Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
October kicks off our favorite time of year. Our fishing will consist mostly of targeting fish busting bait under birds. Areas to begin a search include Turners Bay, Commissary Point, Long Point, and West Cove. The schools will be mixed under birds-- trout and redfish. Shrimp imitations work best. MirrOlure Lil' Johns, H&H Beetles, and Salty Grubs are our go-to baits at this time. Natural colors like opening night, watermelon, and golden bream work great, when the water is clear. If for some reason the water is stained, chartreuse ice, glow, and purple also work great. All these soft plastics will be rigged on quarter-ounce jigheads. Topwater action will also be at its height. This is a great method for targeting larger fish, whether under the birds or on shallow oyster reefs. For some reason, bright/loud topwater lures have been best this year. Pink/chrome and orange/chrome have been our best colors. ShePups/Dogs and SkitterWalks have been the ticket all summer, and we don't see that changing anytime soon.
Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | silverkingadventures.com | 409.935.7242
"Fishing in the bays is really shaping up lately. Looks really good for October right now. The bays are full of shrimp, and catching trout has been really easy. We're still fishing deep, using soft plastics like slammin' chicken Sea Shads and Bass Assassins. Limits of reds have been the norm too. October will probably stay the same, like it did last year, unless we get some pretty strong cold fronts. Normally, we will see an improvement in the topwater bite. Last year, the little chrome and blue ShePups were working really good. Normally, the bird activity picks up too, making for some easy fishing. The flounder fishing will start to pick up in October as well. Toward the end of the month, the wadefishing for bigger trout should start to get really good. Of course, we're still chasing the silver kings right now. A couple days ago, we went two for four. The pair we landed were in the 140 to 150 pound class. It's been too rough to get at 'em since then, but once the weather settles again, we'll be back at it. Early-October is usually prime time."
Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim loves the fishing in October in Galveston. "We've been having a pretty easy time catching lots of trout lately. The fish are still deep, in areas of Trinity and East Bay not far from the channel. Some of the deeper reefs have plenty of fish too. Some of the schools have an incredible number of fish in them, so catching is pretty easy once the school is located. In October, after a couple of stronger cool fronts, we should see some of the bigger trout move shallow. Wading will probably be good in the backs of the bays once the water temps cool down, especially if we get a nice bull tide. Another thing that's been really good lately is the surf off High Island. On some days, birds are lined up out there, and limits are caught easily by anyone who walks in. Topwaters have been working well out there and in the bays too, and that should continue throughout the month. Speaking of birds, I'll be hunting ducks and doves too. I split my time during fall, back and forth from the blind to the bay."
West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
Randall reports good fishing in the surf during the time immediately prior to giving this report. "We've been doing really good on trout and reds along the beachfront, throwing tequila sunrise soft plastics mostly. The bite on bull reds has been good out there at times. Once October gets here, I expect to see the shrimp migration cranking up in earnest. When that happens, we will experience better fishing inside the bays. We'll use working birds and slicks to locate the schools of trout and reds which are intercepting the shrimp on their way to the Gulf. It's normally pretty easy to catch the fish when this gets going good. Soft plastics rigged on fairly heavy jigheads provide some of the best bang for the buck. It is easy to cast them far from the boat and get them down into the schools of fish quickly. Both these things are important when trying to catch fish schooling under the flocks of gulls. This month can be a really good month for wading with topwaters too. Both trout and redfish often attack the floating plugs with reckless abandon."
Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service | 713.725.2401
Charlie expects one of the best Octobers in recent memory in the Matagorda area. "We are finally getting out of the weather pattern which produces westerly winds, and fishing has improved dramatically. October is generally one of the top months for catching fish here. The coves and lakes in both bays are full of mullet and shrimp, so big trout and reds can be found by waders working the shallows most every day. We also have plenty of big trout around the reefs in the middle of East Bay. When winds allow, wading out there at the crack of dawn is a good way to catch some real wall-hangers. Drifting over the scattered shell in areas close to the reefs can be a way to keep catching if the wading bite slows down too much later in the morning. West Bay has plenty of fish too, though the biggest trout aren't typically as big. The fishing over there is steady and productive, though. We like to fish the shallow areas all along the south shoreline, way in the backs of the coves if the tide is really high. Drifting reefs over there works well too."
Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam
www.palaciosguideservice.com | 979.240.8204
Our fishing in the Tres Palacios Bay system is the best I have seen in a long, long time! Drifting deep shell for trout, chasing tripletail, chasing schooling redfish, and fishing drains for flounder have all been awesome! Our best trout bite has come while drifting over deep shell with live shrimp or natural VuDu shrimp two to three feet under popping corks. The bigger tripletail have finally showed up, and we have been catching them under popping corks with live shrimp rigged about three to four feet around structure. Redfish have been the story of late; huge schools of 100-200 fish have started schooling chasing shrimp/shad/mullet. We have not seen schools this size in our bays in a long time. Egret Bayou chubs in Cajun pepper and strawberry/white along with quarter-ounce weedless gold spoons have accounted for best bites. I look for October to be just as good. Trout will be schooling under the birds in East and South Bay, redfish lurking on all area shorelines, and flounder feeding steadily around drains and bayous.
Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
In October, Lynn expects to be hitting grassy shorelines, and trying to get away from such a priority on fishing close to deep water. "We like to fish around the pass some early in the month, like we are doing now, but in October, we tend to start focusing on fishing around the mouths of the back lakes and even inside the lakes, targeting redfish mainly, especially on the outgoing tides. We like to throw topwaters like Super Spook Juniors in white/chartreuse head and also the chrome ones. The bite on those is really good early in the mornings, when we fish them over sandy pockets in the grass. We also like to wade areas with a mix of mud and shell this time of year, and the soft plastics work really good in those areas. Our trout are likely to remain suspended over deep shell during October, unless we get some pretty strong fronts. We will spend some time chasing them when winds are lighter, and we are able to get out in the middle, and into the open waters around the oil wells and platforms, where the fish like to stay until the weather gets significantly cooler."
Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake will still be working a cast and blast schedule during October, and he says the dove hunting has been good. When he's fishing, he plans to work a variety of patterns in this productive month. "Normally, after the autumn equinox, we have really high tides, so I spend a lot of time fishing tight to area shorelines in bays like San Antonio, Mesquite and Aransas. In a good year, plenty of shrimp are crowded into the marshes and back lakes during the middle of fall, so targeting trout and redfish around the mouths of drains and sloughs leading into the backwater areas is generally a good idea. Especially when strong outgoing tides flow out of the drains, fishing can be great in the current rips. We have had a really good topwater bite all year, and I expect that to continue in October, which is one of the best months for them, historically. Of course, the old stand-by soft plastics by Norton will still catch plenty of fish on most days. Another thing I may be doing quite a bit is fishing the surf around Cedar Bayou."
Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
The weather might be cooling off but the fishing and catching should continue heating up in October. The water temperatures will be cooling up a bit, but not enough to send the fish into deep water. Actually, the fish will probably move into shallower water as it gets cooler. There will be an aggressive trout spawn at the end of the warm period, which can make for easy fishing. As of the time of this report, many of the trout are carrying loaded egg sacks. If it's not too windy, I'll use natural colored MirrOlure SheDogs, and if it's windy, I'll use Bass Assassin Die Dappers in colors like pumpkinseed/chartreuse or sand trout rigged on eighth-ounce ounce SpringLok jigheads. The redfish will continue to run in schools, and they should be easy to find on calm mornings while running slow in water less than three feet deep, looking for them to wake up when they hear the outboard getting close to them. Cast half-ounce weedless gold spoons or the Die Dappers on quarter-ounce jigheads to catch them.
Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez www.sightcast1.com | 361.937.5961
October usually brings a big tide surge to the ULM and Baffin Bay area, and fishing can be really good in shallower areas of the system when this happens. "Right now, the water is in really good shape all over," Joe says, " so I expect to have plenty of good sight-casting opportunities once the weather cools down some more. If we get a big tide, the fish often push onto the really shallow areas with hard sandy bottom, where they are easier to spot once the sun gets up in the sky. Areas on the east side of Night Hawk, the Meadows and Yarbrough are prime places to start a search for big trout and reds if this happens. If we don't have such a high tide, fishing can be better along shorelines in places like Rocky Slough and the south shoreline of Baffin. When fishing those kinds of areas, we like to target fish in sandy pockets in the grass beds, or around rocks, if they are in the area. Because the water is clear, it's possible to keep most of the casts in the right places, meaning next to the edges of the rocks, or along the perimeters of potholes."
Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
High tides are common on PINS during October, and trips must be planned around cold fronts as these push tides even higher. Beach driving tends to be tougher than in summer, with soft sand in the Big Shell and other areas further south. October can deliver the best fishing of the year. Finger mullet will begin migrating to the Gulf sometime in September. This peaks in October and lasts into November. Large numbers of redfish will follow the mullet to the surf. Dusky anchovies will continue to be present, though not in the peak numbers of late-September and numerous species of game fish will be feeding on them. Lingering tarpon are an October possibility, and the first large schools of large jack crevalle will be present feeding on the finger mullet, especially early in the day. Spanish mackerel and skipjacks will be in good numbers, and the first good pompano fishing of the year will begin. Bull and blacktipped sharks will be in good supply, especially around the schools of anchovies. Whiting will be consistent and of good average size.
Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000
Fishing in Port Mansfield is good and improving. Redfish are showing in good numbers at the jetties and sand flats. Live finger mullet and paddletails on heavy jigs are good at the jetties. Ol' faithful gold weedless spoons and paddletails on light heads will do the trick on the flats. Plan on catching a fair amount of undersized reds but a good effort will produce a nice stringer of keepers. Don't be surprised if you hook a sow trout amid red schools. She will be skinny but still a great catch. Tons of troutlots of little onesa positive sign for the futurehandle with care! Topwater action is very good but you have to sift for keepers. The west shoreline and deeper potholes have been ideal. In deeper potholes I prefer the K-Wiggler Ball Tail Shad on 1/8 ounce heads. Nearshore gulf fishing has also been producing great catches; kingfish, jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, tarpon and bull reds. Never pass on nearshore opportunity when it is slow in the bay; it has saved plenty of days for me. Tight lines and calm seas!
Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | www.fishingwithpettys.com | 956.943.2747
Windless mornings can be challenging for drift fishermen, but once the breeze stirs, the hits start! We're getting more redfish than earlier in the year, but trout have been harder to come by. We're pulling in plenty of small guys, but when driving across the skinny flats in a Shallow Sport, we can see all the large trout just hanging around, waiting for cooler nighttime conditions to get active. We're throwing Cajun Thunder round corks with Berkley Gulp! Live three-inch shrimp in bright colors like nuclear chicken and the reliable new penny at reds with good results, including oversized. The flounder fishing continues to astonish us, leading to much speculation as to why this year, because we're catching all sizes on a jighead bounced along the sandy bottom; just take the cork off and put on a Gulp! glow shrimp. Freddy says, "Next month, wind will blow in the morning and boat traffic will be down, so we'll be seeing limits of reds on a regular basis, which is what drift fishing is all about!" Help stop open bay dredge disposal.