Reports & Forecasts: October 2014

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
October is one of our favorite months of the fishing season. With the first few fronts of the fall, shrimp and baitfish will come out of the marshes, starting up a long lasting buffet for the trout and redfish. Many of the schools found roaming the lake will be mixed, both trout and reds. Birds will begin picking on the East Bank, in West Cove, and in Turner's Bay. Fishing birds can be tricky at times, especially if they are hovering over nice trout in the sixteen to twenty inch range.. It takes anywhere from forty five minutes to two hours to catch a limit of trout under the right group of birds, therefore,you better know your surroundings and have a clue about what's taking place under water. Almost all of the time, trout and reds move against the tide. If the fish are moving against the tide, smart anglers will too. This can be tough on your trolling motor, so use it sparingly. Keep the fish at the end of your cast so they don't spook. As for lures, we stick to shrimp imitations like MirrOlure Lil' Johns.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
James was right in the midst of a good run of nearshore fishing when we talked. "Winds have been calm and the Gulf waters flat the last few days. We're getting a lot of bites from the silver kings, landing a few. There are as many bull reds running up and down the beach as I've ever seen. It's been good. We'll continue to have good fishing out there until we get the first strong front, usually toward the middle of October. We'll start fishing for trout more then. Right now, the trout fishing is pretty much the same as it's been all summer. Most of the fish are out in the middle, around reefs, and they are easiest to locate when they are throwing slicks. Best lures for catching them are soft plastics, either rat tails or paddletails slow-rolled. Once we do get some cooler weather, the wading will improve, and we'll be able to catch fish a bit better on lures like 51 and 52 MirrOlures, and the topwater action will pick up too. We are likely to see an upturn in the number of bigger than average trout once the wading pattern kicks in better."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
We talked on a hot, still day, and Jim reported the teal hunting had been a bit slow. "It got calm today, and it was really hot, so it wasn't that good, but we've got lots of birds, and by next month, we'll have even more. Dove hunting has been more steady, and toward the end of September, we usually see a push of new birds from the north when some of the stronger fronts blow through. I'll be dove hunting on the weekends, and fishing during the week. Fishing has been pretty easy, in terms of getting bites, but the quality of the fish has been a bit off. That's typical for September. Hot water and high tides make for some difficult fishing. We've still got lots of trout and reds around the reefs out in the middle, but the bays are full of sand trout and skip jacks and other small fish too. Once we get some cooler weather, the tides will start moving out of the marshes, and we'll catch some quality trout and reds up in the shallows in the back parts of the bays. It is set up well for a successful run."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
Randall reports excellent action on redfish lately in his area. "You've got to be willing to look for subtle signs and search for the fish. I was in the surf this morning. Made a long drive looking for signs of life, but didn't really see anything. Not a jumping mullet, suspicious swirl, or anything. So, we didn't fish it. On the other hand, once we were back in the bay, we saw a small mud stir out in the middle, and decided to fish it. Caught an upper-slot red on the first cast. Wound up slamming them, moving around and fishing similar mud streaks and tide rips. The reds are deep right now, hanging out in areas with mostly a mud bottom. So, if you are going to catch them, you've got to be willing to think outside the box, and resist the temptation to run a list of spots. Trout fishing is kinda slow right now, but should pick up once we get some significant cool fronts. We normally find birds working and easy catching in and around the area back lakes in October. All we need is some slightly cooler weather and a move in the tide to start it up."

Matagorda | Tommy Countz
Bay Guide Service | 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
Tommy describes several potentially productive patterns he expects to be fishing in the Matagorda area in October. "In East Bay, we are hoping to have some working birds, of course. If we do get some shrimp moving out of the marsh, we'll start seeing the flocks hovering and we'll have some easy fishing. If the birds aren't working, we'll either drift deep shell in the open bay or wade the south shoreline if it's windier, the mid-bay reefs if it's calmer. We like to start off with topwaters early, then switch to sinking twitch baits and soft plastics as the day wears on. In West Bay, we use the same basic plan for selecting lures. When fishing out of the boat over there, we will be keying on areas with deep shell, like the new 55-acre patch. When wading, we like to fish tight to the shorelines, where there are small shell reefs. Flounder fishing around those little patch reefs can be really good this time of year. We also catch quite a few trout and reds around the same structures when targeting the flat fish."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Redfish have dominated our local bays during the past month. Shorelines are brimming full of shrimp, and reds have been schooling like crazy. We have finally got some water back in the bays and some southeast winds and fish are doing what they are supposed to this time of year. Our reds have been good middle-slot fish ranging from twenty two to twenty six inches, best baits have been VuDu Shrimp in natural colors and Egret Bayou Chubs in opening night. Flounder have been mixed in with the schooling reds, and have been falling prey to the same baits. October ought to bring some bird activity to South and East Bays. The amount of shrimp in the bay this year is the best it's been in quite some time, so we ought have a good year working birds. Heavy jigheads rigged with natural colored lures ought to do the trick to help you catch some trout. Night-fishing on local piers has been an added bonus as of late also; small VuDu shrimp in glow with chartreuse tails have produced plenty of small keeper trout.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Lynn spoke like a man who loves his work when he gave his report. "We're already catching some really nice trout, up to 30 inches, using Super Spook juniors and throwing around sandy pockets in the grass beds on flats adjacent to deep water. This slow outgoing tide has really turned on a good bite. I expect the hot fishing to continue into October. I just love the fall. Standing on a flat and casting at feeding fish while pintails and teal whiz by overhead is as good as it gets, to me. We are blessed to have such opportunities. Most likely, the fishing patterns will remain much the same during the early part of autumn. We'll key on shallow stretches of water with a mix of sand and grass on the bottom and throw topwaters while they work, soft plastics and sinking twitch baits when the blow ups stop. I expect some really big trout to be caught in this area as the weather cools down even more. And, like I said, it will only become more and more fun to be on the water once the cool winds of fall bring a chill into the air."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake expects to be experiencing a variety of different activities in the great outdoors during October. "I am set up for some dove hunting in the Milo fields in the near future. As long as we don't get any big rains, shooting should remain good and steady. I'll also be getting ready for duck season during October. When fishing, I switch over to using artificials exclusively. Right now, we've got a high tide, and I've been fishing bays up north, keying on major mid-bay structures like reefs. Seems you need some fairly large structures to concentrate the fish when tides are high like this. As long as the weather stays pretty warm and the tides are high, I don't expect much to change in the fishing patterns. October is normally a good month for fishing with topwaters, and of course, I will use them as long as they are working. Of course, I will still be ready to switch over to Norton Sand Eels in dark colors with chartreuse tails, and I'll throw the limetreuse Gulp! jerk shads rigged on eighth ounce jigheads too."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
For October, the weather might be cooling off a bit but not the fishing. The water temperatures will likely be cooling off some, but not enough to send the fish into deeper water. Actually, the trout will be going up into shallow water and lingering there for longer periods of time than in the last few months. Even though trout will spawn all summer long, I think they spawn with greater intensity in October. Many of the trout caught by my clients are already showing signs of preparing for the spawn, as many are already carrying loaded egg sacks. The trout will also feed more aggressively as they start to get ready for the winter. My favorite way to catch the bigger trout is with topwaters because of the explosion that occurs on the surface of the water when they strike. Use your favorite topwater; mine is a bone MirrOlure SheDog. I also love a #CHBL colored Catch 5 suspending lure. Free-lined piggy perch should also be high on the menu for the spawning trout, and the redfish will not turn them down either.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe plans to continue doing things mostly the same way next month as he has been lately. "Fishing for redfish has been good lately. I've been staying fairly close to the JFK, between there and the Yellow House, and the redfish have been pretty thick. On the calmer days, it is pretty easy to see the schools making wakes. Once we locate them that way, it becomes somewhat easy to see them and stay with them. We are having best luck catching them by throwing shrimp tails and other soft plastics like Kelley Wiggler paddle tails. That's a pretty standard deal with the redfish, which are normally easiest to catch on lures like those. If it is windier, and we can't see the schools as easily and can't see into the water as good, we are just pulling long drifts through the areas where we've been locating the fish, and fishing until we find them. The water is in good shape in the area right now, because we recently had a strong push of incoming tide, which brought the clean ocean water in through the Packery Channel."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
October offers some of the highest quality fishing of the year from the PINS beaches. As usual, fishing success will be highly weather dependent and the key to a successful trip is to go in the lull in between cold fronts. The surf will be alive with finger mullet and the various predators they attract. Large numbers of slot and oversized redfish, Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, sharks and numerous other species will be at their peak numbers of the year within the surf zone. Fishing under actively feeding birds and also in areas holding large shoals of finger mullet should yield plenty of action to stretch your string. Tarpon and various shark species will be present and available on baits cast from the beach as well as kayaked. Bottom fishermen will find Florida pompano and whiting more than happy to eat dead shrimp and Fishbites while lure fishermen are enjoying a wide array of game fish. Beware of northeast and east winds which push the water level high on the beach; it's best to plan your travel during low tide periods.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000
School is in session and dove season is underway, lots of folks are working on their deer camps. This means the boat traffic is much lighter. With the reduction in boat traffic the fish are not scattered as in summer. Look for schools of redfish on the sand flats, most will be headed toward the East Cut. Bull reds will be plentiful around the jetties and the schools will be noticeable. While you're there keep an eye out for rolling tarpon. Hook one of them babies and you'll be hooked for life on the silver king! The CCA Reef has been producing excellent snapper with occasional grouper and ling. Bay fishing is almost insane right now. The topwater bite has really taken off. The wind has been light enough to fish the west shoreline the way I like to fish it. I had a client release a 30" speck recently on a bone One Knocker. You may have to sift through a lot of dinks, but we are getting some really nice ones. Stick with it and you can get a limit, maybe a big girl.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Summer is over, and we're looking forward to cooler weather and higher tides. At the time of this writing, we're experiencing the results of tropical storm Dolly, which made landfall well south of us, but gave the bay a new look. The Lower Laguna Madre filled up and has a clear, turquoise tint, especially on the west side, but, heavy rain in Mexico could have adverse effects if flood water flows into the bay. Fishing has picked up in the redfish department, with limits and oversized on most trips when drifting in the dirtier water, and trout are remaining constant throwing Cajun Thunder corks trailing Berkley Gulp! Live three-inch shrimp where clarity is a problem and weedless gold spoons when clearer conditions allow. Freddy says, "Be flexible and enjoy drifting areas that have been super shallow all summer. Changing lures is much easier than changing locations, so try different colors and alter leader length instead of running constantly." Save sea grasses, help stop open bay dredge disposal!