Reports & Forecasts: October 2020

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures - silverkingadventures.com – 409.935.7242
In the days prior to giving this report, James had not seen much of a change in the fishing in the Galveston area. “We're still finding most of our trout out in the middle, around reefs, structures and along deep drop offs, like we have all summer. It's still been really hot. Even in the deeper water, we're having more bites on small, noisy topwaters than anything else. Using slicks to locate the fish, mostly. We're also encountering some schools of reds under the slicks. Trinity Bay, in particular, has several big schools swimming around. Come October, the weather should cool down, and we'll start wading more. The bite on lures other than topwaters will pick up too. The fish bite soft plastics and twitch baits better once the water cools down some. Still holding out hope for a late run on tarpon. The storms have kept things messed up for the most part so far, but in some years, the best fishing for the silver kings happens early in October, when the weather settles down a little bit. I've seen quite a few fish lately. They've been hard to catch. But that might change any day now.”

Jimmy West - Bolivar Guide Service – 409.996.3054
Like many people, Jim looks forward to the crisp weather October brings, and the fishing patterns that emerge with the drop in temperatures. “I'm ready for some fish to show up in the shallows. The water has been steadily getting more salty after the big floods we had earlier in the summer. If we don't have any more big rains, the upper parts of both East and Trinity bays should be holding lots of fish in October. Normally, wading the shorelines with topwaters produces well this time of year. Lately, the fish have been out deep, so we're having to fish out of the boat most of the time, and we're catching lots of fish, but most of the trout have been on the small side. In October, when more of the fish move shallow, we'll catch a better average size on the trout. I also look forward to continuing the hunting seasons this time of year. Still booking trips for the fields and marshes to shoot ducks and doves. I'll be fishing during the week and hunting the weekends, mostly. That nip in the air makes both of those things more fun! I can't wait.”

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves - Groves Guide Service  979.849.7019 – 979.864.9323
Randall expects to see an uptick in the productivity of fishing efforts in the San Luis Pass area during October. “We're seeing shrimp moving out of the marshes recently. Birds have started working in lots of places. Usually, we get some stronger fronts as fall settles in, and more and more shrimp dump out of the backwater areas into the main bays on their way to the Gulf. Working birds will mean easy catching when that happens. Tides usually run high after the equinox, and that means fishing in the shallow parts of area back-lakes is usually good. Lots of redfish and solid trout hang out on shorelines with a mix of shell and mud on the bottom in those places this time of year. The main parts of West, Christmas and Chocolate bays also hold plenty of fish this time of year. After the stronger fronts, when winds settle down somewhat, fishing is usually good out of the boat in water about four feet deep or so. When fishing that pattern, it's helpful to use jigheads heavy enough to keep soft plastics well down in the water column. When topwaters aren't working, of course!”

Matagorda | Bay Guide Service
Tommy Countz- 979.863.7553 cell 281.450.4037
Tommy likes the fishing in October in the Matagorda area about as much as in any month of the year. “Usually, this time of year, we've got higher than normal tides, with strong tide movements, cooling water temperatures, and shrimp on the move. Migrating shrimp means birds will be working. Normally, when fishing out of the boat this time of year, I'm in the west end of East Bay. Over there, we look for flocks of working birds, or make long drifts over a bottom of mixed mud and shell. Usually, we throw slightly heavier jigheads than when we're wading, so we can make long casts and keep our lures close to the bottom. The wading on the south shoreline of both bays is also good in October, better for reds in West Bay, for trout in East Bay. Sometimes, we find birds working tight to the bank in some of the coves and pockets, and we're able to walk right into 'em and stay in 'em. Another pattern that's often overlooked this time of year is fishing the Colorado River. It's a great option, especially when the stronger fronts hit. Up the river, I usually look for rafts of mullet along the banks.”

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam
www.palaciosguideservice.com – 979.240.8204
Redfish have now become the favored target fish in our area, as they've started schooling along shorelines, chasing shrimp, shad and mullet, in advance of their migration. We've come across some schools of 50 or more fish lately, which gets any coastal angler's heart racing. Best lures for throwing at the schooling reds have been DSL in chicken of the sea and Norton Bull minnows in pumpkinseed/chartreuse. Best bet is to throw these in front of the schools, with the drag set right! When looking for the schooling reds, search for gulls hovering low on the water, also egrets running along the shorelines in the shallows. The trout bite has been spotty lately. We've managed to take a few limits using live shrimp around deep structures. Our flounder run should be excellent this fall. We're already catching good numbers of the flatties in the 18 to 20-inch class around the mouths of sloughs and creeks on falling tides. Giggers have also had good luck, working sandy, grassy patches on the south shoreline. Birds should become more active in October, leading us to easy catching on lots of days, in both South and East bays.

Port O’Connor | Lynn Smith
Back Bay Guide Service – 361.983.4434
Lynn expects to be doing two main things when fishing in the Port O'Connor area in October. “Normally, we wade the area shorelines, in shallow water lying fairly close to drop offs into deeper water. We have lots of redfish schooling up and moving out of the backwater areas this time of year, heading toward the pass and the open ocean. When we're really after the reds, we like to stay well up in the shallows, in water about knee-deep. We throw topwaters a lot this time of year. The fish seem to like them when the water's cooling down from the high temperatures we've seen all summer. If we're targeting trout, we tend to move a little deeper, into water between our knees and our waists. We'll focus on areas with lots of sandy pockets in the grass. Normally, some of our bigger trout move out of the depths and into areas like this as water temperatures cool down. The cooler water also elevates the productivity of slow-sinking twitch baits. We throw them when the fish aren't blowing up on our topwaters regularly. They're easy to work slowly through the potholes in the grass.”

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service - 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Few things stir the hearts of folks who love outdoor activities in Texas more than the cooling weather of October. “This is a great time to be out and about in the Coastal Bend,” Blake says. “It's one of my favorite times of the year. We have numerous fishing options which produce well, everything from wading mid-bay reefs and area shorelines and throwing topwaters for trout to fishing the flooded back-lakes for schooling reds. Normally, we don't rely as much on live bait by October as we have during the summer months. The cooling weather makes lures more effective, on average. In some years, we still have big schools of migrating reds in places close to the deep channels, like Super Flats and East Flats. The action can be fast and furious when you find them. Of course, we also find birds working on a regular basis this time of year. In some cases, all the trout under the flocks are small, but sometimes, we find schools of solid keepers, and catch quick limits. And, this is when we crank up the cast and blast season too. Few things are finer than fast shooting followed by fast catching, or vice versa.”

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata – [email protected].net – 361.563.1160
October can be a great month to catch big trout in the Upper Laguna Madre and Baffin Bay. With a surge in spawning activity accompanying the cooling water temperatures, large females will be loaded with eggs and carrying extra weight. The spawning urge creates ravenous appetites at times, so the bite this month sometimes becomes epic. Early in the mornings, most of the trout will be found hanging out in shallow, grassy areas, in less than two feet of water. This is where small soft plastics like Bass Assassin Elite Shiners in colors like Houdini and meat hook, or the four-inch Turbo Sea Shads in colors like chicken on a chain and salt and pepper/chartreuse work best. Rig them on sixteenth-ounce spring-lock jigheads. The redfish like these same areas and will strike the same lures. After mid-morning, the fish typically move into slightly deeper water, where Die Dappers in plum/chartreuse, hot chicken and trickster work better. Focus on sandy potholes or drop offs. Sight-casting red and black drum in the shallows remains good, when the water's clear and the sun bright. In a foot of water or less, shrimp flavored Fish-bites rigged on sixteenth-ounce heads produce the most strikes.

Corpus Christi / Joe Mendez—www.sightcast1.com—361.877.1230
Cooler water temperatures and more variability in the weather patterns make October an excellent month for fishing the Corpus Christi area, for those willing to adjust to the changes. “At times, fishing this month is much like it was during the summer. Especially early in October, we usually have quite a few days with highs in the 90s. When the weather is hot, targeting trout on deep grass beds and along grassy drop offs works best. Fishing around structures out in Corpus Christi Bay can also be good. When the weather cools, the trout and reds tend to prefer the shallow water along the shorelines of the King Ranch, also on top of shallow sand bars and other structures in Baffin. Fishing along the spine of the Tide Gauge Bar can produce epic catches this month, particularly when the tide is running high, which it often does. In some years, we see a decent number of tarpon come into the ULM and feed on the grassy flats in the general vicinity of the Pure Oil Channel. Folks drifting around and fishing for trout and reds in those areas should keep their eyes open for roaming pods of the silver kings.”

P. I.N.S. Fishing Forecast | Eric Ozolins
361-877-3583 | Oceanepics.com
All the passing storms have left our beaches in a mess most of the summer. Padre Island National Seashore has been restructured in several places. The storms flattened out the beachfront and relocated sand which was in the dunes into nearshore guts and holes. Despite this fact, trout fishing should remain good this month when water clarity is good. Topwaters presented slowly work best on average. If the bite is slow, try moving the lure more erratically. Fall migrations will be the big news this month. The dusky anchovy migration extends into the month, and the mullet migration begins. Predators like trout, reds, jacks, mackerel, tarpon and sharks will show up in great numbers, chasing bait in the shallows. Lots of lures work well with so many hungry fish present. Frenzied activity among sharks, especially black tips and bulls, will be common. Wading into spraying bait balls is thus not advised. Stingrays also lurk beneath this kind of action, picking up scraps, so always keep the soles of your feet in contact with the bottom. Be careful when driving the beaches in the near future, as trash distributed by the storms creates treacherous conditions for tires.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza
Snookdudecharters.com – 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge – 956.944.4000
Fishing on the Lower Laguna Madre has been excellent lately for all who can make it out there. The area around Green Island north to the cabins along the ICW has been good, as have the flats surrounding the Saucer area. Topwater action has improved steadily and should only get better throughout the month. Bone and pink/gold Heddon One Knockers have been producing the most blow ups. Peyton's Bay has been giving up some really nice trout. Early on many mornings, we've been seeing birds working along the ICW spoils to the south of there, and sometimes in Peyton's Bay itself. The water between the Pipeline and the islands lying along the southern edge of the East Cut can be productive when winds are light. We're starting off most days working knee-deep water with topwaters, then working our way steadily out deeper, switching to KWiggler soft plastics as the day wears on. Usually, sometime about Labor Day weekend, we start seeing the first signs of the tarpon migration at the mouth of the jetties. Normally, some big king mackerel and jack crevalle lurk among the schools of silver kings when we do.

Lower Laguna Madre—South Padre—Port Isabel
Aaron Cisneros | tightlinescharters.com – 956-639-1941
Cooler weather has turned some of our patterns toward those we see in the fall. Our tide movement has not been really consistent, but the bite has improved as water temperatures have declined. Redfish numbers on the flats have been on the rise. We've found reds feeding aggressively in the shallows along area shorelines early in the mornings. Bone Spook Juniors rigged with single hooks have produced plenty of blow ups when the fish are active in the skinny water. As the afternoon heat moves the fish away from the bank and into sandy potholes in three to five feet of water, KWiggler plum/chartreuse Ball-tails rigged on eighth-ounce heads worked slow and close to the bottom have produced better. Trout fishing has also been pretty steady, with most of our fish still biting in fairly deep water. We're catching lots of small fish, with a decent percentage of keepers, throwing KWigglers in Margarita and Lagunaflauge rigged on eighth-ounce heads. Like with the reds in the potholes, the key to getting bites is a slow retrieve. I expect fishing to continue to become more productive as stronger fronts bring temperatures down even more, and the fish become more active.