Mid-Coast Bays: October 2019

Mid-Coast Bays: October 2019
Two big firsts for Cody Kocman this day; first day wade fishing and first slot redfish.

We enjoyed some great fishing in September. Thanks to my Shallow Sport X3; we were able to make it to the surf for trout and reds, and several nearshore gulf trips chasing schools of tarpon, bull reds, and sharks. Unfortunately there were days when the wind and weather were just too unstable to venture out there, but that was okay…the Port O’Connor-Seadrift region provides many fishing options.  

On windier days you always have your choice of wading protected shorelines in any of our local bays. For customers not comfortable with wading, we offer drift-fishing in back-lakes. And there’s always San Antonio Bay reefs, some of which are protected from a variety of wind directions.

On calmer days, when the gulf was still too rough to fish, we waded or drifted the many reefs and spoils in West Matagorda and also in San Antonio Bay. As you can see we pretty much had any kind of fishing scenario handled.

October will be bringing some changes, though, namely the first serious cold fronts of the season. The north winds of these fronts will be strong enough to redirect which shorelines we will be concentrating our wades. We will also be seeing a good deal  less boat traffic.

The harsher cold fronts will trigger the local redfish population to begin gathering in schools, the prelude to their fall spawning migration. The reduction of disturbances from boat traffic on the bay shorelines will encourage the reds to gather into larger schools. This always means great fishing for those of us still on the bays.

You will start seeing more birds working over migrating shrimp in all the major bay systems. But pay close attention to San Antonio Bay and its upper reaches – Hynes Bay and Mission Bay. You can expect to catch many different species while “working” the birds. I have caught redfish from eighteen to upwards of thirty-four inches. I have also caught speckled trout, sand trout, gafftop, ladyfish and probably a couple more species that I am not recalling at the moment. This is the perfect type of fishing to introduce a youngster to the art of using artificial lures. The bite is often rapid-fire; you can hookup cast after cast no matter how you work the lures. Did I mention the fish will be going crazy eating shrimp?

On wading days, I will target the maze of reefs in San Antonio Bay, when the wind allows, of course. The same scenario will be playing out with the shrimp on the reefs as I described above in working the birds in the open bay. The current will be washing shrimp onto and around the reef points and the hungry trout and reds will be there waiting. The game here is tricking trout and redfish into eating our Saltwater Assassins; Purple Chicken and Magic Grass.

If we are fishing pre-front conditions, meaning a howling south to southeast wind, you will see the bow of my Shallow Sport X3 headed to the protected south shoreline of West Matagorda Bay. I prefer this bay over San Antonio because of the expanse of the shoreline. Actually, to put it pure and simple, there seems to be less shoreline burning idiots in this bay system to ruin your wades. Or so it seems, anyway.

When wading the West Matagorda south shoreline, I generally start off the day with my trusty MirrOlure She Dog. Usually the CRBK (black back with chrome body) to match the migrating mullet in the area. If the fish are not hitting on top, or if the effort yields mostly blowups and only a few hookups, my next bait will likely be the MirrOdine XL. The MirrOdine XL color will be 27MR21 (black back silver belly). You guessed it…to match the mullet.

If your confidence is greater with soft plastic, you would do well to rig up a Bass Assassin Sea Shad (paddletail) rigged on a 1/16-ounce Assassin jighead. My favorite colors are the new Purple Chicken and Magic Grass. These two colors cover the two basic color principles for me. Purple Chicken has the dark back with the silver metal flake belly to cover the lighter end of the color spectrum. The Magic Grass with its dark purple back and its dark green belly covers the darker side. These are my personal go-to soft bait colors and yours may vary. As always, the best rule to follow is to use the color or colors that give you the greatest confidence.

Fish hard, fish smart!