The elusive tarpon also swims our waters during the fall season. Instead of cruising down the beach as they do in the spring, silver kings move into the bays during fall and begin feeding on large schools of red minnows. You can often see them rolling the surface in depths around 30 feet, especially around thick bait pods. It’s rare to catch them near the surface, so I opt for heavy jig heads with soft plastic bodies fished near the bottom. The vast majority of strikes will occur when you slowly raise the lure off the bottom and then allow it to flutter back down. Tarpon almost never strike when bait is twitched or displays any type of erratic action. Lots of big Spanish mackerel also will stay close to the bait balls, so it’s a good idea to always have a small spoon with a light piece of leader wire at the ready. These fish usually jump out of the water when feeding on the surface, so locating them is fairly easy. I don’t usually go around looking for them, but if I run across a school of feeding fish, I usually stop and make a few casts. Bigger fish are often hanging out below, waiting for leftovers from the feeding frenzy to sink down toward them. Big bull redfish, cobia, kingfish and other species are likely to be lurking near spots where other fish are feeding in open water.
Fishing in the Fall
Monday, September 3, 2018 9:00 AM by Capt. Nathan Chennaux
Captain Nathan is a USCG licensed captain, fishing guide, and outdoor writer at Bay County Outdoors. He fishes out of Panama City Beach, FL.
Captain Nathan can be reached at (850) 258-7235 or CaptainNate@BayCountyOutdoors.com