Reports & Forecasts: Sept 2013

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
September is a glorious time around here. We have college football, teal season, and awesome fishing for both trout and reds. What could be better? It is a great month to experience both the hunting and the fishing aspects of our business. Both will be at their height this month. The first few fronts will bring north winds and strong outgoing tides which will pull baitfish and shrimp out of the marshes and into the lake. The usual result is easy fishing under birds for a great mix of both trout and reds. Limits of trout and redfish become the norm. Cobia and tripletail fishing at our nearshore platforms will be off the charts at this time as well. Teal season is a blast! This season should be excellent according to the reports coming out of the Dakotas and Canada. Season dates are tentatively set for September 14-16, with the limit set at six teal per person. That will be a big change from the usual four-bird limit. Hope all is well with you and yours. See you fishing or hunting soon.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
James reports an excellent run of fishing around deep reefs, spoil banks and well pads on recent days. "We're coming off a stretch of about nine or ten days in a row with full limits of trout, up to about twenty five inches. All of our fishing has been in relatively deep water, from about seven to maybe fifteen feet deep. The topwater bite has been slow. By far, the best lure has been a chicken on a chain Bass Assassin rigged on a quarter or three eighths ounce jighead. We catch best when the tide is turning, right as the incoming tide stops and the water gets really green. Of course, fishing is best and easiest when it's not too windy. Today, we are dealing with a south/southwest wind over twenty knots and the catching is slower. Offshore fishing has been okay when we have been able to get out there. Catching lots of kingfish and ling, not many silver kings yet. But as we get into September, we should have more shots at the tarpon, especially if we get calm weather. Other than that, the inshore drill will stay pretty much the same."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Fishing is outstanding when the weather allows easy access to open-water areas, Jim says. "We are whackin' 'em when the weather's good. In fact, lots of people are catching nice stringers of trout when winds are light. Most of the fish are being caught under slicks near reefs and spoil banks out in the middle. Fishing out there is only good for hardware guys when the water is pretty clear, meaning winds are not blowing over fifteen knots. Normally, September brings plenty of days with good weather conditions, so we should have steady success as we move into the early part of fall. I'll be splitting time between three activities. I'll be running dove and teal hunts every week, a few days a week, and I'll be fishing on the days when I'm not hunting. Right now, I'm getting the fields ready for hunting, and things look promising there. We should be able to shoot plenty of teal and doves and also catch some solid trout in ample numbers. Most of the fishing will be done out of the boat around deep structures, keying on slicks and other signs."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
Randall expresses a desire to hit the beachfront as much as possible in September, like many other guides. "Lately, the surf has been the best thing by far for us. We keep getting south and west winds, which keeps the tide from filling the bays. When that happens, we will have better fishing in the Gulf. Some days, it requires a considerable amount of intestinal fortitude to get at the fish, if the waves are big. The fish are still there and we're catching them, mostly on live bait. Normally, in September, we see a return of a more favorable wind, meaning one with more of a southeasterly component. That will allow water to move back into the bays, and our fishing on the inside will improve as fish roll in with the tide. We'll keep a close eye on it and fish where we think we need to. One thing about fishing along the beach; you never know what will bite. Just the other day, we caught a thirty seven inch ling on a trout rod. It was a surprise and a thrill. I swear I saw smoke coming out of the reel. That fish pushed the equipment right up to its limits."

Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service | 713.725.2401
Charlie says the fishing has been decent in and around Matagorda lately, when west winds aren't blowing too hard. "We've had a lot of days with west in the wind, and that makes fishing tough around here. For a stretch there, the winds died down and the tide came up, and fishing was good in the shallows in coves in both of the bays. The surf was good for a while during the same time-frame. Normally, we have cooler weather and more southeast winds in September, and the fishing starts improving again. I look for the surf to kick off a couple more times at least. In years when we can't get out there a lot during July and August, September is usually good. We'll also look for redfish schooling in the coves and back lakes, especially if we get a strong bull tide around the time of the equinox. Mid-bay reefs and open-water areas with scattered shell will continue to produce trout. Fishing out there is best when winds are light and easterly. Overall, things look okay, especially if we can get some rain in the next couple of weeks."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Fishing has been both unbelievably good and unbelievably tough. The surf was as good as as it can get for about a six-day stretch, when we caught solid trout between eighteen and twenty four inches on big topwaters like Super Spooks, SheDogs and Skitterwalks, along with some oversized bull reds up to forty inches. During the daybreak bite, the fish were tight to the shoreline, and as the sun came up, they moved to the second and third guts. We had no seaweed, sharks, or jellyfish to cope with, so it was a blessing. The last week or so has been a grind; we are dealing with southwest winds and low tides, and that makes fishing tough! We have been fortunate to be able to catch quite a few lower-slot reds on live shrimp under popping corks in area creeks and back lakes. September is one of my favorite months, with all kinds of options, including the surf across West Matagorda, birds working in South Bay by the channel, and pods and pods of reds cruising local shorelines chasing shrimp.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
In September, Lynn plans to continue keeping his eye on the surf, as trout fishing along the beachfront can be great at the end of summer. "We haven't been able to fish the surf as much as we'd like this summer, but sometimes September winds are calm, and if they are, we will head out there every time we get the chance. We have been doing well inside the bays. Lately, we are targeting areas close to Pass Cavallo which have lots of grass with sandy pockets in the grass. We like to stay near drop offs to deep water and prefer to fish when tide movements are pretty strong. Best lures lately have been Skitterwalks in pink/silver side and my favorite, the white Super Spook Junior with a chartreuse head. We're using soft plastics when the topwaters stop working as well. Mostly, we're throwing Kelly Wigglers in chicken on a chain and strawberry/white tail. Also catching pretty good on Hogie paddeltails in the same color patterns. The last few trips we've been catching more reds than trout, but trout fishing should pick back up as it cools off."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake will be trying various patterns when fishing in September, and will be starting up the cast and blast season too. "I'll be fishing in most of the area bays at one time or another this month. Still wading shorelines with sand and grass some, targeting redfish, particularly around the mouths of drains leading into marshy areas. Also spending some time on mid-bay reefs too, especially if I'm targeting trout. Throwing Sand Eels in dark colors with chartreuse tails as usual, hoping for quite a few days with a good topwater bite too. Typically, September is a great month for reds. It's also time to start hunting. We should have plenty of teal on the coast this year, as dry as it's been. We will be allowed a six-bird limit, so that's good. Dove hunting will be starting up too. We've already got a bunch of birds around, and as long as weather patterns don't cause them to move on us, I expect fast shooting and easy limits. It's a great month, with lots of options and variety. There's plenty of excitement in the air and in the water when autumn arrives."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
I hope everyone has been enjoying this summer as much as I have. I have not found as many redfish schools as I have in past years, but they are still around. The key to success with the schools of reds is to not crash into them using the outboard, but stopping upwind (at least 100 yards) and keeping up with them using the trolling motor. I like to cast natural colored Bass Assassins rigged on eighth ounce jigheads or half ounce weedless gold spoons if there is much floating grass. Cast the lures at the outside edges of the schools instead of the middle to prevent spooking them. As for live bait, the croakers might be getting too big to use, but piggy perch will make excellent bait for trout, reds and flounder. The water temperatures will move the fish into a little deeper water, three to four feet, but still along grass lines, potholes and drop offs with sandy bottoms. The sight-casting game in less than twelve inches of water with green, shrimp Fish Bites and Assassin Die Dappers for reds, black drum and trout is still my favorite trick right now.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe says he expects to be pointing the bow of his boat toward the south and making runs into the Land Cut area as we head into fall. "I've got the boat in great shape. Did some work on the trailer, got a new big motor and trolling motor, also a new Power Pole. It is in great shape. I'll be fishing areas like Nine Mile Hole and the flats of Summer House and Rocky Slough quite a bit in the coming weeks. The water down there is clear and has been for quite some time. Actually, I've been running quite a few fly fishing charters lately, and have quite a few more coming up. The fishing is good with flies when the water is clear. It allows us to see the fish in the water before we cast to them much of the time, and that makes it easier to entice them into biting a fly. Tide levels have been low a lot lately, and that makes locating redfish and drum and the occasional big trout easier on the flats too. Overall, prospects are good. September and October are generally two of the calmer months in South Texas. Light winds make casting flies much easier."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
The finger mullet migration from area bays to the Gulf usually begins around mid-September. Redfish follow the mullet out of the bays and will be in good supply in the surf once the finger mullet run is underway. Live and cut finger mullet are the most commonly used baits for bottom fishing reds and a wide array of artificials will also produce good results. Massive schools of bay and dusky anchovies are also usually present in surf and nearshore waters at this time; menhaden should also be plentiful. From the middle through end of September is the peak time for adult tarpon in the surf. Tarpon and incredible numbers of skipjacks and Spanish mackerel will be working the anchovy shoals as will sharks of all sizes. Whiting will be readily available as will some pompano. September is the peak of hurricane season. Stay advised of weather forecasts. If the water becomes high when the tide should be falling - LEAVE THE BEACH IMMEDIATELY! Something tropical could be brewing, and water could rise to the dunes quickly.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000
School, football season, and early whitewing dove season are upon us. Lots of stuff is going on, but don't forget about the fishing. The winds are typically calm and the seas are flat in September. The bait balls may have moved on but the tarpon are rolling, and schools of reds are beginning to show up at the jetties. Throwing blue or black-back Rat-L-Traps and MirrOlure 51 and 52 Series are the way to go. State water red snapper are available, and bay fishing is right on. Look for the Laguna west shoreline and the spoils to stack up with trout. Skitterwalks and Super Spook Juniors should get the adrenaline going with lots of blowups. The ICW and East Cut spoils can be surprising; you never what you might find, schools of trout and reds, maybe a jack hold on! Wading slowly along the tops of the bars can offer sight-casting opportunities at bedded flounder. This is a good month to fish the nearshore Gulf, the jetties, and also the bays. Get out there and take advantage of it! Tight lines and calm seas.

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
We're averaging a couple of thirty two-plus inch reds a week, sometimes two a day. This has been a great time for tagging them, especially with windy, muddy conditions that aren't ideal for hitting herds. Normally this time of year, the water's surface is mirror-calm in the mornings, and it's easy to see schools of redfish moving away from the boat, but we've had windy conditions later this summer than is normal. Freddy says, "Drift the deeper drop offs with Cajun Thunder round corks and pop hard; the big guys are there, you just can't see them. Keep your leaders long enough to drop to about their eye level and let the jighead sink before popping again." We've been doing really well on trout also, with an occasional beauty over twenty five and up to twenty nine inches. The coming months promise to be exceptional for speckled trout, and when we return from a quick trip to the hunting property in West Texas, we'll be chunking Berkley Gulp! three-inch shrimp on Norton lock hooks at tempting potholes. Stop open bay dredge disposal.