Tides highest of the year short of storms
Oct. 8, 2017 at 7:06 p.m.
Updated Oct. 9, 2017 at 1 a.m.
Summer officially ended last week with the autumn equinox. Though the calendar may claim it is fall, warm temperatures continue to hang around Texas.
How does fall affect coastal fishing? That's a tricky question to answer, since there are so many variables.
Eventually, another cool front will arrive. Those cooler nighttime temps do wonders for coastal fishing, knocking water temperatures down at least a couple of degrees, and a couple of degrees can put life in stagnant wildlife.
Autumn tides swelled this week to tropical storm-like levels. Like every fall, tides should be above normal until the first hard cold front blows water out of the bays.
Until then, expect redfish to fill the back lakes and grassy shorelines. Reports from Sabine Lake to Galveston Bay to Port O'Connor have confirmed those expectations.
On Sabine Lake, marsh tides have been high and redfish have readily eating small topwaters and weedless soft plastics. Bloated water levels also encourage large, solitary trout to extend their boundaries to the upper reaches of estuaries. So when casting to a pod of marsh redfish, don't be surprised to find a silver streak cruising the shallows.
Galveston Bay anglers have used the tides to work reds on the south shoreline of West Bay. The hard sand shores have been holding large schools of reds willing to eat soft plastics, Gulps and gold spoons.
Matagorda Bay anglers have found large schools of redfish on the shorelines as well. Live shrimp, mullet and topwaters have worked well. Back bay areas like Oyster Lake, Crab Lake and Lake Austin are holding healthy populations, too. Birds have worked at times, and expect that pattern to only get better as tides fall.
Port O'Connor guides have consistently scored limits of reds on plastics and natural baits since the end of August. The jetty has been fire-hot on natural baits. Higher tides do make it tougher to find schools of trout, so look for signs, those signs being slicks and birds.
Guide James Plaag of Silver King Adventures in Galveston Bay said trout have been "slicking" over shell on the lower end of the bay. Birds have begun to pick shrimp, too, just not in October and November form, yet.
Matagorda trout have been hanging to a summer pattern with water temperatures hovering solidly in the upper 80s. Trout are over sand and grass in West Bay and holding over deep shell in East Bay.
Guide Tommy Alexander reported much better fishing this week with limits of trout over deep shell on Norton Bull Minnows. He said mid-bay reefs are holding better trout on topwaters in the morning and late afternoon.
The same has held true in Palacios where guide Ray Sexton reported limits of redfish while wading the points of shorelines laden with shell. Limits of black drum have come while tossing live shrimp under a Mid-Coast popping cork.
The good news is: it only gets better as fall grows older.
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