Reports & Forecasts: Oct 2010

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
October is one of the best months of the year to catch a lot of speckled trout. We catch fish throughout the entire estuary and the weather should be reliable and comfortable. Trout and redfish will be found under birds from the south end of Big Lake all the way to Lake Charles. Best baits to throw are shrimp imitations. We usually stick to H&H Salty Grubs & Beetles, MirrOlure Minnows, Norton Sand Eels, and Deadly Dudley's. Good colors are glow, clear/metal flake, chartreuse, avocado, and opening night. Topwaters are good when fish are seen hitting the surface. Bone, white, and chartreuse are some of our best colors. If birds are not your thing, oyster reefs in Big Lake and on the edge of the ship channel will hold good numbers of fish. Soft plastics are the best choice for lots of fish, but topwaters and suspending baits are the way to go for larger trout. MirrOlure Catch 2000s do extremely well at this time of year. The best colors are those that resemble mullet. Chrome/black, chrome/green, and bone are our favorites.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
As of the time of this report, fishing patterns hadn't changed much in Galveston, according to James. "Caught a bunch on an old well pad in Lower Galveston Bay the other day. Fifteen feet of water. It's a little late for that pattern, but I tried two other pads after the first one and they had plenty of fish too. Fishing at the jetties has been on fire, and that's a little bit strange for this time of year. With this storm rolling in and these high tides, things are probably about to change. Usually, come October, you can pretty much catch 'em however you want to. There will be birds working in all the bays, and the slicks over shell stuff will produce when they aren't. Wading will start to become more and more productive, especially if the tide stays high. Topwater bite picks up; the old Top Dogs will work great this month. And we still have a shot at a tarpon. If the weather allows us to get out there, the fish are available. Some of the biggest fish of the year are caught in the end of September and the first week of October, including the state record."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim will be hunting both the south and central zones for doves throughout October, and expects continued hot shooting. "Just had a great opener for the dove season, and it looks like we're going to have a consistent year. Fishing has been steady too. We're catching limits on some days, with near limits on the slower ones. Had a couple of twenty seven inch trout recently, a couple more twenty fives and lots of solid three and four pounders. Still fishing out in the middle mostly as of now, but we're about to hit the time of change on that. We'll have lots of good wadefishing opportunity on the shorelines in October. The marsh should fill up with fish too if we get some bull tides. The reds are typically thick in the back lakes this month, whereas right now they are out in the middle. There are some schools of over sized fish out there, and on the calmer days it's not that hard to find them and stay with 'em for a while. We're catching pretty good on topwaters already, and that action will heat up as the weather cools down too."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
Fishing has been good in Randall's area despite a persistent high tide. "On some days, the redfish are literally in the grass. We went up into a slough the other day that is normally too shallow. Water in there was two and a half feet deep and we were seeing the reds in the grass, where there normally is no water. It's hard to catch 'em then. Trout fishing has been easier. We're still finding lots of small males on the sand and grass, but our bigger fish seem to have moved to the shell. We're catching and releasing at least one, up to about three, over twenty five inches on most days. With these high tides, most of the bite is in the shallowest water around. The fish seem to be herding the bait to those areas. October sets up great. We'll get cooler water and the bait migrations will start. Lure fishing should pick up. Topwaters usually work well when the fronts start rolling in. That should be fun. This Laguna Extreme Wader 2 rod I'm using now is perfect for small plugs like Spook Juniors."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service | 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
October is the month that arguably made fishing in the Matagorda area famous, according to Tommy. "We will start to focus more of our effort in East Bay in October. This month usually offers several good options for trout over there. Wading the reefs, drifting the deep shell, wading the shoreline coves and following the flocks of birds all produce quality fish this month. In some years, the coves are full of reds too. If the birds attract too much attention, and the crowds start to grow too large, I like to try and find some action away from the people, especially on weekends. Often, birds are working in areas that most people forget, like lakes along the ICW and even in West Bay. If the birds aren't working in West Bay, fishing can still be great. The maze of coves and shorelines on the south side usually hold plenty of reds and school trout. Topwaters fished on the grass beds early in the morning will get attention from both. Later, once we switch over to soft plastics, we normally throw in a few nice flounder to boot. This month is definitely a winner."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Redfish have dominated our catches over the last couple of weeks. Constant southwest winds have put a damper on fishing the wells for trout, but fishing for reds has been outstanding. Over a two week period, we caught and released over one hundred slot fish. Live shrimp under popping corks has been the ticket. Area bayous and back lakes have been good on incoming and outgoing tides; as long as the water is moving, the fish have been cooperating. On the few days when we were able to fish the wells, we did pretty good, catching lots of small slot trout with most fish between fifteen and eighteen inches. I look for next month to be outstanding. The heavy rains we've had this summer were good for the bays. They flushed lots of shrimp and shad out of the marshes, so bird activity this fall should be unbelievable. South Bay between the channel and Turtle Bay, and East Bay between the bayou shoreline and Palacios Point will be good spots to search for picking flocks.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Chasing herds of redfish along area shorelines will be a priority for Lynn in October. "It's a great month to chase the schooling reds. We focus on sandy shorelines with grass beds and throw topwaters, mostly Spook Juniors. All of the area shorelines in Espiritu Santo, San Antonio and West Matagorda Bays offer potential, and when the tides get high, I even like to go further south, into Mesquite and Ayers Bays. Fishing down there along sandy, grassy shorelines with guts is great in early fall. Of course, wherever you go, it's not just a redfish thing. There are some big trout mixed in with the reds in many of these places. In fact, we're already seeing some bigger than average trout lurking on these shallow shorelines already. The shell in San Antonio Bay has lots of eating sized trout lately, and that should hold true throughout October too. The other option is often to hit the flocks of working birds. On weekdays, that plan can work out great for easy limits of one and a half to three pound trout."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Dove hunting will share the spotlight with fishing for Blake in October. "The dove season is off to a fantastic start, and the action should be steady all through October. When that's over, duck season will crank up. With all the rain and fresh water we had in spring and summer, the marsh lakes are full of grass. That's always good for duck season, so I expect good action when that rolls around. The marshes are also full of shrimp this year, so the fishing potential for October is great too. We fish shorelines in San Antonio, Mesquite, St. Charles and Aransas bays a lot this time of year, focusing on sand and grass. The topwater bite is usually good; in fact, it's been better than average most of the year. We will likely be able to key on seagull activity in pretty shallow water if the tides stay high like they are. The hovering flocks will help us locate both trout and redfish. If the tide gets really high, it can be better to target shell reefs. Sometimes, when a bull tide stays around, the shallow parts of the reefs pay off with the best action."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
Fishing continues to be good in our part of the Laguna Madre. The redfish continue to run in schools, but the schools are decreasing in size. I believe that part of the reason for the schools decreasing in size is because of boaters charging at the schools with their outboards and making quick casts as the schools run from the noisy motors. Greater success with the redfish schools will come by approaching the schools with a trolling motor. Four inch Berkley Gulp Shrimp rigged on eighth ounce Spring Lock Jig heads have been working better for me. This action will probably continue throughout the fall. The water in Baffin Bay has begun to lose its clarity, but the structure is still visible. Speckled trout will continue to be in two to three feet of water early in the morning, and then move out to deeper water as the sun gets higher in the sky. I'm still using croakers and piggy perch but the piggy perch are working better for me and in October, piggy perch will be the best bait to use in close proximity to the big pods of mullet.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
High tides and cooling water temperatures open up shallow water options in October, Joe reports. "If we get the typical bull tides after the equinox, there will be lots of water in the knee-deep range in which to search for redfish and trout. The water down south around Baffin and further south is not as clear as it was a month or two ago, so I might be staying up north around the JFK more if that stays true. The bait should be migrating through the area, and schools of reds and trout will be trying to stay with them. The water up here is crystal clear, so fish are easy to see when they are shallow, as long as the sun is out and there's some breeze to take the glare off the surface. Grassy flats in the Boat Hole area, along both side of Emmord's and Beacroft's holes, and sand bars along the ICW all hold excellent potential for sightcasting redfish and trout. The reds are generally bigger, but we usually see at least a few long trout too. Using light jigheads when the fish are shallow helps in keeping the lure up and out of the grass."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
We will be dodging lunar high tides and cold fronts throughout October but when you get the timing right it is some of the best fishing of the year. Large numbers of jack crevalle will be cruising, feeding on finger mullet. Brown pelicans wheeling and diving will lead you to the jacks. Slot and oversized redfish are in good supply, as are sharks, Atlantic bluefish, Spanish mackerel, whiting and Atlantic pompano. Any artificial will work on the jacks. Short wire leaders are necessary for the Spanish mackerel and small silver spoons and jigs work as well as anything. There will usually be bird activity associated with both species. Fresh, peeled, dead shrimp and Fishbites will excel for Florida pompano and whiting. Sharks can be quite close to the water's edge and we often sight-cast them but to do so you must have a thawed baitfish ready and a leader and hook at the ready on your rod. Beware of strong east or northeast winds as they stack the water high on the beach.

Port Mansfield | Terry Neal | 956.944.2559
With the beginning of fall just weeks around the corner, we are all trying to figure out what it will have in store for us. Nobody I know has ever seen the Lower Laguna Madre holding as much freshwater as it is right now. October and November should be very interesting. If there is live bait available it shouldn't be a problem catching lots of redfish and some good trout. The west shoreline seems to be a constant producer of late as is the East Cut. Once you find the fish, stay there. The more salt you find the better chance of finding the fish. Be on the lookout for birds, they are good indicators that there is bait in the area and bait leads to fish. October and November are also great months to mix cast-n-blast wingshooting with fishing as doves and ducks migrate through the southern coastal region. Remember to keep only what you can eat fresh and release the rest. We have future generations of fishermen coming who would love to enjoy the same sport that we do.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Bay waters seem to be slowly clearing, although there's still less than average amounts of high salinity, which is threatening the grasses of the LLM and impeding our tackle with huge floats of turtle grass. Where the water flow is deeper or obstructed, the levels of brackish water differ and what seems to be brown tide is also present. We've had perfect outgoing tides in the mornings, which is just how the redfish and flounder like it. The trout bite has slowed a little from last month, but we're still limiting more often than not. We continue to have more luck throwing Cajun Thunder cigar corks with a twelve inch leader and quarter ounce jigheads with glow, new penny and pearl white Gulp three inch shrimp. Freddy says, "We're constantly trying other lures, such as topwaters and spoons, but the Cajun Thunders continue to out-produce the rest, although Precision Tackle half ounce gold weedless spoons will work just as well in herds." We always look forward to this time of year, hoping the fall season will bring more easier catching.