AS WE GET INTO OCTOBER, the summertime heat is behind us. The fall transition should be well underway now that September has passed and things are starting to cool down a bit.
Falling air and water temperatures will signal to the trout and the redfish that winter’s approaching. They’ll automatically know that it’s now time to start fattening up. They’ll start eating heavily to adequately prepare for when things turn much colder over the course of the next few months.
Finding a meal shouldn’t prove to be too difficult for the fish this month. Area bays and marshes are full of mullet, shrimp, crab, mud minnows, and shad, all of which the trout and redfish absolutely love. They’ll need to eat all they can now, because the baitfish will start exiting the marsh and surrounding shallows as temperatures continue to drop.
October is well-known as being a time of much higher tides, especially along our stretch of the middle Texas coast. This means a lot more water than usual will be pushed into the back marsh country and up against outlying shorelines.
Grass that is usually sticking out of dry land may now be covered by higher tides, which means the trout and the redfish will suddenly have a lot of new real estate to hunt food over.
If you’re a wading enthusiast, this is a great time of the year to walk tight against the grass along shorelines consisting of mud and grass or mud and shell. It’s not uncommon to see redfish foraging through the grass itself in search of small crabs and shrimp. Keep a keen eye on any water movement you may notice right at the edge of the bank.
In San Antonio Bay and Espiritu Santo Bay, are some nice wading areas to look for trout and reds this month at times of higher tides. This includes the windward shorelines of most any of the back lakes such as Pringle, Contee, Long, Pat’s, Twins, and Panther.
If you fish in either of these two major bay systems prior to an approaching frontal system this month, you’ll more than likely be met with a substantial south wind. When this happens, look for the bite in places such as Lighthouse Cove, the outside shorelines of Pringle Lake, South Pass Lake, and the many, many miles of protected shoreline all the way down to Ayres Point in the southwestern most region of San Antonio Bay.
You should be able to catch your October trout and redfish on artificial lures or live bait. If you’re targeting redfish while throwing lures, try the Berkley Gulp three-inch shrimp in the New Penny color. These baits have produced numbers of redfish bounced across the bay bottom on a jig head, or while fished beneath a popping cork in the shallows.
Try the same three-inch Gulp Shrimp in Pearle with a Chartreuse tail beneath a popping cork for the trout. They love them!
Berkley makes the Gulp baits in a lot of different colors. So you might just need to try different ones until you find the one that produces the best results for you.
If you’re a top water aficionado, then get out on the water at every opportunity during October. Historically, this is one of the most fun months of the year for catching trout and redfish on the water’s surface.
As we discussed earlier, the fish are feeding in preparation for the change in seasons, so just about any mullet-imitation top water can be most effective right now. Periods of calm, low-light conditions are your best bet for success with top waters, so shoot for working your surface walkers early in the morning or later in the evening before sunset.
A lot of anglers prefer throwing smaller baits in calm and light wind conditions, saving the bigger bait models for high-wind days or choppy conditions.
If you’re able to fit any immediate post-frontal days into your October fishing schedule, the Matagorda Island surf remains a highly productive option. It’s worth investigating while there’s still a north or northeasterly wind blowing following a cool front.
As water temps continue to drop slowly, you can sometimes find large groups of mullet holding tight to the shoreline along the beach. If possible, take a boat ride along the beach. If you see mullet taking to the air in an attempt to escape their sealed fate, stop and fish the area with either live or artificial baits. Until next time, good luck out there, and be careful!
Email Chris Martin at [email protected]
or visit bayflatslodge.com