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Redfish take up slack while specks in holding pattern

Oct. 10, 2012 at 5:10 a.m.
Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 5:11 a.m.

Good catches of redfish have been had along the entire coast. Here, Capt. Charlie Newton of Rockport nets a red on the Estes Flats.

Where did all the big schools of speckled trout go? I wish I could answer that question.

Specks do this every September and early October, waiting for summer to transition to fall; and, we scratch our perspiring heads trying to pattern them.

Redfish have taken up the slack. If you like catching reds, the past month has been a boon both in the Gulf and bays. Rising tides and shorter days have sparked schooling activity in back bays, lakes and sloughs, while a rough surf has activated ocean-spawning bull redfish.

"Bull redfish have been steady at the jetty on live shrimp," said guide Mike Cacciotti of Galveston. "It has been good for just about the last month."

Guide Mike Williams of Tarpon Express said a charter this week caught and released 22 bull redfish to 42 inches along the beach front.

Guide Kirk Stansel of Hackberry Rod and Gun said they have taken half-limits of trout lately, but the mainstay has been redfish.

"The reds have been incredible," he said. "They have been at the weirs, on the reefs and at the jetty. Most have been caught on live bait and some have been taken on topwaters in West Cove."

Stansel said they have been waiting for birds to begin working over schools of trout, but most of the birds have been over redfish.

"It has been kind of weird, all the birds have redfish under them and very few trout."

Stansel said the first real cold front of the year should get the trout going.

"Any day, really, and those birds will be over trout. We need our marshes to dump some water and when it does there will be both trout and redfish all over the lake," said Stansel.

On the north end of Trinity Bay redfish have been good in the marsh and around the spillway for waders tossing Gulps, gold spoons and small topwaters. Reefs in five feet of water or less have held slot reds on soft plastics.

"It happens every year," said guide Mickey Eastman. "The trout disappear and the reds take over, but that will all change as water temperatures and tides drop."

Established East Matagorda Bay trout haunts were redfish havens last week. Limits of redfish were taken on Gulps under a popping cork and soft plastics.

"There were redfish everywhere," said guide Charlie Paradoski. "We must have caught and released over 50 redfish."

Reds had been scarce for most of the summer in West Matagorda Bay, however, they have returned.

"It's been easy limits lately," said guide Michael Rolf. "The tides have got them going on the reefs and in the sloughs."

Back bays have been good for limits in Seadrift and Port O'Connor as well, according the Bay Flats Lodge guide Harold Dworaczyk.

"We have been throwing baits to mud holes along windward shorelines," Dworaczyk said. "Lots of reds have been up to 28 inches."

The northwest winds early this week did drop tides and lower water temperatures, and the front blowing through today should continue the transition process.

Fall fishing could bust wide open any day.

Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (binkgrimes@sbcglobal.net).

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