by Capt Mullet
Get your reels respooled, lubed up and geared up because fall is finally here and it is time to get serious and take advantage of the best fishing season of the year. The opportunities this season brings to anglers is almost overwhelming so let's take a look at what is on the agenda for the next 10 to 12 weeks.
September's transition from summer to autumn keeps the fish moving around and heading to different areas as the bait they are following adjusts to the cooler water temps. Fleeing shrimp are starting to show up everywhere in Trinity and Tabbs Bay so I expect good things to come in those areas very soon. Redfish have been thick in the San Jacinto river. Although they have fooled me on a few days they are usually found along rip-rap walls along the channel and areas near underwater pipelines. The well pads in Trinity are producing best on outgoing tides and areas of East Bay are beginning to really shine also on moving tides.
The end of September offers the last few shots for most anglers to land that most sought after and world's greatest gamefish, the mighty tarpon. This weekend is forecasted for a day or 2 of light winds and minimal seas so I am sure the tarpon guides and anglers will take advantage of this great weather and go look for them along the beachfront. Drifting fresh shad or mullet will keep you busy catching sharks while coon-pops drifted or trolled just above the tarpon will offer the best opportunities for jumping a silver king.
The jetties will be lighting up also as breeding redfish are ganging up for their annual spawn. If catching big brutes on light tackle is your love then get ready for the bull red run. Lots of areas along the beach front and ship channel will offer opportunities for targeting bull reds including the concrete ship, bolivar wells, channel structures/markers and spoil banks. Trying to time your trip at the turn of the tides is usually your best bet for getting on that good redfish bite. These beautiful fish are the health of our fishery so let's all make a conscious effort to release these fish properly back in to the water. Hold their tails and shake them back and forth for 10 minutes if you have to but usually a few minutes will do it. They will swim out of your hand on their own when they are ready to go.
As October begins Trinity Bay, West Bay and East Bay begin to light up with bird activity on hard outgoing tides in the afternoons. This will offer non-stop fishing action for hours. Topwaters and plastics are on the menu and catching is the order of the day. As the feeding frenzy occurs below the surface it attracts gulls and terns to fleeing shimp on the surface thus giving away schools of hungry predatorial fish. This fast paced style of fishing will keep you coming back for more. October is by far the best month for chasing the birds.
If wadefishing and getting in up close to stalk the shallows is your thing then mid-October is the beginning of what I consider the "wading season (Oct to April)". The excitement of spotting a fish, making the perfect cast and hooking up is about as good as it gets. Seeing that beautiful big yellowmouth speck come dancing out of the water is enough to take your breathe away on that perfect moment in time. My first thoughts after that are keeping those knees tight together. The last thing you want is a large redfish or speck running between your legs and tripping you up. I guarantee your buddies will think it is the highlight of their trip while you are probably cold, wet and/or fishless.
Finally November arrives and the fishing becomes even better than October with trout and redfish practically gorging themselves on every moving tide. As the bird season comes to an end the flounder run and the trout bite are peaking at that same mid-November time frame. The topwater bite is awesome this time of year and it will offer a lot of incredible fishing action during this time.
Flounder season is in full swing during November and the flounder will get larger in size thru their migration with the peak being Thanksgiving. Feeling that flounder thump is another moment in time I just cherish and look forward to on every fishing trip. Setting the hook like Kevin Van Dam is in order for my style of flounder fishing and those flounder pull like bull dogs.
The fall equinox arrives on September 22nd as does the beginning of our best fishing of the year. SO don't keep talking about going fishing. Make some plans and go take advantage of our fabulous fall fishery here on Galveston Bay.