Redfish have been the mainstay lately as summer transitions to fall.
Originally published on Wednesday, October 3, 2012
With nippy air blowing from the north, it feels good to have to wear a light jacket in the boat at daylight. The next six week's should provide the best fishing opportunities of the year as tides and temperatures dive.
Here are a few hangouts:• Obviously, the mouths of bayous and marshes on a falling tide are fall hotspots. Places like Contee, Pringle, Fifth and Power lakes near Port O'Connor are solid. Oyster Lake, Crab Lake, Horse Trailer Lake, Boggy Lake and Lake Austin are good choices in Matagorda. The middle reefs in Galveston Bay and areas along the north shoreline of East Bay are great fall locales. Live shrimp under a popping cork, roach-colored plastics or small topwaters worked across points are choice offerings.
• Don't be surprised if birds work in the back lakes, especially on an ardent falling tide. Stay back from the pack and gingerly work the covey so not to spook the fish. I can recount past autumns where one flock of birds filled a limit of both trout and reds.
Waders should work the same terrains, but more methodically. In East Matagorda Bay, Boiler Bayou, Kain Cove, Hog Island, Catch-All Basin and Brown Cedar Flats hold solid trout since all of these spots have a mud bottom. In Port O'Connor, fish Grass Island, Mule Slough, Panther Point and the various reefs in San Antonio Bay. Corkies, Super Spooks, She Pups, SkitterWalks, Catch 5s and your favorite soft plastic gets the job done. In East Galveston Bay, work the refuge shoreline or the Bolivar shoreline near Rollover Pass.
If you prefer staying in the boat and anchoring with live bait, the fall offers excellent redfish and black drum action. In Matagorda, Shell Island, Twin Island, Mad Island Cut and any other piece of shell holds fish when a shrimp is casts to the shell. Port O'Connor spots like Bill Day's Reef, Chickenfoot Reef, Panther Reef and any of the over one hundred reefs littering San Antonio Bay are players. Watch for oyster boats dredging shell and remember that spot for another day. Harvested reefs are especially good the next day when things have settled out after being overturned by the dredging.
There is always the bull redfish run if you prefer to tangle with a brute. Large reds are being caught at the jetties and passes of all along the coast on cracked crabs.
Sight-casting to redfish along a muddy grass-line is always fun, too. Watch for ripples, wakes and jumping shrimp near the grass and wait for the freight train to pass. Then toss a spoon, shrimp or soft plastic in front of the school and loosen your drag.
For flounder, work soft plastics, Gulps or soft plastics tipped with shrimp over muddy bottoms of marsh drains and bayous.
Most all marine species are on the move in the fall. Fishing should only get better in the coming days.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (email@example.com).