August and most of September were much tougher months to fish than I have seen in all my years fishing our area since 1974, which was 6 years before I began charter fishing.
While typically the second half of August begins what many of us call the dog days of August, those days started at the end of July. We had mostly southwest winds in August and a westerly current and much of that continued through September. And then the rain came in September.
Many days we had very little or no current and the sea water surface temperature was above 85 degrees. Not good conditions for top water species like king, ling, and dorado. Very little or no sargasso seaweed was found. I heard that most of the seaweed we usually get was still down in the Caribbean or Atlantic and did not make it into the Gulf this year.
We ran quite a few trips in August & September. Deep sea trips found an abundance of red snapper almost everywhere including near the surface in 90 feet of water (catch and release only as the Federal red snapper season is closed).
The last week of September and the first week of October fishing improved dramatically. We found scattered kingfish from 12 to 40 miles out (15-30 lbs.) along with the occasional keeper ling, a variety of sharks to 8 ft., large stingray to 180lbs., a few Spanish mackerel, lane snapper, and more - but no dorado.
Most of the anchored shrimp boats up to 40 miles out had only large schools of remora ( shark sucker fish) and a few sharks, but no other fish.
Our bay and jetty fishing trips are seeing more bull redfish each trip as we approach the peak run which I believe will occur this month. Also we are seeing a variety of sharks, along with some gafftop, and the occasional stingray, Spanish mackerel and some panfish.
As water temperatures begin to cool a little more in October, I believe we will see more consistent catches, both inshore and offshore.
Thankful for some relief from all the rain in September and looking forward to relief from the summer heat as October continues.
Wishing you all calm seas and tight lines!!
- Captain Paul Stanton
Visit the Galveston.com Fishing Guide for more information.