Reports & Forecasts: September 2007

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
September should be a great month for fishing in southwest Louisiana. This is a month of change with cooler weather returning to the state. Trout will be moving north in the estuary if the salinities increase. The bait migrations will be underway and the number of birds following the schools will be on the increase as the month progresses. In early September, there will be lots of ladyfish under the gulls, but by the end of the month they'll mostly be hovering over trout and reds. September is our best month for bull reds along the beaches and at the Cameron jetties. The reds will hit artificials when schooling along the beach. It gets pretty exciting, sight casting topwaters at twenty to forty pound redfish. The best tripletail fishing also normally occurs this month. Tripletail are usually found just offshore, around any floating objects in the area. They'll also be hugging the structures at the close rigs, under seaweed, buckets, lumber, etc.. Basically, anything that casts a shadow can be holding a tripletail.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | silverkingadventures.com | 409.935.7242
"Trout fishing is pretty easy right now," James says. "We are working Lower Galveston Bay well pads and catching plenty. Throwing limetreuse Bass Assassins and the cream colored Blurp baits for best results. There are also some herds of big redfish roaming around out here and we'll bump into those from time to time. The real story lately is the tarpon fishing. It's as good as the old days. I had at least one fish caught every day last week, then it busted wide open this past weekend. The four boats in our group hooked 32 fish. I found a school about two miles long and they were biting. Biggest fish was about 170 pounds. It taped out at 84 inches long and 40 inches around. There are swarms of smaller fish in the 70 to 100 pound class, all the way from Port Arthur to the San Bernard River. When it's calm like this, you can locate them much easier. Now that we have contacted the schools, the rest of the summer should be outstanding if we don't get any big storms to stir things up and move them around."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Fishing is extremely hot and cold lately in the Galveston area, reports Jim. "We are having some really easy days fishing slicks on deeper reefs when the winds are light and the water has decent clarity. Tides are pretty low at night and the tide's coming in strong in the morning. And that makes for a good early bite most of the time. On other days, we are struggling to box eight or ten fish. On those days, the winds are limiting where we can fish. Put wind together with all this freshwater, and you'll struggle some of the time. The fish are stacked in the saltiest water around and when winds and storms keep you off those areas, it's hard to catch a fish." One of the salty areas is, of course, the surf. "The guys are really smacking them in the surf every time it gets clear. I heard rumors of a trout just under thirty two inches coming out of the High Island surf a couple of weeks ago. Reports had it just under ten pounds. There are easy limits coming off the beachfront from the jetties all the way past Rollover when morning west winds knock the waves down."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
"Fishing is a bit inconsistent around San Luis Pass this summer," Randall says. "We've had some good days, especially on redfish. We were really hammering them in the first half of August. Trout fishing has picked up a little in West Bay. We are working large rafts of mullet out in the middle. Best catching has been on glow Sand Eels. The surf is still a little dirty on the Freeport side of the Pass, but the Galveston beachfront is beautiful. We are having our best luck on topwaters in the surf, but it's a short lived bite. By eight thirty or so, it gets tough. Offshore fishing has been more steady. We've been getting good numbers of king mackerel and snapper when we go. And the dolphin are biting even better. They really seem to like the red magic Sand Eel. Catching a mess of them is a hoot, with all the jumping they do. Ling are showing as well. Had a twelve year old catch a 70 pounder the other day." Randall says his calendar was recently stolen, and asks that anyone who has him scheduled the rest of the year call and confirm the date(s).

Matagorda | Don Wood
Bay Guide Service | 979.240.4137
"East Bay reefs are still holding some nice fish. We have been drifting some in there and catching them on small Assassins, mostly dark colors like pumpkinseed/chartreuse and morning glory/chartreuse. Small topwaters like the Spook Jr. are working some of the time too, as are the pearl and pink Skitterwalks. Topwater bite is better when the surf is on, as it has been most of the time lately. It's an early morning thing for the easy bite, but it's possible on some days to keep catching them well into the afternoon if you stay with the schools of bait and fish hard. The stretch west of the jetties has lots of fish, but not too many big ones, but the area to the east is holding some bigger trout. Broken backs seem to be working best on them. We are also catching a few big reds mixed in with the trout in the surf. One customer had a fat 29 1/2 incher the other day." Action continues to be steady on both trout and reds in West Bay too, especially around Cottons and Greens, two classic mid-summer spots for those who love to wade, he says.

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam
www.palaciosguideservice.com | 979.240.8204
Freshwater runoff still has the Palacios area unfishable. The water in front of the mouth of Tres Palacios River is fresh for about 10 miles. All local bays including Turtle Bay, Coon Island and Carancahua are fresh. Fishing over on the south shoreline of West Matagorda and in the surf has been outstanding. Reds and specks have been pushed to the shoreline and surf by all the freshwater and we have followed to find them. Reds have been running in schools tight to the shorelines, biting weedless gold quarter ounce spoons. Topwaters such as the Spook Jr. in clown and bone flash have also worked. Trout catches have been consistent on deeper sand flats with rolling guts on pink Skitterwalks and roach colored Trout Killers. The tripletail bite has picked back up, with most fish being found back toward the elbow in the channel. We have had some solid fish up to 18 pounds on live shrimp under popping corks. Until the heavy rains stop and area bays clear up, we will continue to work the south shoreline from Oilwell to Airport Flats.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
"Fishing has been good in the surf around Pass Cavallo lately," Lynn says. "Today, we caught our fish in the first gut all the way up to about two o' clock, but usually, we catch them early close to the beach, then on the drop off of the second bar as the morning sun gets hotter. Live bait works for easy limits in the waves, of course, but topwaters will normally get almost as many fish for those who know how to walk the dog properly. We'll be trying to get into the surf for more of this action as much as we can throughout September. It's taken a while for the winds to die down this year, and now that they have, we want to take full advantage of it." When not on the beach, Lynn expects to be fishing hard grass beds with sand pockets in the bays. "I'll be sticking with topwaters as long as I'm getting blown up, then switching to soft plastics when it slows down. I've been doing great lately on a Norton Major Minnow in orange/black with a chartreuse tail. And when the water's really off color, I've taken to a five inch Gulp jerk bait in chartreuse/pepper neon. It's a killer."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Like many others, Blake reports finding and catching a bunch of nice trout in the surf in the time just prior to this report. "We had fun in the surf today," he says. "The water was calm as a bathtub all the way to the beach. Trout up to about twenty five inches were blasting off on our chrome/black topwaters all day. This has been a good run of fishing since the winds calmed. Actually, our bay fishing has been excellent since the floods too. I've been fishing Aransas, Corpus Christi and Mesquite Bays and doing well on both trout and redfish. The best lures have been Sand Eels in the bays. The freshwater influx had the reds amped up for a couple of weeks there. We were really hammering them on the reefs. I plan to continue heading out to the beach as much as possible throughout September. As for bay fishing, I'll be looking for the trout on deeper grassbeds and throwing topwaters early, then switching to the Sand Eels. Also, it will be time to look for herds of reds on their way to the passes."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
Barring tropical events and an outbreak of red tide, September marks the beginning of the best surf fishing on Padre Island National Seashore. The first cold fronts will move large numbers of finger-sized mullet into the surf, shoals of dusky anchovies peak in annual abundance, and a wide variety of opportunistic big game and medium sized predators will move into the surf to feed on them. Redfish numbers will peak as they follow the finger mullet out of bay systems. Large ladyfish and Spanish mackerel will be readily available as will jumbo jack crevalle and at times both tarpon and sharks. Target areas of maximum food chain activity to connect with these large predators. Sharks can often be be good targets for sight casting. Use ladyfish for bait. A wide range of artificials and live finger mullet will work on all species. Wire leader is recommended for Spanish mackerel, at least 52 lb. fluorocarbon for large ladyfish and at least 80 lb. fluorocarbon for tarpon. Be wary of large sharks whenever fishing in areas of high food chain activity.

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | rz1528@grandecom.net | 361.563.1160
In recent weeks, the fishing in the Laguna Madre has been fair and I believe that the reason for this is excessive freshwater from all of the rain we've had recently. The storms have finally stopped and hopefully the water's salinity and clarity will return to normal. The water level has also subsided and this is helping to concentrate fish along drop offs and some of the shallow flats that are adjacent to the drop offs. Poor water clarity in Baffin Bay has forced us to fish with croakers along grass lines and close to rocks. The speckled trout sizes have been ranging from 17 to 26 inches, but mostly from 17 to 20 inches, and the numbers have been low. In recent weeks, I've seen a few small schools of reds mostly along the King Ranch Shoreline and around some of the spoil islands. They are very easily spooked, so once the school is spotted, it's best to approach them quietly with a trolling motor or wading. Bass Assassin Blurps in pearl and good penny have been the most productive lures, and are working best in waters least affected by brown tide.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez www.sightcast1.com | 361.937.5961
According to Joe, fishing has picked back up in the Upper Laguna Madre system after the effects of the heavy rains diminished. "The water is clearing up some in certain areas, and the fish have been biting pretty good. I've been catching both trout and redfish from the JFK bridge south along the King Ranch, and at the spoils along the intracoastal too. We have been doing a bit better on the redfish than the trout. The key this time of year is to locate the schools of reds. They will often push visible wakes in the water. When it's calm, it's pretty easy to see them as they are cruising in response to your boat when you pass by them. Then you can stop and approach them with the trolling motor. Sometimes, you will locate black drum instead of reds, but even then, there are often pods of reds mixed in. September is historically a great month to run this pattern. The fish move north up the Laguna and gang up on the flats near the Causeway. I'll be looking hard for them throughout the next month or so."

Port Mansfield | Bruce & Brandon Shuler
GetAway Adventures Lodge | 956.944.4000
Offshore fishing is incredible near Port Mansfield this summer. Bruce says, "We've been catching bull redfish ranging from 35 to about 44 inches almost every day. When it's calm, all you have to do is cruise up and down the beachfront until you see a golden glowing spot in the water. Then you can catch them pretty much however you want to. I've been making quite a few blow up on the small topwaters, and we're catching them on a Pradco paddletail too. Of course, we aren't keeping any, just fighting a good fight with them. Action on slot reds should be sizzling on the northeast flats in September as the schools of fish in the Laguna Madre move toward the pass and get ready for their spawn. Trout action will continue to be best off the edge of the deepest grass beds. Topwaters will work to catch them, if the floating grass allows their use. Late night and early morning are the best times to catch some specks in the heat. A few long fish are still being caught, such as the thirty incher we had a couple of weeks ago."

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | www.fishingwithpettys.com | 956.943.2747
Even high tides are relatively low and there are still some areas of brackish water locked into the coves on the west side, making it hard to find takers, but the east side is clear and reds are scattered over Gas Well and east of Dunkin's hitting topwaters and gold weedless spoons. Due to heavy traffic, we're not having much luck finding the large schools of reds that usually are easy pickin's during the dog days of summer. We are catching trout on soft plastics in light colors or Gulp three inch shrimp in molting and new penny under Cajun Thunder corks and on bottom rigs, working drop offs and pot holes on the Game Refuge and the Long Bar. There have been some tarpon hook ups and small black tip sharks landed in the same deep water that's holding schools of small trout and plenty of South Bay snook. Freddy says, "September's not just for white wing doves, it's also the season for higher tides and similar expectations. We're looking forward to increased redfish action, with more wind and currents this coming month."