Fish Talk: October 2011

Fish Talk: October 2011
Dr. Wayne Brueggen with a 40-45# black drum caught on an Eddie Douglas Broken Back Special wading West Matagorda Bay.

What a relief... October is finally here! October and November are the two best months out of the year for fishing the Matagorda area bays with cooler temperatures, stronger tides, and our shrimp migration kicking off bird activity. Hopefully, we will have an abundance of shrimp, even with the lack of rainfall and high salinity that currently prevails in our bay system... only time will tell. Everyone knows we've had a hot, dry summer, so I'm more than a little optimistic looking for a great fall fishing season – at least some redemption from the grilling hot days we were forced to endure in July and August.

My October plan will be to camp out in East Matagorda Bay for the duration, wading the north and/or south shorelines (depending on the wind) on a daily basis, along with mid-bay reefs when we can. Even drifting the deeper shell could pay dividends. All the drains on the south shoreline typically prove productive in the fall Double Bayou, Catchall, and the Oyster Farm can be very good, just to name a few. The drains are good on a falling tide, even the smallest drain could hold fish where it empties out into the bay. The birds are another sure shot and they could be working all over East Matagorda Bay. You'll need a good pair of binoculars and once you find the gulls diving, go to them and cast.

Standard operating procedure in the lure department when fishing under birds will be Bass Assassins on 1/4 and 3/8 ounce jigheads to get them down quick. I'll also have a rod rigged for topwaters because a lot of times you will catch bigger trout off the surface than you can down below. Also, always remember that if the birds break up, just keep drifting. Quite often there will be fish scattered for quite a distance downwind of where the feeding frenzy took place. Like I've told many clients, You don't necessarily need birds diving in front of you to catch fish.

Many times overly anxious fishermen will crash the birds too hard and they'll take off in another direction, but the fish will still be there. Look for jumping shrimp in the area you stop. There have been many days where we have caught a limit just by following jumping shrimp and what's really a no-brainer is when you see trout jumping out of the water chasing shrimp and no birds are around.

On occasion, we will get a strong cool front where the bay will be rough and dirty. When this happens, we usually wind up in the Colorado River unless it is too fresh from a lot of rainfall. We'll fish the river drifting and fishing bends, sand bars, and drop-offs coming off the west bank. Also, while in the river, I'll usually make a run to the Diversion Channel.

If reds are your game, try out West Matagorda Bays Oyster Lake, Crab Lake back behind Shell Island, Twin Islands, and all the shell on the outside of the Diversion Channel as these areas can hold a ton of redfish in the fall.

My bait choices will probably remain relatively the same as they have been for the last couple of months with Bass Assassins in Hot Chicken, Chicken-on-a-Chain, 10W40, Pumpkinseed, Glow, and Fire Tiger as best bets. If you have any discolored and faded out plastics, they generally work well under the birds. It might be a good time to clean out all of your old stuff and catch some fish with them. The Eddie Douglas Broken Back Special along with MirrOlure She Dogs, She Pups, and, of course, a few pearl gold-sided chartreuse Corkys to round out my tackle box will be the ticket. Hope you have a great October.

Until next time, God Bless. -Capt. Bill