OCTOBER 2018 FEATURED ARTICLE BY CAPT. BRENT HOPKINS – USCG LICENSED FISHING GUIDE
October, A Time of Bounty & Magic
October is one of those magical months during the year in which to fish, and one of my favorites in which to get out on the water for a really nice day of fishing. When October arrives here in the coastal bend, our water and air temperatures have normally cooled down considerably compared to summertime highs. We start to lose the seemingly endless supply of baitfish in the bays, and a lot of the fishing pressure due to weekend warriors because of hunting seasons opening up across the nation. Also no matter what kind of bait you prefer to fish with, the bait of choice will usually produce a fish on the end of your fishing line. With all of this setting the stage, let’s go into a little more detail about the fish, how to catch them, and where to find them during this magical month.
Speckled trout tend to start holding a little more over a darker bay bottom. Start your search in the mornings over darker bottoms such as shorelines with lots of submerged grass beds, and mud/grass bottoms for your better quality of fish. Deep water is usually not an issue at this time of year, and nervous baitfish is always a plus holding on this kind of structure. The fish will more than likely only be in these kind of areas early in the mornings when our water temperatures have cooled during the night. Around the lunch time hour, after the outside air temps & water temps have risen, you should start looking towards more of a sand/grass and sand/shell bottoms to be more productive. If you’re a live bait fisherman, one of the best baits to use is live piggy perch free lined over these areas. Artificial baits also start making a strong comeback during October. It’s not exactly rocket science this time of year the either. Pick just about any bait that you have confidence in out of your tackle box and tie it on. As long as you have confidence in your selection of lure, and some baitfish in your fishing area, the lure of choice should produce some fish for you.
Redfish are pretty much a given during October. Redfish will be mainly on the shorelines and on the flats which have a lot of grass and sand pockets. One of the best ways to find redfish is to look for a lot of large mullet leaping out of the water. Also try fishing the windward shorelines and wind swept points in approximately 1 to 2 feet of water. Some of my favorite places to find redfish during this time of year too is the mouths of the many creeks leading into our back lakes on a falling tide. As for the bait of choice, it gets no easier than in the month of October. With the falling water temps, a lot of the little “bait robbers” & “tail biters” will start to leave our bays during October. All natural baits will work for redfish during October such as croaker, piggy perch, finger mullet, mud minnows, shrimp, and cracked blue crab. As for the artificial side and wade fishing, stick with the 3″ and 4″ soft plastics with a paddle tail for vibration and gold spoons.
Look for our flounder bite to pick up considerably too during this month. The absolute best places to look for flounder are at the mouths and just inside of our feeder creeks leading into our back lakes on a falling tide. Wade into these areas whenever possible and concentrate your efforts in the mouth of the creek, and just inside the channel right up along the edges of the shoreline. It is no secret that mud minnows are a killer bait for our flatfish. Rig them on a fish finder rig and drag them along them bottom at a very slow pace. Soft plastics, rigged with some sort of weight, are also a very good way of really covering an area you are fishing for flounder. But you must try and keep the bait on or very close to the bottom while fishing it slowly.
Some of the not so glamorous fish that are always eager to bite in October are the Black Drum and Sheepshead. These fish are great table fare and easy fish to catch for all fisherman. The bait to fish with is a simple one; live shrimp fished under a cork. The kind of areas you need to fish and look for are shallow oyster reefs such as we have in Carlos, Mesquite, and San Antonio Bays. Anchor your boat up so that you can fish along the edges of the reef and on top of it. After you have fished a spot for 10 to 20 minutes with no luck, move on. But if you should catch a fish or two fairly quickly after setting anchor, fish the area for at least another 20 minutes before moving on. Many times where there is one of these fish, there are others nearby.
If you’ve never tried October saltwater fishing, it is time to do so. It is truly a great time of year to be out on the water, and also a time for “anything goes”. I would be willing to bet that you will have a memorable experience with what October has to offer in the salt.
Call Capt. Brent Hopkins for Questions, Trip Date Availabilty and to Reserve!
Only hire a USCG Licensed/Texas Parks & Wildlife Certified Fishing Captain!