SPARKLING SUNSHINE WITH much milder conditions is what October should have in store for the coastal bend area.
This month marks the beginning of the fall fishing pattern where cooler water conditions typically coincide with higher tides. Taking advantage of these stronger high tides will mean that coastal anglers should plan for some truly great trout and redfish action in the back lakes when fishing this month.
Fall is pushing our way, bringing with it shorter days and cooler nights. With the approach of each minor front,you should prepare for the transition from hard sand and shell bottom to that of the soft mud and grass bottom offered in the back lakes.
Plan to be at your initial destination earlier than usual. Start your first wade session about an hour prior to dawn. Historically, many of October’s fish caught in the lakes have been taken real early in the morning or very, very late in the day.
Although it’s true that fall is emerging, it doesn’t mean winter is here. We shouldn’t encounter any extreme fronts for quite some time, so we’ll probably still experience the southerly-influenced winds that we’re used to.
We’ll continue to see higher October tides that will push fish into places that the fish don’t normally have access to, hence the back lakes and their surrounding areas. A number of the lakes areas weren’t available to anglers during the summertime due to low tides. They should now begin to hold anywhere from two to three feet of water during certain high-tide periods this month. These flooded lake areas are where an active bite will relocate during periods of falling surface water temperatures. To put it simply, the lakes tend become a great place to be each October.
This time of year, binoculars can be a great tool when you try to decide the best place to lower the power pole or setup for your first drift. Shut down your boat prior on entering the lake and carefully scan the surface area for any signs of bait or fish.
You really need to be able to pinpoint large baitfish when searching for fall fish, so use your binoculars to key-in on slicks, nervous bait, or mud boils. Once bait or fish activity is sighted, attempt to position your wade or drift upwind of the target area.
As a general rule, unless noticeable bait activity in a different area dictates otherwise, try to set up on the windward side of the lake. This gives you the wind at your back while casting, and it sets you up for a wade or drift all the way across the open water of the shallow lake.
As for what to throw at the fish, artificial aficionados should probably opt for casting top water baits in the back lakes. Surface plugs offer the most life-like resemblance to mullet; and they are, by far, a favored bait in the back lakes.
Many believe that fish will only strike top water baits during low-light conditions. However, many monster trout have proved the argument false.
Another false belief is that fishing with top waters is most effective only in calm-to-moderate wind conditions. But, again, some of the most productive top water sessions have taken place during heavy and increasing winds.
Regardless, the next few weeks will offer coastal bend anglers huge opportunities to boost their confidence while fishing artificial lures in the myriad of back lakes on Matagorda Island just adjacent to the southernmost shores of San Antonio Bay.
This is a great time of the year to hone your top water skills. There is no better time to increase your confidence level, and no better way than by chunking top water lures.
Be forewarned, however. During this transition from hotter months to cooler months, you might find it necessary to grind from dawn until dusk, but the rewards can certainly outweigh your effort.
Put your skills, and your patience, to the test this month. This might just become an opportunity to top your personal-best catch.
Be safe out there, and have fun!
Email Chris Martin at [email protected]
or visit bayflatslodge.com