COASTAL FOCUS: Upper Mid Coast

September 25, 2017
September 25, 2017

The Hunt for Reds in October

T he September equinox officially marks the coming of autumn. However, we typically don’t see a noticeable difference in the weather until the very end of September or the first part of October.

These changes offer a lot to anglers when it comes to coastal fishing. It means that the blistering heat of summer is once again behind us. Much more comfortable fishing conditions are in store for us in the weeks ahead.

With the exception of a couple staggered seasonal frontal passages, October should also mean that moderate winds begin replacing the higher winds we’ve experienced over the past few months. A decrease in the amount of daylight hours will soon become noticeable, as well.

The entire environment begins undergoing an instinctive transition as nature preps itself for the colder months of the year. The sheer amount of evolving adjustments is far too numerous to list here, but anglers are usually interested only in the changes that affect the fish and the fishing.

Savvy coastal anglers know the kind of fun that the changes in October can bring. They recognize this month as being the most significant time of the year for the beautifully brazened, wide-shouldered, and hard fighting redfish.

Any of a number of different reasons explain why this month is so popular for redfish, but this being the time for their urge to spawn is probably at the top of the list. The male redfish are ready to spawn every day, or every night as it may be—and the females every few nights.

Regardless, it’s breeding time for these big bruisers, and they get hungry. The appetite of the redfish is at its highest, especially for the large females. They will literally want to eat anything and everything they can manage.

These big mommas are ravenous, and will often attack anything that closely resembles any of the natural food sources—small crustaceans, worms, eels, crabs, mud minnows, shrimp, mullet, shad, piggy perch, croaker, etc.

Their persistence in fulfilling their hunger cravings means the odds are tipped in the favor of anglers right now. So, hang on for the ride once it starts, because it does promise to be fun.

October is historically known to present much higher tides than other months. So, a huge number of these big reds will be found foraging for food atop real estate that might not have been covered by water until now.

Marshy areas such as the numerous back lakes on Matagorda Island are primo spots to pinpoint your search for reds taking advantage of these higher tides. Higher water covers more of the marsh in many of the back lakes, which means there will now be water in grassy spots that offer protection to a lot of the smaller crustaceans and baitfish.

What follows the bait into the grass? The redfish, of course!

Anglers are often able to place either natural live bait, or plastic imitations, right up against the bank and reap great success, even in some really shallow water. Wading anglers often stand an even greater chance. They are able to cover a lot more surface area by casting and retrieving top water baits and plastic tails tight against the grass line as they move quickly and quietly down the shoreline. 

As we progress through this month and into the next, a couple other things anglers need to consider in their approach to successful fall fishing for redfish, as well as for large trophy-class trout.

The first thing to think about we discussed previously. The days will continue to get shorter, resulting in less sunlight each day. Secondly (mainly for the artificial enthusiasts out there), keep in mind your bait’s silhouette whenever you’re fishing these low-light conditions.

Anglers who fish artificial baits should transition to dark-colored lures and experiment with the more common plastic suspending baits. These darker, suspending lures imitate the silhouette of a mullet and contrasts the bait better against the sunlit background.

Tight lines to all, and be safe out there.


Contact Capt. Chris Martin at 

[email protected]

or visit



Email Chris Martin at [email protected]

or visit

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