On Galveston: October 2009

My report and forecast in last month's magazine was not very encouraging, dog day fishing never is. When I said lure fishing had taken a serious dive I was being as honest and accurate as I could. Now that summer is winding down, fishing is picking up and we are getting a few teases of what is to come. I would give it an overall rating of fair, better than it was, but still not good.

The hours of daylight are diminishing and the water temps are falling. This is the old one-two punch that triggers baitfish and shrimp migrations and changes the feeding patterns of gamefish. The patterns are not consistent yet, and one or two days of decent catching aren't enough to hang your hat on, but these little teases assure us that great fishing is just around the bend.

As far as trout fishing goes, soft plastics are the best bet right now for lure chunkers. Topwaters are drawing a lot of slapping and blowups, not too many hookups. Fishermen throwing live croaker are still getting fish but that action seems to have slowed. My guess is that with the fall pattern emerging the fish are leaving the deep structure and there is less competition for forage. One aspect of the summer pattern that is still going pretty strong is occurring around the gas wells in the middle of Trinity and East Bays. Fishermen using live bait under popping corks in 6-8 feet of water seem to be pulling the biggest catches. Wading the flats is definitely producing better fish than they are getting at the wells but there are just fewer of them. The bites are fewer, put it that way. We have been seeing a few pretty decent trout coming on topwaters while wading, even a couple that weighed up to seven pounds but you really have to be a trooper. The bites are few and far between. Redfish action is fair to decent lately. The best action is being found in knee deep water on gold spoons, spinner jigs and Baby Spooks.

Looking at October prospects, all three major bays East, West and Trinity are holding lots of fish and the water quality is looking real good. The only thing missing is the right set of conditions to put everything into play. I think right now most of the water temps around the Galveston Bays are running around 81-83 degrees and that beats the heck out of 92 degrees. I look for some big changes to occur when the water gets down around mid-70s.

Good days are ahead of us, lots of good days. Look for bird action to kick off real good long about the 20th of September. The beginning of the bird thing almost always means a lot of small trout mixed with gafftop and skipjacks, and that is where we are right now. If you go out and find some bird activity and stick with it you can scratch up a few decent trout but it can get frustrating dealing with dinks and ladyfish. Give it a few more days, as we get around toward the next full moon it should really light up.

The fall pattern should be coming together by the first of month and one sure sign will be big balls of shad along the shorelines and they are just now starting to come out of the marsh. There will be schools of trout and redfish with these shad and naturally spoons, topwaters and soft plastics are always good in early fall. We are getting close, still in limbo, but our time of year is only a couple of weeks away.

The bull reds are starting to run the beachfront and lots of folks enjoy fishing for these brutes. Reports indicate that all the passes and channels are holding big reds, San Luis, Roll Over, Sabine Pass, Freeport jetties; the annual bull red run is in full swing. Right behind that we will have the flounder run. It is a good time of year and good things are starting to happen.