contact with the bottom. Wading the coves in both bays works well too, especially when high tides send water back into them after a cold front fizzles out. Both the trout and reds will find their way into the really shallow water along the shorelines in there during such a situation. Best lures for targeting the fish in the coves are slow-sinking twitch baits and topwaters. Soft plastics on super light jigheads sometimes produce best. The Colorado River and the Diversion Channel also have potential in November, especially when strong winds blow after a front. Of course, recent rains have the river running pretty fresh lately, but that can certainly change by November.”

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam
www.palaciosguideservice.com – 979.240.8204
I love fishing in autumn as much as any other time of the year. With deer, duck and dove seasons cranking up, crowds thin out considerably on the coastal waters, leaving lots of empty shorelines to wade, looking for solid trout and redfish. We like to focus on shorelines in Tres Palacios Bay which have lots of shall scattered over a muddy bottom. We target our fish around shell pads lying in three to four feet of water, next to the deeper waters of the river. Trout will be found in close proximity to schools of mullet this time of year. We throw Paul Brown FatBoys in pearl/chartreuse and lime green mostly. When we aren't wading the shallows, we usually move to deep holes in the Tres Palacios River and throw DSL soft plastics in colors like magic grass and chicken of the sea, rigged on three-eighths ounce heads. We like to slowly flutter these off the ledges. This month is great for sight-casting reds on area shorelines too. As the water warms in the heat of the day, we troll shorelines looking for them feeding on crabs and mullet. Main lures for this drill are quarter-ounce weedless spoons.

Port O’Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service – 361.983.4434
Lynn loves fishing the Port O'Connor area during November, which he sees as a transitional time. “We wind up catching a lot of redfish and trout in the back-lakes and other shallow areas during September and October. That kind of fishing remains good during November too, but the specifics of the patterns start to change a bit. During the warmer months, we like fishing early in the morning, targeting the fish in shallow areas with a mix of grass and sand, often throwing at potholes in the grass. By the time we start getting stronger fronts in November, and lower tide levels and water temperatures, the fish seem to prefer areas with a muddy bottom, with some shell scattered around. We do better throwing in guts and depressions next to reefs when this happens. Another thing that changes is the timing of the best bite on the average day. On many November days, especially the cooler ones, the best bite happens in the afternoon, once the sun heats up the water in the shallows. We like to fish around drains and guts with outgoing tide after lunch this time of year. So, I'll start leaving the dock later and coming in later.”

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
November provides anglers and hunters plenty of good options, Blake says, and he plans on doing his part to take advantage of as many as possible. “Of course, we do some cast and blast trips this time of year, hunting ducks from the blinds in the marshes early, taking advantage of the tendency of the birds to fly soon after daylight breaks. After the shooting stops, we like to fish our way out of the backwaters, especially if tide conditions have the reds concentrated in holes and drains back there. If the water is higher, we sometimes find schools of reds roaming in the larger pockets and catch plenty. Trout fishing is usually better along main bay shorelines and around reefs this time of year. So, after we come out of the marsh, we usually take some time to catch trout in places with a generally muddy bottom, with at least some shell around. Best lures this time of year are topwaters, if the weather's warm, and soft plastics like the Norton Sand Eels if it's cooler. We also do some dove hunting in the fields this time of year. Afternoon hunts sometimes cap off full days of steady action.”

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata – [email protected] – 361.563.1160
Though the water temperatures in Baffin Bay and the Upper Laguna Madre will be trending steadily down during November, the catching should remain hot. Water quality is quite good throughout the area. With the lower water temps, it's time to pull out the breathable waders to make sure they aren't leaking for the colder days ahead. Stingrays are still around, so always wear your ForEverLast RayGuards, and you won't have to think so much about shuffling your feet while wading. The trout this time of year tend to hang out in two to three feet of water along grass lines with scattered potholes. They readily attack Bass Assassins worked close in front of their mouths. Die Dappers in colors like opening morning, plum/chartreuse and trickster rigged on eighth-ounce Spring Lock jigheads work well too. In the middle of the day, the fish tend to move into shallower water, where the four-inch Turbo Sea Shads in glitter bug, Calcasieu brew and chicken on a chain work better, especially on sixteenth-ounce jigheads. Drifting depths around four feet with live shrimp under popping corks also works well for numbers of trout and redfish, especially on days soon after fronts, when cool weather persists.

Corpus Christi / Joe Mendez—www.sightcast1.com—361.877.1230
With so many people in South Texas heading to the blinds to go hunting, the waters of Baffin Bay and the ULM generally see low traffic levels during November. This makes for some fun and quiet outings, according to Joe. “Fishing along the King Ranch Shoreline can be really good starting in November and heading into the coldest part of the year. The amount of floating grass drops to much lower levels than it has been through the summer and early part of the fall, allowing us to function better in the shallows. The fish often move shallow, and we catch 'em tight to the bank this time of year, usually in the proximity of the large grass mats lying on the shore, especially those with some sandy potholes close by. This works best on cloudy days. Sometimes, we have strong fronts this time of year. If and when we do, the fishing is sometimes better in the afternoons than in the mornings. If the water's clear in places like Emmord's and Beacroft's holes, the fish usually ride out the daylight hours in the off-colored water about four or five feet deep, then move right up to the shorelines around dusk.”

P. I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
361-877-3583 | Oceanepics.com
The surf usually explodes with life and activity during November. The fall migrations ignite predatory frenzies along the beachfront. A combination of anchovies, menhaden and mullet fuel the opportunities for predators to gorge. We normally get our first major cold fronts this time of year. The fishing really lights up a couple days after a strong front passes. Jack crevalle storm the beach looking for schools of mullet and menhaden. Tossing live mullet then is usually the golden ticket to hooking the jacks. We sometimes see them cruising in the waves in green water, and are able to target them with large spoons and topwaters. The redfish also invade the shallows this time of year, many of them over the slot. Other fish hammering the migrating bait will be Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Both have rows of sharp teeth, which easily cut monofilament. Early in the month, a lucky few folks will likely encounter the last tarpon of the year, as they head south for the winter. Shark action provides mostly blacktips and bulls, both of which like baits of medium size. The variety of fish available to target makes November a wonderful time to hit the surf!

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza
Snookdudecharters.com – 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge – 956.944.4000
In November, we typically see the last redfish filtering through the jetties into the Gulf. During the first part of the month, it's still common to find them schooling alongside the East Cut. Both the north and south sides have potential to hold schools. Gold quarter-ounce weedless spoons work best to target them. When they're biting best, they also blow up aggressively on topwaters. Watching reds tackle topwaters is among the most fun things we do. Trout fishing in November is usually steady too. On days with light winds, the west shoreline is the place to be. We normally find fish in water depths ranging from mid-thigh to waist-deep. Bone and pink/gold One Knockers work well most of the time. When the blow ups stop coming, I generally switch to a KWiggler Ball-tail or Willow-tail Shad on an eighth-ounce jighead. Colors like bone diamond, Mansfield Margarita, plum/chartreuse and strawberry/white work well. West Bay also produces plenty of fish this time of year, mostly trout, which tend to hang out in the sandy potholes breaking up the grass. Drifting the deeper water in areas where an edge separates a grassy bottom from a bare, muddy bottom also makes good sense.

Lower Laguna Madre—South Padre—Port Isabel
Aaron Cisneros | tightlinescharters.com – 956-639-1941
In fall, the combination of high tides and cool water temperatures dictates several things about the fishing in South Texas. With tides running high, shallow areas tight to the shorelines typically hold lots of lively bait fish, as do the shallowest parts of all the mid-bay structures. These areas work best in low light conditions. We find most of our trout fishing in depths of two or three feet, focusing on shorelines with plenty of grass but also numerous sandy potholes breaking up the grass. We throw bone Spook Juniors rigged with single hooks most mornings, to avoid the effects of the floating grass. Especially on the sunny days after fronts, we find the bite better in a bit deeper water, from about three to five feet. Lately, we've caught some of our biggest trout in this depth, and the bite on reds has been steady at those depths too. Out there, we're doing best throwing KWiggler Ball-tails in plum/chartreuse rigged on eighth-ounce screw-lock jigheads. A quick, erratic retrieve is earning the most strikes, by far. These patterns should linger into November, which normally provides some of the most pleasant weather and easy catching of the entire year.

 
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