If you ask anyone who regularly fishes Matagorda, they will tell you their favorite month to fish is October.
Can’t blame them – it is probably the most opportune month to catch just about every species you want to target. It’s hard to argue with cooler temperatures, higher tides and hungry fish.
Fall normally affords the most consistent catches of the year. With that said, we ask and plead with anglers to continue conservation efforts and attitudes to allow our fishery to rebound from the Freeze of 2021.
If this year holds true to form, expect to see scattered bird action. Last year the bird action began in early-October and continued through early-December. There’s no reason not to expect the same since we are seeing shrimp beginning to flood the shorelines and our bait-shrimpers have had little problem keeping healthy bait supplies in tanks.
Higher tides this month will be a boon for redfish. Again, there are lots of shrimp in the back lakes and marshes and many will target those fish with small topwaters and live shrimp under a Mid-Coast cork.
The great thing about East Matagorda Bay is you don’t have to wade to find big trout. Sure, you need good weather for water clarity, but half of the big trout released by my clients come from drifting across deep shell.
However, if you like to wade, the reefs in East Bay are players this month, especially with all the shrimp migrating through the bay. I like tossing Super Spook Jrs and She Pups on the edges of the reefs for big fish and working a MirrOlure Soft Dine when fish turn their noses up at floaters.
As those fish begin to move into the bays they will be found on the grassy shorelines on both the north and south side. Many anglers will toss a shrimp right against the edge of the spartina grass and others will troll down the shorelines tossing the realistic DOA Shrimp or small topwaters such as She Pups and Super Spook Jrs.
Waders along the south shoreline of West Bay will work the points of shell with Down South Lures and Bass Assassins. If you want both redfish and black drum, take a bucket of live shrimp and work the points with those hoppers under a cork. There will be plenty of both in October.
The back lakes in West Bay are fall mainstays for redfish. Spots like Oyster Lake and Crab Lake are great for anchoring and waiting for big schools to cruise the shorelines. It’s also a great spot to watch the fall migration of birds and waterfowl make their way to the coast. It’s the best time of the year.
At times this year it has looked like our fishery never lost a step from the freeze, however, data from TPWD suggests we are way down in numbers of trout. So please, please consider catch and release; and, if you must harvest trout, please release more than you take from the bay.