Reports & Forecasts: Oct 2009

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
October is a great month to fish. Birds should be working from one end of the estuary to the other. When fishing birds, be sure to be as sneaky as possible. Shut down your big motor around two hundred yards from the school. Watch the birds, get an idea on which direction they are headed, and begin your approach from upwind with your trolling motor. Keep in mind which direction they were headed, because usually they don't change course. If the birds happen to leave, continue on in the direction they were already headed and you should pick up a few more fish. When fishing under birds throw shrimp imitations. Glow H&H Beetles, glow Sand Eel Jrs., and opening night MirrOlure Jerk Shads are all good choices. If the water is a little stained, try avocado or purple. The weirs are always a sure bet for redfish on an outgoing tide. If you don't want to fight the crowd, try the banks adjacent to the weirs. Try your normal plastics first. Usually they will work, but if the fishing is a little slow, try a Berkley Gulp.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
James was in the middle of a tarpon hunt when we talked. "We just released one about sixty pounds. The fish have really shown up now and we should be able to hook a bunch up and down this beach for a solid month or so, until about the end of the first week in October. There are plenty of other big fish in here with the silver kings. We're catching kingfish, jackfish and tons of bull reds. The reds are particularly easy; you can catch them pretty much however you want to. Bait is really not even necessary; jigs and Coast Hawks work fine. As far as the trout fishing goes, it's been good too and should be better in October. The water's clean and green all over, so Trinity and East Bays both have good potential. There will be birds working in both bays I'm sure. Numbers of trout can be caught that way. The guys who are willing to wade some will probably catch the bigger fish. Overall, it's really shaping up to be a great fall of fishing. Especially if we get some more of this stable weather like we've been having lately."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim looks forward to the fall fishing pattern kicking in really strong this month. "We'll be doing a lot of wading this time of year. The fishing has already picked up on the shorelines and it should only get better as the weather cools. We are getting a mixed bag on most outings. The redfish have been numerous, running in all sizes, from rats to bulls! The trout are mostly just fish, with some solid ones around twenty five inches biting regularly. Both the reds and the trout really hit topwaters aggressively in this cooling water. Soft plastics are a close second overall, and on some days, they'll bring more bites, of course. Birds will be working most days out in the middle as we get into October, and it's still productive to work the slicks out there too, so that makes it fun. You can wade some and fish out of the boat some; both methods work well. I'll also be doing quite a bit of dove hunting this fall, in both the south and central zones. I have leases in both. October is typically a great month for the doves, and this year sets up well."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
A variety of productive options presented themselves in late summer; some will run out in October while others are likely to carry over, Randall says. "We got offshore and caught some kingfish on topwaters a couple of times lately, even had a few snapper from state waters. We've been doing pretty good on the trout, still using live bait. The catching has been over mud and shell on some days, hard sand close to the beach on others. The water is in great shape, looking better all the time, and there is more grass in our bays than I can remember. We are set up for great fall fishing. I'm seeing the small shrimp just starting to leave the bayous. When we get the first low tides, the redfish action will go crazy, as the fish feed up on the migrating shrimp. We should have plenty of working birds over trout too. I can't wait to get back to my topwaters when all that plays out. As the water cools even more, the tried and true pattern of fishing scattered shell over a mud bottom with Sand Eels will return to form."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service | 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
"October is a month to be in East Bay primarily," Tommy reports. "We like to wade the mid-bay reefs when winds are kind to us. We'll start off throwing topwaters early, then switch over to Corkies and soft plastics later in the day. Bird activity typically kicks in during this month, and the fishing for both trout and reds can be great under the flocks. It really doesn't matter much what color soft plastic you throw under birds, so it's a good time to use all those old worms you can't find other uses for. Of course, throwing topwaters under birds can be a way to cull bigger trout out of the schools. Sometimes, catching a few twenty five and twenty six inch trout is possible in East Bay under birds. When the crowds get crazy in East Bay, I like to go west. Fishing around small reefs and grass beds tight to the shorelines over there, it's possible to string a mixed bag of trout, reds and flounder this month. I usually work the topwater/twitch bait/soft plastic drill over there. In West Bay, I favor a dark worm, whereas in East Bay, light and bright seems better."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
The passage of early season fronts brought light north winds accompanied by high tides and really turned on the fishing in the middle coast. The shrimp population in the bay is as big as I have seen in many years, and the fish are gorging themselves on the crustaceans. Fishing for reds has been as good as I can remember, with lots of schools of twenty to maybe forty fish roaming area back lakes chasing and feeding on shrimp. The best lure for them by far has been the Gulp shrimp in pearl, which matches what the reds are eating. If you get it anywhere close to them, they will find it. Trout have started to move to shorelines away from the deep rigs and are also schooled up chasing shrimp in the shallows. If you can find the right school of fish, it doesn't take long to catch some solid keepers. October should be a good month to concentrate on finding fish under working birds; look for flocks of gulls hovering low in one place and occasionally diving, and the fish should be right under the action.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Redfish will be the main target species in October, Lynn predicts. "We've got good numbers of reds roaming around lately. The action has been consistent for them. We're focusing on grass and sand shorelines pretty close to the passes and casting at potholes in the grass if it's primarily a grassy area, and throwing at the edges of the grass beds if it's more of a sandy area. The bonus lately has been the flounder. There are decent numbers of them around the grass edges in the same places where we're catching the reds. Best lure lately has been a soft plastic. Mostly, I'm throwing a chicken on a chain colored Bass Assassin. I'll also go to the Gulps if the bite is slower. Today we had good luck on the chartreuse/pepper firetail. As we get into October, I'll throw my Super Spook Jrs. a little more often, particularly the chrome/blue one on the brighter days. If possible, we'll try to get into the surf a few more times, especially in the first half of the month. The Spooks work really well out there on the trout when it's calm."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Fishing for redfish in the Rockport area bays has been steady, though the trout fishing is a little slow when compared with past years. "We're wading with live croakers mostly. Still catching plenty of reds. On the best days, we have been able to catch them on soft plastics, where on the tougher days the bait saves us. Mostly, we're focusing on shell reefs and softer bottom with scattered shell as our target areas. The trout fishing has been slower, though we're picking up scattered fish on most every wade. As we get into October, we'll see dropping water temperatures and the marsh lakes will begin to flush. When that happens, all the stocks of bait that have spent the summer in the backwater areas will shoot through the drains into the bays. That should bring on an improvement in the trout fishing, and we should be able to catch trout, reds and flounder on artificial lures better. We'll throw topwaters, Corkies and soft plastics in the current rips as the water moves out of the lakes and sweeps into the main bays."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
A few changes have occurred in the Laguna Madre. The water level had been very low, but it has risen five or six inches over the last few weeks. That might not seem like much, but it has made a big difference for the fish that like the shallow water. With the water temperatures still in the mid-eighties, the speckled trout, redfish and black drum have moved into the newly flooded areas along the eastern side of the Laguna Madre. Light winds are helping to keep the water clear and this is making it possible to set up slow drifts on the shallow flats for sight casting at trout, reds and black drum. Spotting a fish, casting a lure close to it and then watching the fish swallow the lure is unbelievably fun! This can be done while drifting or wading and I'm expecting this to continue for the next several months. I'll be using four inch good penny and pearl Blurp Sea Shads, or three inch pearl white and molting Berkley Gulp shrimp rigged on sixteenth ounce Assassin Spring Lock jigheads.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe indicates that he's been having good success on both trout and reds while drifting and throwing at potholes with soft plastics. "I've been using the plum/chartreuse Texas Trout Killers mostly. Today, my client had a twenty eight inch trout and a couple of others around twenty five or twenty six. He was able to catch his limit of both trout and reds, and he had an oversized red too. The key was to keep the lure hopping around in the bright potholes dotting the grass beds. That pattern has been working for me most of the summer." He mentions several areas to key on in the coming month. "I've been fishing Nine Mile Hole some, and Rocky Slough. Also, closer to the boat ramp, I've been working the King Ranch Shoreline. All of these areas are holding pretty water and all are great places to catch fish this time of year, particularly if we get a strong bull tide. High water is good for The Hole and the King Ranch especially. With the water being so clear, it always gives us a chance for sight casting opportunities, particularly on the bright days."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
October offers some of the best all around fishing of the year in the surf of PINS. The finger mullet migration will be in full swing and large numbers of predators from both the bays and offshore will converge in the surf zone to feed on them. Slot and oversized reds, tarpon, large numbers of large jack crevalle and hordes of ladyfish will be available along with large Spanish mackerel, occasional Atlantic bluefish and numerous shark species. Anglers should target areas of visible food chain activity and "road hunt" the beach front driving slowly to find best action. Diving birds should never be ignored. These fish will all hit artificials of numerous types but most anglers will cast-net and live-line finger mullet at this time of year. Pompano fishing becomes much more productive in October with fresh, peeled, dead shrimp and Fishbites. Whiting will be plentiful. The first week of the month is typically high tides so check tide forecasts when planning trips and best conditions will be the second day after cold front passage. Good fishin'!

Port Mansfield | Terry Neal | 956.944.2559
Fall! After what has seemed an endless string of days with record-setting heat, the cooler days of October and November will certainly be a welcome relief. As the water temperatures drop, we will begin to see bait moving to shallower water. This is the time of year that you can do some real good following mullet that are cruising the flats. Shorter daylight hours and less boat traffic are the key to fishing for the next couple of months. There have been large schools of big redfish showing south of The Pipeline all the way down to the south end of The Saucer. Many of these are oversized and will need to be released unless you decide to use your tag. The Mansfield Jetties are still producing some nice kingfish along with the occasional tarpon. We have had a great influx of good looking gulf water for the last two months and this continues to super charge the bay with huge amounts of bait and gulf trout. Remember to keep only what you will eat and release the rest.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Fishing has been killer this summer; so we're looking forward to more of the same and better this coming fall. With more wind and fewer boats, the upcoming season will make it even easier to jump on the redfish, and trout and flounder love the cooler weather. On a recent outing with two fishermen, drifting straight down wind, 50 reds were boated on three long drifts using Precision Tackle half ounce gold weedless spoons in about two feet of water. The first north winds of the year brought us some much needed overcast conditions with a little rain and excellent visibility for sight fishing. We're still catching limits of reds using the spoons or Cajun Thunder cigar corks with three inch Berkley Gulp shrimp on a quarter ounce. jighead. Freddy says, "If you throw the cork rig, you can catch reds and trout, but really shallow, the spoons will work best, especially with the floating grass. After the first norther of the year, the giant summer herds are going to disappear, so your best bet is making long drifts once you get into the fish."