Reports & Forecasts: Oct 2012

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

This is the height of the transition to fall. Trout and redfish will be in mixed schools under birds and the action is fast. Many people think there is no rhyme or reason for why schools of trout and redfish move in the directions they do. Tidal movement dictates when they bite, where they bite, and how they bite. Speckled trout will feed against the tide almost all of the time. You can conclude that if you see birds working, fish busting the surface, or shrimp jumping, they will continue to move in the same direction until the tide swaps. DO NOT attempt to fish birds that another boat is already fishing. Think of it as double the trolling motor noise, double the hull slap, double the hatch slamming and music playing. Two boats on any school is too many! Stop your big motor well upwind of the school (three to five hundred feet) and troll quietly toward them. The closer you get to the fish, the less trolling motor you use. Try to keep the edge of the school at the end of your cast. This will keep you from getting too close and spooking the fish.

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

Storms, high seas and dirty water made a mess of the early part of tarpon season, the head of Silver King Adventures reports. "We found plenty of tarpon, but we haven't been able to get at 'em. All we need is some clear water and calm seas, and we'll catch some, but those conditions might not be coming. Trout fishing has been better. Last time I was out, we caught limits of trout and redfish, working the same old summer pattern, slick hopping and working reefs and structure out in the middle. Wading will pick up as we get into October. Galveston fishing is so weather-dependent. We're on a three week run of bad weather, so nobody's really catching very good. Usually, when that happens, the fishing is off the charts once the weather changes for the better. I look for October to be a lot like June, meaning we'll probably be able to catch 'em however we want to, wading or by boat. Topwaters, Catch 5s and Bass Assassins will all be in play. Birds should be working and the quality trout should move a little shallower."

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service - 409.996.3054
Jim was in the field with a big group of dove hunters when we talked. "I've been running a lot of dove hunting trips. Shooting has been good, and that looks to continue all the way to the end of October. Right now, there are lots of teal on the rice farms. If the main duck season follows suit at all, we're set up for great duck hunting come November. By then, I'll be in the blind when the weather's bad, fishing when the weather's good. Fishing has been inconsistent lately with these west winds. We're still stuck in a summer pattern, fishing slicks and structure out in the middle. We have seen a few birds working, but it's been spotty at best in this heat. Once October gets here, we'll get some stronger fronts and the shrimp will start moving, so the birds will be working on more of a regular basis. That will open up easy fishing out of the boat at times. The wading will also pick up. I've already gotten several reports of some good catches of redfish shallow, but once the water cools down, we'll have consistent fishing for both trout and reds on the shorelines."

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

Randall reports steady fishing in his area in the time leading up to this report, particularly for redfish. "We've got tons of redfish lately, and they've been pretty easy to catch most of the time. On some days, we're able to see them before we catch them, not necessarily actually seeing the fish, but seeing their effects on the water. We are finding them by focusing on wakes, nervous water and muddy streaks. Once we locate them and can see which direction they're moving down the shoreline, we've been catching them best on dark soft plastics like roach Sand Eels and roach Bull Minnows. Actually, the Bull Minnows have been working best, because it's easier to swim them over the shell. The tails help them stay up in the water column and pass over the oysters. Trout fishing has been a little tougher because of persistent west winds and muddy water. That should change as the weather cools a little and we get more fronts. Late in October, we should see some shrimp migrating into the bays, and that will mean working birds and easy limits!"

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service - 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037

Tommy is enthusiastic as usual about the upcoming prospects in the Matagorda area this fall. "We should see birds start working with some regularity in East Bay this month. That will make the fishing easy, of course, if the crowds aren't too bad. If birds aren't working, we'll be drifting scattered shell in the west end of East Bay, using heavier jigheads and soft plastics to work the lures low and slow, or drifting mud flats in the east end of the bay, using similar techniques. If we head to West Bay, we'll wade tight to the shorelines early, using topwaters, mostly targeting redfish, which have been plentiful over there lately. As the sun gets higher, we usually switch to soft plastics in dark colors. Lately, I'm using the new Norton Sand Shad quite a bit. They imitate a small finfish very well. As the bite wanes on the shorelines, we normally move out to the deeper guts around the outer sand bars. We might see some action in the river, especially late in the month. Normally, the fish in there bite best at night, but it's not uncommon to find birds working right in the river. And, we're hoping the new cut perks up the action for bigger trout in West Bay."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam - 979.240.8204

Redfish have dominated our boxes lately, as the trout bite has slowed down a little. The bays are full of white shrimp, and the redfish have been schooling and eating them up. Schools of up to twenty fish have been around area river mouths and in back bays, herding schools of shrimp down the shorelines. The best lure has been a pearl/chartreuse Bull Minnow. Most of these reds have been in the lower end of the slot; they're good eating-size fish. The trout bite at the wells and on the shorelines has slowed down. We've had to grind out half-limits, working over sand and grass, with tons of 14 1/2 inch fish in the mix. Tripletailing has remained consistent, with good catches of fish coming to the boat, the average size being about ten pounds. Live shrimp rigged about five to six feet under popping corks are working best. October should bring some awesome bird activity to the area with all the shrimp we have in the bays. South Bay, Turtle Bay, and East Bay back to the river are some of the best areas for fall fishing.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith - Back Bay Guide Service - 361.983.4434
Early in the month of October, Lynn expects to be fishing much the same way he has been in September. "We'll still look to get into the surf a few more times, if the weather allows. At the end of the surf season, it's sometimes possible to catch some bigger than average trout along the beach front. We'll throw topwaters and stay in the shallower guts close to the sand when out there. We've been fishing quite a bit around shell lately, close to deep water. And we'll keep doing that while the weather stays hot. Once it cools down some, we'll switch over to shallower water, targeting the sand and grass mostly, especially when we're targeting trout. Fishing for reds should be good along the shorelines in the shallows and in the backwater lakes later in the month, after a few fronts have taken the edge off this heat somewhat. We'll be throwing topwaters quite a bite, and using twitch baits like Paul Brown's Original Lures more and more too. As always, we'll stick with soft plastics when the bite is slower."

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

Cast and blast season is here, and Blake will be busy as always. "I'll be running lots of cast and blast trips in the near future. We've had great dove hunting and there are lots of teal too. The dove hunting will go all the way through October, and then I'll be getting ready for the big duck season. As far as fishing goes, it was really good throughout most of the summer. It's slowed down a little lately with the high water and blazing hot temperatures, but things should perk right back up once we get some stronger fronts blowing through. I'll be targeting trout, reds, flounder and occasionally black drum in October. I'll be looking for the reds, flounder and drum around the passes, as they migrate toward the Gulf. Trout will be found here, there and everywhere, moving shallow as the water cools off some. We've been catching lots of fish in depths up to eight feet, but will be fishing much shallower by October. One thing I've been doing a little different lately is using paddletails like Norton Bull Minnows more often, especially in dark colors with bright tails."

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

Water clarity in Baffin Bay and some of the adjacent waters is deteriorating, but the fishing and catching continues to be good for me on my charters. The water temperatures should begin to cool down while the days get shorter, and this will trigger a speckled trout spawn. Many of the trout are now carrying full egg sacks as they get ready for the fall spawn, which usually occurs in October. My clients and I very much like the month of October because of the cooler air temperatures. The schools of bull reds will continue to gather and look for ways to get out into the Gulf of Mexico and I will be ready with my half-ounce gold weedless spoons and Bass Assassin Die Dappers in colors like plum/chartreuse and chartreuse dog rigged on eighth-ounce Spring Lock jigheads. Live piggy perch will be just the right size to catch speckled trout, and the redfish and flounder will not turn them down either. Sightcasting in water less than twelve inches with three-inch Berkley Gulp! Shrimp will continue to provide awesome action this fall.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez - 361.937.5961
"I usually find the fishing pretty easy in the upper parts of the bay system in October," Joe says. "Lately, the redfish have been schooling up on the flats adjacent to Emmord's and Beacroft's Holes, along their edges, and in the deeper parts too. The hotter and brighter it gets, the more the schools prefer the deeper water. Finding them shallow means looking for the schools themselves, if the water is clear and the wind is blowing hard enough to allow for seeing the bottom. If it's calmer and the light conditions aren't as bright, which usually means early in the morning, finding them means looking for the wakes the schools make as they swim away from the boat noise. Once located, the fish are relatively easy to catch on soft plastics, flies and spoons, as long as you're able to keep the boat upwind of them at a great enough distance from the school to keep from spooking them. A trolling motor is critical in this process. Trout fishing should be decent too, along the edges of the holes, where deep grass beds are barely visible."

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

Barring tropical entities, red tide, and extreme high tides on the fall equinox, October is a wonderful time to just be down the beach of PINS and great fishing is all icing on the cake. Wildlife is more abundant, temperatures more moderate and the peregrine falcon migration typically occurs the first week of the month. Finger mullet will start migrating late September with the first cold front and should be going full force early-October. Too many large jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, occasional king mackerel and tarpon, and large numbers of slot and oversized redfish are typically available. Drive the beach slowly and let the birds and the bait tell you where to fish. Huge schools of skipjacks should be present feeding on anchovies and this will be the focal point of most of the food chain action. Sharks are often danger close and can be sight-casted in shallow water. Pompano and whiting should be available when the water is clear on fresh dead shrimp and Fishbites. Lures of many types will work as will live-lined finger mullet.

Port Mansfield | Terry Neal 956.944.2559

Some of the best fishing of the year should be just ahead of us. The autumnal equinox comes on September 22 setting the stage. For the last 30 years I've tried to be in the high country chasing bugling elk. There is something mystical about this time of year; whether you are in the high country or wading the flats for reds and trout. The fish have been scarce for the last couple of months but should be more visible as temperatures change. Water should start to cool off as northers make it to the coast. There are no givens in fishing and, like it or not, the pattern is what it is, bitter or sweet. Some have better luck than others; its called fishing not catching. We tend to get spoiled when we experience consistently fabulous results like the last couple of seasons and over the last 30 years I've seen it come and go due to various natural events. Good Ol Mother Nature does things her way. Dont give up; October will bring us better fishing.

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

Were excited about the fall fishing season; the LLM is starting to settle down after a busy summer. With less boat traffic, the redfish will be prowling the flats in search of anything they can grab out of the bay grasses or root out of the sandy areas. Freddy says, Redfish will gobble up just about anything they encounter while grazing across the flats. We've cleaned reds that had some strange stomach contents, such as a chicken bone or a starfish. With one of the windiest summers in memory stirring up the silt on the west side, trying to find trout in the cloudy water has forced us to push our normal hunting grounds farther north in search of clear potholes. Were limiting on slot reds and netting a couple of oversized ones most days, throwing Cajun Thunder round corks with Berkley Gulp! three inch shrimp in new penny, nuclear chicken and pearl colors, on Hogie black-nickel eighth-ounce jigheads to fish the muddy conditions. We all need to help stop the open bay dredge disposal that is threatening the existence of the nursery that is our bay.