First Air of Autumn

First Air of Autumn

Anglers should make every effort to spend as much time on the water as possible this month.

Story and Photography by Danno Wise

Although the seasons officially changed in September, October is when Texas inshore anglers see the first air of autumn settling over the coast. This is a good thing… A very good thing, in fact, as autumn’s cooler temperatures encourages a wide variety of saltwater fish species to be behave in a more aggressive manner and, in the bays and back lakes, spend more time in the shallows. Autumn is also a time of migration for many species found along the Texas coastal curve. All of this activity adds up to outstanding inshore angling action during October.

One of the most attractive things about fishing in October is the variety of species that is active and available in Texas bays. Not only can anglers pretty much pick the species they want to target this month, but it is also the best time to catch a “slam” of some sort (multiple species in one session).

Speckled trout will be among the top targets this month. For trout, October is almost like a double transition month. To start with, the cooler water temperatures will encourage speckled trout to spend much more time in shallower water. Later in the month, as the water continues to cool, fish will continue to hang out in the shallows, but will slowly begin transitioning from hard sand bottom areas to places with soft, muddy bottoms and deep water nearby – where they will the winter months. In many bays, they will frequently be found on flats within close to a Gulf passes, putting them in close quarters with redfish and flounder later in the month and giving anglers an even better shot at catching a “Texas Slam.”

Schools of redfish are one of the defining characteristics of October. Essentially, in October anglers are able to reap the fruits of seeds that were sown in late summer, when redfish began ganging up in huge herds inside the bay and began making their way to the nearest Gulf pass for their annual autumn spawn.