The View: October 2019

The View: October 2019

We never know when October will finally turn into October. It’s different every year. Some years warm, some years cool. Cooler weather gets our autumn fishing going with shrimp leaving the bays and birds working everywhere. Warm weather keeps us stalled in a late-summer pattern. One thing we do know is we love October.

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 reds with small topwaters and live shrimp under a Mid-Coast cork.

As the redfish begin to move from back-lakes into the bays they will be found over grass beds of both northside and southside shorelines. Many anglers will toss a shrimp right against the edge of the grass while others will wade the same areas tossing DOA Shrimp or small topwaters, like She Pups and Super Spook Jrs.

Some of the largest redfish will be found in the middle of East Bay under flocks of feeding birds. When things are really firing off in the fall there can be as many as ten to twenty groups working in the bay. One will have solid trout beneath; the other will be all redfish. Many times when terns are circling it is a sure sign of redfish.

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 a cork. There will be plenty of both in October.

Normally, the in-between days of summer and fall make speckled trout a bit finicky, especially when winds blow and you can't get to the fish. That’s when redfish take up the slack. Higher tides push reds to the back lakes where they begin schooling along shorelines. It's not uncommon to find pods of two to four dozen fish with noses down and turquoise tails waving above the surface.

We toss small topwaters and soft plastics under a cork (to keep it out of the shell) at those fish, sometimes with triple hookups; but, when three are bowed up with a big red, chances are lines are going to cross and hooks are going to pop.

The first few cold fronts of the year have significance. Swelling fall tides push water to the back reaches of the marsh where shrimp stage before starting their trek to the Gulf of Mexico. Not until a blast of cold north wind hits the coast do tides fall and shrimp begin descending out of the marsh.

Typical weather patterns seem to be later and later every year. The last few years the first cold fronts have not arrived until November, so "working the birds" has been happening later. However, while anglers are waiting on gulls to dive, mid-bay reefs are left alone. Fewer and fewer people wade during the fall, but there are some great fish that hang on the reefs just waiting to eat a big Super Spook or Top Dog.

Most of the reefs have drop-offs from years and years of oyster dredging and the trout like to work the edge of the shell and the mud. Most of those hotspots are on the tips of the reefs and can be reached with a solid cast.

With the warm September we’ve had, I’m ordering multiple cold fronts for October. I’m ready for cool autumn skies, great fishing, and the arrival of migratory waterfowl.