The View: October 2016

The View: October 2016

Fifteen years ago it was crowded to see three boats on an October weekday afternoon in East Matagorda Bay. People were more concerned with getting deer camp ready and duck blinds brushed. Indeed, times have changed.

Sure, the birds still work in October, but the last few fall campaigns have been more of a November thing. That doesn't mean fishing stinks in October, it just means if warm-weather patterns persist, keep your September plan in your back pocket.

All guides in Matagorda are wondering what October will bring. We really don't know. Fishing has been so good all year long we expect it to get even better as the water cools down.

We have already begun to see signs of the good ole' days with all the freshwater that has rejuvenated our bay system. More good news is we have already enjoyed more bird action this summer than we have for most of the past three falls. The spark that gets birds working is the amount of water in the marsh. When tides are high, which is normally the case in early autumn, shrimp retreat to the backwater areas and nurseries. Then, as tides recede, often after the first cold front of the year, the marsh dumps those bloated tides and shrimp ride the current to the bays.

October tides are a boon for redfishers. Like shrimp, when tides are high, redfish wander to the back lakes and marshes. It might be cruising the grass line in Oyster Lake, staging on shell pads in Crab Lake or circling the reefs and drop-offs at Shell Island. Live shrimp under a popping cork is the best course of action.

With all the shrimp in the back lakes don't be surprised to see schools of trout and redfish follow the pods of crustaceans. There are times you will have back lake birds working to yourself.

As always, the scattered shell and mud in East Bay is a player for trout with light winds and green tides. We like to toss topwaters and soft plastics while drifting in October, but if the month is abnormally warm, live shrimp under a popping cork still gets the job done.

Waders know getting wet puts you in a better position for taming bigger trout. The mid-bay reefs in East Bay ask for a Corky, She Pup, Super Spook or any of your favorite soft plastics.

Autumn tides also send bigger trout and redfish to the shorelines. Don't be surprised to see birds working tight to the shore. You can stay on them longer on foot than you can in a boat. One of my fondest memories of fall is wading the Oyster Farm one crisp afternoon and tossing a plug to a single shrimp bounding to the surf. Let's just say I still remember every cast.

West Bay often gets overlooked this time of year but there is plenty of potential and very few boats to compete. Redfish cruise in herds poking shrimp from the grass line and just about any bait tossed in front of their noses gets gobbled up.

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