Reports & Forecasts: Oct 2013

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
October is my favorite month to fish. With the first few fronts, shrimp and baitfish will flood out of the marshes and river, creating a buffet for trout and redfish. Some schools of fish are mixed, some all trout, some all reds. Birds will begin picking on the East Bank, in West Cove and in Turners Bay. Fishing birds can be tricky, especially if they are hovering over keeper trout. Stealth and an awareness of surroundings are keys. We aren't looking to catch two or three fish off each set; we want many more. It takes time and an awareness of what's going on under the water to catch limits under the right groups of birds. 98% of the time, trout and reds move against the tide. If the fish are moving against the tide, anglers trying to stay with them should do so too. This can be tough on a trolling motor, so use it sparingly. Keep the fish at the end of your cast, so they don't spook as easily. As for baits, we stick to shrimp imitations like MirrOlure Lil' Johns, H&H Beetles, SaltyGrubs, and Norton Sand Eel Juniors. Quarter ounce jigheads usually work best.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
When we talked, James was catching tarpon steadily; in fact, a customer in the boat was fighting a fish about 150 pounds during our conversation! "Tarpon fishing has been great lately. I think we've hooked about five already today. But fishing for the silver kings will be winding down in early October," he said. "We have been catching plenty of trout around the ship channel lately, in around ten feet of water. Topwater bite's been real good this summer. In fact, I caught two trout on one cast with a SheDog the other day. Early in October, we'll still be fishing for trout mostly out of the boat, keying on slicks. The birds should start working some too. As we get further into the month, the action will probably move toward the marsh entrances, in the upper portions of the bays. When that happens, the bird action should pick up even more. And we'll start wading some too, instead of fishing the deeper water out of the boat. I hope the topwater action stays like it has been. That will be really cool if it does."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim says October is time to shift gears. He'll be splitting time between three pursuits this month. "I'll be fishing two or three days a week, hunting two or three days. I like to fish when the weather's good, and hunt when it's windier and nastier. I'll be in the fields shooting at doves, in the marsh calling ducks and on the pond chasing trout and redfish. It's a great time to be a guide. The fishing was outstanding at times in August, slower as September rolled around. Redfish are saving us on some days lately. I did catch one trout over seven pounds a couple of weeks ago, but mostly the fish we're catching are keepers in the fifteen to twenty inch class. Action will likely pickup again in October, and we'll start wading more of the time, targeting some of the bigger trout. When tides are high and water temperatures are cooling down, it's a good idea to fish shallow water along shorelines in the back of the bay and around drains leading into the marshes. We'll probably have birds working over mixed schools of trout and reds this month too."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
Fishing in the surf had been hot in Randall's area on recent trips prior to the submission of this report. "The beachfront action has been outstanding on most days. Water's been staying clear for the most part, and the trout are plentiful. We'll keep heading out that way as long as we can. Sometimes, in October, the trout thin out some in the surf. When that happens, we often move to fishing for tarpon in nearshore waters, or heading farther offshore and targeting king mackerel and snapper. When fishing in the bays for trout and reds, we'll go back to targeting areas with shell and mud as the weather cools down. Once a few fronts bring the water temperatures down some, the patterns including oyster shells kick right back up to the top of the list. We should also have some birds working in the area this month. Sometimes, fishing around the working birds is the best way to keep boxes filled up with keepers. Lure fishing will become more of the norm too as cooler weather settles in, replacing the bait most of the time."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service | 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
As usual, Tommy mentions plenty of productive options for fishing the Matagorda area in October. "If tides are really high, we'll spend some time in the back lakes along the ICW. Lots of years, birds start working over schools of reds in those areas this month. When fishing for trout in East Bay, we like to fish mid-bay reefs by wading as much as we can. We'll start off in the mornings throwing topwaters, then switch over to Corkies and other slow-sinking twitch baits as the day wears on. Sometimes, of course, soft plastics work best, especially bright ones with pink and chartreuse on them if the water's a little murky. Birds should start working in East Bay too, and we'll take advantage of that action if we can. On most weekends, the crowds of people trying to stay with the flocks get pretty thick. When that happens, I like wading in West Bay better. We'll work the grass beds tight to the shorelines with topwaters, Corkies and soft plastics and catch a good mixed bag most of the time. Birds will be found working over there on some days too."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Fishing has finally turned back on in our local waters. The surf across at West Matagorda Beach has been on fire when we have had winds out of the north. Limits of trout up to twenty four inches have been the norm when we have been able to make our way over there. Large topwaters such as SheDogs and Skitterwalks provided best action. Redfish have finally started schooling in back lakes and have been easy pickings. We have seen pods of fish ranging from a couple of fish up to about twenty fish working area shorelines chasing shrimp and shad. Look for white birds stalking along the shorelines, and they will help you find the fish. Floundering at night has also picked up in the local marsh, and we have been sticking some good fish on northerly shorelines when the winds are calm. Bird activity ought to start happening pretty soon; I look for Turtle Bay and Carancahua Bay to have some good late afternoon action this month when the gulls start hovering over the migrating herds of shrimp.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Lynn had been catching trout and redfish along area shorelines with sand and grass, but expects patterns to change in October. "We'll transition over to fishing areas with more of a muddy bottom this month. And, we won't necessarily feel the need to stay as close to main drop offs into deeper water. The back lakes can be good this month; they have muddy, grassy bottoms. Areas around the drains leading into the lakes where there is a mix of mud and grass are good places to target too. We'll keep our eye on the horizon for flocks of working birds as well. As the shrimp and other prey species start making their way to the Gulf, the gulls should be showing us where they are. Redfish are already beginning to school up in big groups. They should be concentrated in areas around the pass in October. It's a great month to catch fish on topwaters and twitch baits, whereas the soft plastics have been more of a staple in the heat. We will be throwing Super Spook Juniors a lot, and sticking with them as long as we can."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake says the fishing for reds has been good lately, as has the dove hunting. "In October, we'll probably switch up what we're doing a little bit, in terms of the patterns we're fishing most of the time. Lately, redfish have been pretty thick around area reefs, and we've had an easy time limiting out most days. Shoreline fishing has kind of slowed down for the trout. As the water cools down this month, I expect to shift back over to fishing shallower water most of the time. I'll key on areas adjacent to the drains leading into the marshes. Most years, the fish move somewhat shallower when the weather cools down some. We'll probably see an improvement in our trout bite too. And, I will switch over to using artificial lures exclusively, whereas we've been fishing with bait much of the time in this heat. Topwaters usually work great in October, so we'll be giving them a try most every time out and sticking with them as long as we can. Won't hesitate to fall back on the old standby Norton Sand Eels if the blow ups stop though."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
The weather in October is cooling off, but not the fishing and catching. The air and water temperatures are cooling down a bit, but I think this will keep the fish in shallower water a little longer in the morning hours. The speckled trout spawn will intensify in October, and this will translate into heavier weights on the trout. I am already seeing heavier egg sacks on the trout that have been caught recently on my charters. I'll be using natural colored MirrOlure SheDogs early in the mornings, then switching to salt and pepper, silver phantom/chartreuse or chartreuse dog Bass Assassin Die Dappers rigged on sixteenth ounce SpringLok jigheads or live piggy perch. I'll be fishing in two to three feet of water. The bull reds will start to gather in schools and head out to the Gulf of Mexico. Keeping up with the schools using a trolling motor can provide hours of fun catching and releasing them, if the Power Pro and twenty pound test fluorocarbon shock leader, attached to a half ounce weedless gold spoon, are all in good working order.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Recent high tides have pushed clear ocean water into the area of the Upper Laguna Madre around the JFK Causeway, making for improved fishing, Joe says. "With the clear water on the flats around the Causeway, fishing gets a little easier. We are able to see the fish better when we're trying to sight-cast for them in shallow water. Lately, the action on trout, redfish and drum has been good in areas with scattered sand and grass in depths of two feet and shallower. As we get into October, this kind of action should remain steady. We are also catching plenty of trout along deeper grass edges adjacent to Beacroft's and Emmord's Holes. Some of the trout are bigger than what we usually see this time of year. Soft plastics are the best choice when working this pattern. Light jigheads will work fine if winds are light, but heavier ones work much better when wind speeds pick up. Keeping the lure in close contact with the bottom is a big key. I'll probably continue to make short runs to do my fishing if the water stays clear up north."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
October is a wonderful month for fishing the surf of Padre Island National Seashore with artificials or natural baits for sharks, slot and oversized redfish, jack crevalle and ladyfish. The pompano season gets underway in earnest and peeled fresh-dead shrimp and pink or chartreuse "Fishbites" will prove deadly on them and also large whiting. The jack crevalle will be accompanied by brown pelicans circling overhead and diving and they will be right at the water's edge. This is the time for fly fishermen to be heroes targeting these tough game fish. Be careful about tides as we often have peculiar, un-predicted high tides in October and they can/will rise enough to greatly complicate beach travel. Cold fronts passing through will knock out fishing the day it arrives and the day following. On the second day following frontal passage the fishing will peak; that's the day you want to be there. High velocity east or northeast wind will push the water to the dunes so be safe and get out quick or you'll get trapped down island for a day or two.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000
Fishing in Port Mansfield has been good, lots of small fish but you can usually pick up your limit of solid trout if you stick with it. I have been finding the best trout action lately working deeper grass beds. We have been using the smaller Rapala Skitter Walk (size 08) and the best colors have been bone and orange never saw a baitfish either color but that's what they like. Here lately there has been a lot of floating grass; swap the treble hooks for singles! We have also been picking up some reds up tight along the west shoreline. Occasionally you find a really solid trout or two running with them. The east side is still holding good size reds and trout. The beauty of it is you can sight-cast to them. A gold or silver spoon is good but the Kelley Wiggler Ball Tail Shad has been the most productive. The offshore reports have been very encouraging. Lots of state water snapper limits, kingfish are abundant, and also wahoo. Until next time - Tight Lines and Calm Seas!

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Bigger redfish and higher tides make us excited about fall fishing! Recent trips are netting oversized reds and slot limits, and we're continuing to limit on trout. The main differences between fall and summer are the availability of real estate we have to choose from and the decreased boat traffic, which both work to give us more options for success. We are throwing the Berkley Gulp! three inch shrimp in pearl white and new penny, on a Norton lock jighead, with a twelve inch leader, under Cajun Thunder round or cigar corks, working spots we've been unable to access for the past three months due to low water levels. Freddy says, "You know it's white wing weekend when it rains like clock-work in the afternoon! Tough on hunters, but, always a good sign for fishing. The crowds are gone and the fish are hanging on the flats once again." We'll be looking for the signs that herds of reds are in the area when the wind lays and boats aren't chasing them off the flats where we can get at them. Help stop open bay dredge disposal.