by Capt Craig Lambert
This past month was definitely not the October I was hoping for and I hate being cynical but I am cautiously optimistic on what to expect for the rest of the fall season's outlook for speckled trout.BIG DADDY REDFISH!!!
I have been catching a lot of speckled trout and a few sandtrout these past few weeks but when they are all 14 inches long it starts to make you wonder what is going on after awhile. Same thing basically in West Bay, Trinity Bay, East Bay and up in the San Jacinto River. Evidently our speckled trout population has taken a hard downturn this year from what I can tell. I keep hearing all kinds of scenarios from other guides and anglers like "its still warm", "after the next front", "almost time", etc etc. But as the fall passes by us this just doesn't seem to be the case. I could tell something was up earlier this summer when it would take a few more stops and few extra hours too limit out rather than quickly like in years past. Undoubtedly populations naturally go up and down so hopefully this is just a naturally occurring bad crop this year and it isn't from overfishing. If it is from overfishing we could be seeing a 5 trout limit up here very quickly.CUTE REDFISH!
Thankfully there is no shortage of redfish out there so they have been keeping it interesting. Shallow flats (2-4 ft.) with heavy shell and mud are my target areas for redfish. Sheepshead, black drum, flounder and a few small trout have been mixed in with rat reds and keeper redfish. Almost like a smorgasbord of fish in the better areas. I haven't had a chance to throw artificials much (except under the birds) so live shrimp has been the bait of choice. Dangled about a foot or 2 above the bottom suspended by a Midcoast Evolution cork is a perfect scenario for all types of species. On the higher tides look to the back lakes for the best action.WE HAMMERED'EM. NOTICE THE SMILE!
The fish are moving shallow and the bird activity in Trinity Bay has been very good. Of course catching keeper speckled trout is hard to do but lots of fun schoolies. Some days I cant pull any keepers and other days I will get 8 to 10 decent trout from under those chirping birds. I prefer late afternoon outgoing tides for best bird activity. When you can go out and catch 150 fish in a trip it doesn't matter how small they are. It is a blast! We have caught a few redfish under the birds but mostly they are coming from shallow flats over heavy shell.OVER THE SLOT BUT UNDER THE BIRDS!
If we can ever get a real cold front we might have a decent flounder run this year. This is our jewel in the basket for this month and no doubt that targeting flounder is definitely the absolute funnest fishing for the entire year in my opinion. There is something exciting about dragging that bait along the bottom and getting that "FLOUNDER THUMP". Berkely Gulps will be my bait of choice and I will be using a 3/8th oz jig hopped along the bottom around pylons, walls, humps, reefs and rocks/riprap. It is disappointing to hear that the Yacht Basin has gone private but it may keep the flounder traffic down in the Galveston channel. Many smaller boats not being able to safely make the journey in tougher weather. So I am not complaining too much about it. Typically early in the season the Seawolf Park area and flats is best but expect a lot of undersize or smaller male flounder to push through that area first. As November deepens the fish will get bigger and by late November the peak of Flounder season will be among us with 5 to 8 pounders being caught daily. So get on out there and make it happen this month because November is still the best month of the entire year!! REDFISH GALORE
Take a kid fishing!!!