Fall is an exciting time for shallow water saltwater fishing. Here are some October Fishing Tips from Captain Thomas Barlow, a valued member of the Buggs Pro Staff.
During the month of October, we usually get a few fast moving cold fronts that quickly bring the water temperatures down into the 70’s. This is a great thing for those who like to sight cast to redfish in the shallows. The cooler water temperatures allow the sediment in the water to settle out quickly and it cleans the water up nicely.
When the northers hit, you get lower water temperatures and quickly draining marshes and hard outgoing tides. This jump starts the Fall Fishing Frenzy of all of our game fish species. Redfish, Trout, and Flounder will be eagerly awaiting the mass of shrimp, crabs, and bait fish that come out of the marshes into the surrounding lakes and bays. This hot fishing action lasts til most of the bait is gone for the Winter.
Look Throughout the Bay System
The next part of our October Fishing Tips is where to look for fish. During this time of year, you will find fish in every area of the bay system. Redfish will stack up on the outgoing tides in the marsh drains, outside shorelines, and open bay reefs. Trout will come up shallow in the cooler water and gorge on the many schools of shrimp and bait fish. You can also expect to find birds working over schools of redfish and trout in the shallows and open waters of the bay.
During the month of October, Flounder are gearing up for the mass migration to the gulf and they will be located in all the major drains, passes, and flats associated with these areas. They are fattening up for the Winter time and are voracious eaters. You will also find an abundance of larger fish seem to be M.I.A. during the Summer months.
Bring Your Buggs!
When targeting these species during the month of October, Buggs are a very effective tool for everything we love to catch.
Here are my methods for sight casting to Redfish, my favorite thing to do during this time of year. I use my trolling motor or push pole (your kayak will also work well) to slowly make my way across shallow flats or bayous. When I see a redfish I will usually throw the Bugg as close to him as I can, letting the lure fall gently to the bottom. Instead of hopping it like a normal jig head, I pull it along the bottom very slowly. This creates tiny mud puffs, leading the Redfish to think that a small crustacean is skipping along the bottom.
Hang on, because when Redfish see this they usually pounce on it with gusto! If the Redfish spooks from casting it too close, you can try coming at him from various angles. Make a cast about two feet away, and slowly pull the Bugg in the direction of the fish.
Trout and Flounder are equally eager to eat Buggs. It’s best to target drop offs, ledges, and points with current coming around them. Working the down current side of any drain, ledge, or corner will usually be very productive. For Trout, I like to work the Bugg quickly with up and down motions and quick hops. For Flounder, I like to take very small hops along the bottom allowing the current to help pull the Bugg down current and wait for that all too familiar THUMP!
The best colors for this time of year are anything that resembles shrimp, crabs, or bait fish. Blue Crab is my favorite, but Texas Tea, Chained Beast, and Glow Chartreuse are also tops in my book. All the other colors work, you just have to tie them into your situation and water pattern.
As the evening moves on you’re more likely to come across that sweet sweet watermelon smell and a slick on the water. This signals the arrival of my personal favorite, Speckled Trout! To hook up with one of these spotted beauties you should tie on a fresh curl tail jig. Don’t be afraid to try different color patterns, and to switch to a 3/8 oz. if you’re casting to deeper water. Buggs offers a great variety, but my favorite color is the one I’m catching them on! Instead of working it slowly across the bottom like you were for reds, you should pop it and let it sink repeatedly until you feel the soft mouth of a trout strike it! Then set the hook by pulling back firmly but not too quick so as to not jerk it out of its mouth.
The trout haven’t been in full force lately but your bigger trout are around. As the sun starts getting low and the trout bite has faded, I then switch to a topwater bait on my Spring Fishing trips. As I make my journey back to the boat I’m hoping to trigger that last big lonely trout to top it all off. I cast away from the shoreline as far as I can to cover as much ground as possible. Then I’m back to the boat, slap worn out, with an ice chest full of fish. The adrenaline is still pumping from a great wade session, and I take a load off. All I can do is watch the sunset fade to the west after some awesome Spring Fishing at my favorite place in the world, Cat Island along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As I head back to Long Beach harbor I’m already planning my next adventure!
October is by far the best month for fishing the Texas and Louisiana coastline for Trout, Redfish, and Flounder. I hope you’ll go fishing and put these October Fishing Tips to work. Get out and enjoy it, take some Buggs with you and see how productive they can be! If you have any more questions about how to use Buggs, feel free to email me.
Captain Thomas Barlow – Notorious Guide Service – [email protected]
Thanks for visiting the October Fishing Tips page. I hope you’ll benefit from this expert advice from Captain Barlow. Keep in touch and let us know how you do!