Reports & Forecasts: Sept 2010

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
Calcasieu Lake will continue to produce good numbers of both trout and redfish in and along the ship channel throughout September. The deeper, cooler water draws these fish from the shallower, warmer waters of the lake. Fish will be found from the I-10 bridge in Lake Charles all the way south to the Gulf. Since water temperatures are extremely hot at this time of the year, your best bite may be early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Best baits in soft plastics will be MirrOlure minnows, H & H beetles and Norton sand eels. If the heat continues and the fish become finicky, you may want to try finger mullet, pogies or live shrimp. Usually in September, we get our first cold front, which will normally push the shrimp into the lake and get the birds working. The close rigs, beach, and Cameron jetties will continue to produce good numbers and quality fish for the first half of the month, but the action in those locales will start to wind down by the middle of the month and will be about over by the beginning of October.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
"Trout fishing is good lately, and the tarpon fishing is set to bust out any time now," James says. "We were casting at tarpon all day today, probably saw a couple thousand fish. The numbers are there this year. Bite has been slow so far, but typically September is the best month to catch 'em. As long as we don't get a storm messing it up or some early fronts, we should be able to have a good month on the silver kings. The trout fishing is pretty easy for this time of year in several places. The lower ship channel is still on as of now, but it will likely play out in September. East and Trinity Bays should both still be rocking throughout the month though. The birds are already working in Trinity. Some are over good schools of trout, others have a bunch of skipjacks. In East Bay, it's more of a slick hopping thing, focusing on deep water around the reefs where the slicks are popping. We've been having the best luck on the trout with four inch Bass Assassin Sea Shads, either glow/chartreuse or the hot chicken color."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
"Dove hunting starts September 1st in the Central Zone. I still have some availability left and the season appears to have excellent potential. As far as fishing goes, I've been doing a lot, fished six days in a row before giving this report. Not catching limits every day, but the numbers are pretty good, and the average size of the trout isn't bad either. We're catching plenty of pound and a half to three pound fish and mixing in the occasional five or six pounder. There are plenty of reds schooled up in East Bay right now too. The key to locating those is finding the mud boils and slicks together. Slicks are leading us to the trout too. They are hanging out deep, in five to eight feet of water, sometimes on shell, sometimes not. These patterns should hold right through September. Wading has been good for brief periods, when the tropical systems push the tide in and the water fills in nicely right up to the shoreline grass. That might happen more in September, and if it does, it will pay to take the topwaters and Catch 2000s and get out of the boat."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
Fishing has been a little off and on since the heat wave settled in good, Randall reports. "It's been like a mill pond lately, and with the lack of wind and outgoing tides during the day, it's been a little slow. Best fishing has been in the surf. Topwater bite out there has been fair to good. We've been catching trout on pink Skitterwalks and bone Spooks. Also having good luck on opening night Sand Eels. We should see a turnaround in the bite next month (September), when the tide cycles will include more morning incoming tides. The fish bite best around here when it's hot if there's incoming tide in the a.m.." On a different note, he says the offshore fishing has been good. "I've been running offshore some and catching some nice fish of a variety of species. We won some prizes this weekend with ling and tuna. I'd like to thank the guys at Sport Marine for taking care of me, my boat and my motor. When you're ninety six miles offshore, it's good to know your equipment is in tip top shape. Those guys help me that way."

Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service | 713.725.2401
Several good options exist for fishermen in the Matagorda area in the first fall month. "If conditions are right and the water gets green to the beach around the strong moons, I'll be looking to get in the surf. Some years, the surf is at its best this month. Good catching will only come if there's tide movement when the water clarity is right though. September is a great month to target pods of tailing and schooling reds. Both East and West Bays offer opportunities there, with West Bay the slightly better bet on average. Over there, it's often possible to catch plenty of reds and throw in limits of school trout too. The reds in East Bay tend to show in some areas where bigger trout hang out. It boils down to weather. If the winds are light in the morning, I usually head to East Bay. If it's windier, I head west. Those light wind days make for excellent catching around the shell humps in the middle of East Bay. We often catch some pretty big trout on topwaters and slow sinking twitch baits on the reefs this month."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
The surf finally opened up here last week. We had several charters on the beach where we caught near limits of trout up to twenty three inches, and almost all were caught on topwaters. The green/chrome and pearl Skitterwalks have by far been the best producers. We're fishing the first bar at first light and moving out to the second and third guts as the bait moves off the beach. Our redfish bite has been very solid as of late also. We are starting to see small pods of reds (usually five to ten per pod) working area grass edges and pushing bait against the shoreline and gorging themselves. Small gold spoons and small paddletails in pearl/chartreuse, salt/pepper, and pumpkinseed/chartreuse have been the best lures for the schooling reds. I look forward to September because there are so many productive options: running the surf on calm days, fishing the wells on hot days, working birds for school trout, and stalking tailing reds on the flats. With all those possibilities, it don't get much better than that!

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
September is a great month for fishing the surf and the pass Cavallo area, Lynn says. "When winds allow, we'll be heading out in the surf. Topwaters work great out there, especially early in the morning close to the beach. If it's not possible to get in the surf, we'll stick to grassy flats close to deep water around the jetties and the pass area. I like to throw topwaters when fishing that pattern too, mostly early, then switching over to soft plastics once the sun heats up the flats. Good colors lately have been chicken on a chain, red flash and the old standby, pumpkinseed/chartreuse. The key, especially if it stays super hot like it's been, will be to stay close to the deep water. There are good grassy flats in West Matagorda Bay that fit that description. Watch for schooling reds to be on the flats this time of year. They migrate to the pass areas in anticipation of their spawn. It's often possible to sightcast them if it's sunny. Soft plastics seem to work best to make them bite when you see them first."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
An abundance of fall options present themselves for Blake in September. "The dove hunting looks like it will be outstanding this year, so I'll be looking to get in on that. Teal season also falls in this month. The potential for that is a little harder to gauge, but most years it's pretty good around here. On the fishing side, we are catching lots of schooling reds lately, mostly in bays like Aransas and Redfish, areas close to the entrance of the pass. That action should heat up even more before it plays out. I'll definitely be running some charters which focus on finding the schools and limiting on reds. Trout fishing will likely become a little easier in September than it has been in this August heat. Lately, we've been doing best on trout with live bait. Also catching some on Sand Eels, especially the pumpkinseed/chartreuse ones. It should get easier with lures as the water cools off a little. I'll be looking for the trout in the northern parts of my area mostly, keying on grassy, sandy shorelines, making lots of casts around the potholes in the grass."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
What a great summer we are having! And the fishing isn't bad either. I am still finding schools of redfish in the northern end of the Laguna. Many of the reds are oversized, but no one seems to mind catching and releasing them. Early in the mornings, while the winds are dead calm, is the best and easiest time to find the schools. Keeping up with them using the trolling motor can lead to hours of catching and releasing reds. I like to cast light-colored Bass Assassins rigged on eighth ounce jigheads or gold weedless spoons if there is abundant floating grass. I have also been catching good numbers of trout on croakers. With the higher water temperatures I am casting the croakers along grass lines, potholes and drop-offs in three to four feet of water. I'm also looking for good concentrations of bait and/or fish slicks to identify areas to fish with the croakers. Shallow flats with small amounts or no grass on the bottom are also holding reds and black drum that we are sightcasting with Berkley Gulp shrimp rigged on sixteenth ounce jigheads.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Excellent water clarity continues to make for productive fishing in the Upper Laguna Madre/Baffin Bay area. "The water is gorgeous, crystal clear most of the time. The schools of redfish are easy to locate on most days, especially when it's calm in the morning. Once you find the schools, if you can stay with them, it's often easiest to sightcast them in the middle of the day, once the sun gets bright and higher overhead. A light to moderate breeze makes it really easy to see the fish. We are catching them on soft plastics rigged on light jigheads so we can swim them close in front of the fish once we find them. Trout fishing has been a little tougher. When targeting trout, I like to focus on dropoffs to deep water when it's hot like this. You can catch plenty of fish on most days, but the average size is pretty small and it's difficult to box a bunch of keepers. September lays out much the same. We'll still have lots of schooling reds around the JFK Causeway on both the north and south sides of the bridge, so I'll be chasing them."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
If money is short and you've been waiting for the best possible fishing opportunity, September and October are the time to go. Year after year we see the best fishing for greatest numbers and most species present in the PINS surf during the last twenty days of September. Various shark species, large schools of big jack crevalle, unbelievable numbers of skipjack (ladyfish), large numbers of slot redfish, tarpon and Spanish mackerel are all possible. The first cold fronts will start moving the finger mullet out of the bay systems and the reds will follow them. Some speckled trout will be available. Large shoals of dusky and bay anchovies frequent the surf and these shoals are the areas to target. All types of fish species are commonly observed feeding on the anchovies. When targeting jack crevalle watch for groups of diving brown pelicans and sight cast the jacks which will typically run at the surf's edge. A wide range artificials will work on all of the above species as will live or dead finger mullet.

Port Mansfield | Terry Neal | 956.944.2559
Well if you haven't heard, South Texas and Northern Mexico have been receiving record rainfall this summer. It seems that we've had some kind of storm every other weekend. For weeks now the Arroyo Colorado and the North floodway have been running at capacity with water diverted from the Rio Grande and we're expecting this scenario to continue for a while. Thousands of acres of freshwater is being pushed into the Lower Laguna Madre. There is no way to predict what effects this much freshwater will have on the Lower Laguna as this is the first time in many years that this much water has been released. Fishing has been good regardless of all the freshwater inflow. Locate the bait and you'll find lots of good fish. Offshore fishing will be peaking with the bait migration. The water line where fresh meets salt should be excellent. Lots of tarpon are taking advantage of the bait being pushed ahead of the freshwater. Schools of redfish should also be working the schools of bait fish. Keep only what you can eatrelease the rest.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
We're still in a one week good, one week bad tide pattern, however when everything comes together, the trout fishing is outstanding. One memorable trip produced three 28 inch trout boated in succession, which is an all time high for summer fishing. We're tagging oversized reds and limiting on slot fish when the tides are outgoing in the morning. We've had the best results throwing the Cajun Thunder cigar corks with a fifteen inch leader and a quarter ounce jighead with a Berkley Gulp shrimp in glow or new penny. The LLM is inundated with the fresh water, which is keeping bay waters brackish and dark. Freddy says, "They're still out there, you just have to fish in deeper water because they're hanging out in the heavier saltwater which is beneath the freshwater column that is lighter." Even though the water does not have that gin clear look that is iconic to this area, we're seeing a lot of activity on the surface and freshly netted trout are spraying the deck with a couple of different colored shrimp species.