The average high air temperature on the southeast coast of Texas in October is 83.2 degrees and the average low is 58.4 degrees. Add this beautiful weather to hungry fish, and you have the makings of enjoyable days of fishing the Matagorda area in October. Typically the wind is light, but there are days when the wind blows from the northeast at around 20 mph. When that happens, you might as well stay home because the water is rough and brown, and the fish are turned off. About ten days of the month of October, fog forms on East and West Matagorda Bays. Hearing a boat coming in your direction at full speed, but not being able to see it is scary. It is best to let the fog lift, which usually happens by 11 a.m., before venturing out. But when the tide is moving and the weather is pleasant, it is not hard to find action.
Many fishermen believe that when water temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees fish are stimulated to feed. My records show water temperatures in East and West Matagorda Bays are between 63 degrees and 81 degrees in October. Many mornings in October have strong outgoing tides. When current is moving out, and you position yourself at the mouth of a bayou that drains a considerable amount of marsh, chances are you will catch trout, flounder, or redfish. In October, the possibility of coming home with bragging rights after catching a Texas Triple (flounder, trout, redfish) are the highest of any month.
Cool weather triggers fish to feed up for the coming winter. In October, flounder are very aggressive feeders. They tend to move along the shorelines of the bays in schools; so if you catch one, go right back to the same place and slowly hop your lure over the bottom. I was fishing with a red and white Bass Assassin soft plastic on a 1/6 ounce jig head tipped with a little piece of Gulp for scent in West Matagorda Bay. The wind protected, grassy shoreline was about a foot deep. A flounder hit my lure like it was furious at it. I put the 19-inch flounder on my stringer and went right back to the same spot and repeated the process three more times. However, flounder dont always put the whole lure in their mouths on the initial hit. If you reel in a soft plastic lure with the tail bitten off, try another hook setting tactic: let the flounder hit the lure and allow the line to go slack and wait, the flounder will swim with it and when you think the fish has committed to eating the lure, set the hook.
October is when white shrimp move out of the bays and into the Gulf of Mexico. Gulls, terns, pelicans, and fish are all tuned into this cycle. Trout and redfish chase shrimp from below and the birds pick them off from above. Fishermen in East Matagorda Bay look for loud, boisterous birds diving into the water and then set up a drift that will place them in a position to cast to the fish, without disturbing them. It is best to shut down your engine well before reaching the action and use a drift anchor or a trolling motor to get close to the feeding activity. West Matagorda Bay has this phenomenon also, but the trout in East Matagorda Bay tend to be bigger. Fish in these feeding frenzies will hit anything, but the action does not last long, so get the fish off quickly and get your lure back out there right away. Artificial lures are preferable in this circumstance, because if the lure is not destroyed, you can get the fish off and cast faster.
For kayak fishermen, October in either East or West Matagorda bays is a great time to find redfish working the shorelines. Just look for fleeing shrimp and fish as schools of reds feed parallel to the shoreline and listen, they splash and bash as they attack prey.
Add ideal water temperatures to pleasant weather, and fish that are aggressively feeding, and you have the conditions for a great a great day on the water in October in East and West Matagorda Bays.
THE BANK BITE
Location: West Mooring Site Park on the ICW, Sargent