by Capt. Craig Lambert
So far we have had several early cold fronts and this has made fishing not only comfortable but really good. Consequently we have had a lot of rain since summer ended and hopefully that will keep going throughout fall to keep our marshes healthy and produce a banner recruitment of young trout and redfish for next year.
I have seen a lot of birds working in the past few weeks and that is a little early. But I am not complaining at all. Birds are fun for action but tough to fill up the box. A hard outgoing tide is usually best for bird action but I have seen a few days where they were working hard on a slack tide also. A dozen or more seagulls sitting on the water is a good sign that there may be fish in the area. So do not pass up a few birds sitting in the middle of the bay.
We have finally arrived to October and I personally look forward to this time of year like it is Christmas everyday. This month offers tons of opportunities for catching a lot of fish so lets start with the basics. Our best tides this month will be the afternoon outgoing tide. The jetties are full of redfish and so is the concrete ship, Feenor flats, the Bolivar wells and other structures along the ship channel. They will all hold some big reds at one time or the other this month. Live or fresh dead shrimp on or near the bottom will produce in a big way.
The speckled trout are still holding in deeper areas (3-9 ft) like the wells in Trinity, the reefs in East and West bays and there are still a few scattered along the reefs of the ship channel. Other areas to mention are Campbells bayou, Dickinson bayou and the San Jacinto River. The croaker soakers are crying because October 1st is typically the "official " end of the season but they will still catch a few fish. However, the shrimp and artificial bite is now in the full "ON MODE".
I prefer live shrimp under a popping cork and there are certain methods and techniques that just work! I am going to give you my exact set up for those that are not so confident in what they are throwing. The most important part of this set up is the cork. I personally only use one cork and that is the Evolution by Midcoast Corks. These corks are superior for many reasons. The first is the concave top which allows for a really strong "pop" which pushes water and gives you the desired noise and water movement. The second reason I like these is that they are durable. Unless you lose one they are going to last a long long time. The third reason and most important is that they just catch fish. Underneath the cork I use 30 lb monofilament and it is best to use some type of leader material or Ande line which is what I use. Its stiffness makes Ande line a good leader type material. Consequently a sotfer limpert mono like Berkley Big Game does not make for a good leader. I also use a 1/8th oz barrel swivel that I run the line through twice so that is stays on the line where I want and I can slide it up and down. Last but not least is the hook. I have always used a #6 treble hook that is 3x strong and that seems to work best for me. Use this set up and I guarantee you will catch more fish this year!
Take a kid fishing they deserve it!!!