Reports & Forecasts: October 2016

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe - Big Lake Guide Service - 337.598.3268
October fishing convinced all of us that we needed to become guides. Most of the time, this particular month makes all of us look like we know what we're doing. Birds will be picking on the northern end of the lake. All the way up to Prien Lake, Commissary Point, and north to Turner's Bay, excellent fishing under birds should be available. West Cove and Joe's Cove will also be very productive this month. When fishing birds, always approach the flocks from upwind and upcurrent. 99% of the time, trout and redfish under birds will travel against the current. This is very helpful information when the birds all fly away. Moving slowly against the tide after they break up and fly off sometimes allows one to relocate the fish. We will be chunking plastics rigged on quarter-ounce jigheads at the schooling fish. We will go with solid colors in stained water and more translucent colors in pretty water. We look forward to seeing all of you out on the water or in our boat this October.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - - 409.935.7242
James expects the recently productive patterns to become even better when October arrives. "We've got a huge shrimp crop this year, and most of the good catching we are experiencing lately is related to the herds of shrimp. Just the other day, near Smith Point, we found a big school of trout working white shrimp. Could have easily boated limits for everyone, with all fish over three pounds. Right now, the pattern isn't as consistent as it will get in October. Normally, the stronger fronts and tide cycles will drain the marshes better around the middle of October, and then fishing under birds will become productive on a daily basis. The action should be spread out all over the bays, since the water is nice and salty now. We'll be throwing tails mostly when fishing around the flocks, but small topwaters work well too, especially when we're blind casting after the flocks break up. Hoping for some good days chasing the silver kings too. Last year, our best days for the tarpon happened close to the middle of October; a repeat is certainly possible."

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service - 409.996.3054
"Can't wait 'til October gets here!" Jim says. "We have had some good days lately, numbers-wise, but the fishing has been pretty inconsistent. We've had a really wet summer, and things have been hit or miss for the most part. If we don't get much more rain, I expect action to pick up in parts of the bays further from the gulf. Lately, we've been seeing fish moving further up into the bays, toward Trinity and Upper Galveston Bay. If we have a dry fall, we should see that trend continue. Normally, in October, the fall patterns kick in hard, and we see strong tidal movements, stronger cold fronts and more migrations in full swing. We should have birds working in various parts of the bays once the shrimp migration gets going. Lots of hunting opportunities also come up this time of year. I'll be hunting both doves and ducks this month, regardless of the kind of weather we're having. If winds are light and the weather's cool and dry, fishing should be about as good as the hunting. This time of year is really fun because of all the productive options."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 - 979.864.9323
Randall looks forward to some fast, easy fishing and catching in October. "We've had a lot of rain this year, which generates a bumper shrimp crop. Once the fronts start pushing water out of the marsh and the shrimp begin moving toward the Gulf, we should have birds working all over the bays, where drains leading out of the backwater areas dump into the main basins. When targeting trout under the hovering gulls, we like to throw Norton Sand Eels in colors like chicken on a chain, halloween and salty chicken, rigged on fairly heavy heads, so we can make longer casts. On the other hand, we sometimes find we can catch bigger trout under the birds by throwing topwaters like One Knockers or Skitterwalks in bone or orange belly/blue back. Using the right rod helps make the floating plugs work better. A lightweight rod with some backbone like a Laguna Texas Wader 2 works perfect for casting the large plugs and getting lots of action with them without too much wasted effort."

Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service | 713.725.2401
October is one of the best months for fishing the Matagorda area, Charlie says. "We have an abundance of shrimp in all our marshes right now. A couple of decent fronts will likely push 'em out into the bays, and the birds will be working on a regular basis. Of course, our fish under the birds in East Matagorda tend to run pretty big. The trout will average two and a half to five pounds in some cases, and catching fifty or sixty slot reds a day while targeting the trout under birds happens for lots of people too. I think we are set up for some good fall fishing over here this year. The last couple of years, the marshes didn't drain very well until the holiday season, so we kind of missed out on the frantic fall fishing for the most part. This year, I see it playing out differently, and expect us to have a classic autumn of fishing. In addition to working the birds, we have good opportunity to catch solid trout by wading the mid-bay reefs in East Bay when winds are calm, and also by fishing around the drains and bayous when tides are running strong."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam - 979.240.8204
Redfish are dominating our fishing scene right now. We have a tremendous amount of reds in our local waters, in places ranging from the wells to the flats. Schools varying in number from 10-30 fish are roaming shorelines chasing shrimp and shad. Most of of these fish are upper-slot 25-28-inch beasts. Gold spoons or any paddletail in white/chartreuse, pumpkinseed/chartreuse will almost guarantee a bite. The surf has been the best bet for trout. We have been walking the beach throwing topwaters in the first gut at first light and hammering good solid trout up to 23 inches. Flounder continue to grow in size and number and we have made some quick trips, gigging our limits in a couple hours. As our temperatures cool, we should start to see some saddle blankets showing up. October is a great month, with birds to work for trout, schooling reds on shorelines, and flounder to gig at night. With all the recent rains and a great bait hatch, this should be one of the best months of the year.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service - 361.983.4434
Lynn expects the shallow water fishing to become more productive in October. "Topwaters work really well once the weather cools down. Of course, slow sinking twitch baits like the SoftDines work well in the shallows too. And, as always, we won't hesitate to throw soft plastics on light jigheads if we need to. We normally wade around sandy pockets in the grass beds along area shorelines. Fishing for schooling reds in places like these can be great this time of year. In addition to the migrating reds, we'll be looking for some of the bigger trout, keying on areas which are holding good concentrations of bait, specifically rafts of mullet. The bigger trout tend to eat lots of fish as opposed to shrimp, so finding what they eat is a key. We should also have some decent days left in the surf come October. Fishing out there has been good all summer, so I'm hoping it carries over a little into the fall. In addition to the trout, we should be able to locate a few tarpon along the beachfront, in places close around the pass."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake will be right in the middle of cast and blast season when October rolls around. "Dove hunting cast and blast trips will be productive this month. For the fishing, we have a really high tide right now. If that holds true into October, I like to target both trout and reds around shell reefs in places like San Antonio Bay, where fish tend to get concentrated around the shallow parts of the shell humps. I also expect to be using the air boat some, fishing in the back lakes off Aransas and other local bays. Fishing usually gets good in those areas once a couple strong fronts blow through. Back there, we should see fast action on the redfish, and in some years, good numbers of the bigger trout mix in with the schools of reds too. The surf has been really good for me this year, so I'm hoping to get out there a few more times, especially in the first half of October. Of course, duck seasons will be starting up, so I will be doing lots of trips where we hunt the marshes early for the ducks, then fish our way out after the shooting stops."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata [email protected] - 361.563.1160
The fishing is still very good in our part of the Laguna Madre. The redfish are running in schools like they normally do. The only thing is, that the schools are not as big like they usually are this time of the year. I think that part of the reason that the schools are smaller is because of boaters charging at the schools with their outboards and making quick casts as the schools run from the noise of the motors. Greater success with the redfish schools will come by approaching the schools from upwind with a trolling motor. Approaching them quietly and casting a weedless half-ounce spoon or your favorite plastic lure rigged on an eighth-ounce jighead should lead to more hook-ups. This action will probably continue, at least, through the fall. The water clarity in Baffin Bay is still very good, with much of the structures visible. The speckled trout are still in two to three feet of water early in the morning and then moving to four to five feet as the sun gets higher. Free-lined piggy perch will attract trout, redfish and flounder during this time.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez - 361.937.5961
Water quality continues to be good over most of Baffin Bay and the Upper Laguna Madre, and fishing has remained steady. "Recently, we had another push of water coming in through the Packery Channel. This kind of event floods the flats on both sides of the JFK Causeway with clear ocean water. The high tides place plenty of water on the shallow grassy flats and we are able to sight-cast redfish, drum, trout and even sheepshead at times, normally when we are able to see them well against a bright, sandy bottom. Most years, once the bull tide associated with the fall equinox rolls in, it stays around for quite a while. So, I expect conditions in October to be much the same, with regard to the high tide level. Temperatures should also cool down somewhat, making the flats a bit more comfortable to the fish more of the time. Normally, early-fall is a great time to find cruising trout, schools of reds and other species in the shallows tight to area shorelines, on tops of shallow sand bars and well up into large, grassy flats."

P.I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
October is almost here and things are about to get rowdy. The dusky anchovy migration will begin winding down right about the time the mullet migration gets underway. The surf will be full of predators: jack crevalle, red drum, Spanish mackerel, spotted seatrout, bluefish,and tarpon will all be hustling balls of anchovies and rafts of mullet in the shallows. Casting live or dead mullet could result in any of these. Lures can be equally effective, especially during feeding frenzies. Trout will take topwaters on moving tides. Key on birds to pinpoint feeding activity. Skipjack (ladyfish) will stick around as long as anchovies are present and will fizzle toward the end of the month. Be careful when wading, stingrays are thick on the bars and hungry blacktip and bull sharks will be cruising the guts attacks are rare but avoid interaction. Pending being free of red tide, the only real hazard will be high tides. Be aware when driving that strong north wind can cause water to rise to the dunes. Fishing should be phenomenal all month when weather cooperates.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000
Fishing is currently very, good. The trout have been on the east side in the grass beds holding waist to chest-deep. Topwater action is good until the floating grass gets in the way. Then we switch to K-Wiggler Ball Tail Shad in Mansfield Margarita, bone diamond and electric sunrise on eighth-ounce jigheads. Quite a few have been undersized, but plenty of nice ones too. Occasional redfish can be picked up with them. Redfish are finally schooling over sand in big groups, headed toward East Cut. We've been catching them mid-morning, fishing ankle to knee-deep. They are taking quarter-ounce gold and silver weedless spoons and K-Wiggler paddletails. We are also finding occasional large schools in deeper water. Check the beachfront and the end of the jetties for monster schools too. Once you locate them, try to keep track of them. The old saying, "Never leave fish to find fish," applies here. Expect great fishing days this month; October is always a fantastic month at Port Mansfield. Until next time tight lines and calm seas.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty 956.943.2747
This has been a great summer, mostly due to the success of our new cork, the FP3! We've been getting positive feedback on this popping cork that has helped improve other anglers' fishing dramatically. Shallow water heats up quickly and becomes hypersaline during the months that also see light winds in the early-morning hours. These qualities make fish feed during the night, especially when a spotlight effect from the full moon accompanies double tides. The sluggish waters and light winds make casting to redfish while drifting the flats tough, but we've had some phenomenal days on reds, trout and flounder throwing our FP3 corks trailing Berkley Gulp! Live three-inch shrimp in pearl and new penny! Freddy says, "Once you try this cork, you will immediately see a difference in casting distance, fish attracting vibrations, and number of strikes. FP3 is the culmination of thirty six years of guiding experience on the LLM." We are optimistic about the coming months with fewer boats and cool temps. Stop open bay dredge disposal.