Fall is finally in the air and in the water, too! Cooling water temperatures and changes in the angle of the sun have triggered the early stages of what we have come to call the "fall run." During this time of the year, a multitude of fish species begin to form big schools and start moving around the bays and along the beaches.
Perhaps the most eagerly awaited autumn opportunity is the flounder run. While we do catch quite a few flounder throughout the year, fall is when the fish congregate and literally cover the bottom in areas they’re moving through. These fish make their way from summertime hangouts through the inlets and into the Gulf of Mexico where they will stack up on nearshore structures. During this period, flounder are quite aggressive and will eat for as long as you’re are on them. I recommend a Carolina or dropshot rig with a live finger mullet, pinfish, bull minnow or shrimp. You can also do very well with artificial lures if the water isn't too deep and the current isn’t very swift. Fishing regulations can change, so be sure to check with the FWC to ensure you’re in compliance.
The redfish bite is always killer in October and that’s when you’ll catch the biggest fish, especially when cruising the shallow flats in our area. I prefer to fish when the water is high and the redfish tend to school up in shallow marsh sloughs, areas of flooded reeds and in spots with sandy depressions and potholes right along the shoreline. As the tide turns and begins to fall, these fish will often move out in front of creeks, ditches and any kind of run-off with a slight current. These are also good spots to find big speckled trout lurking on the sidelines, waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey.
If speckled trout fishing is your preference, then you are in for a treat. Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a steady increase in not only the number of fish I’m catching, but also in the number of trout I see swimming and grouping up. The bulk of my success has been on grass flats with lots of broken bottom and variances in depth where there’s a decent flow of water from the tides. I’ve been most successful when the winds are blowing onto the flat, which stirs up the water a little and also extends my casting range so that I can stay further from the fish while still being able to present to them. As with other species there has been many recent changes in regulations so I encourage you to keep up with current FWC laws and limits.
As always, if you have questions about what’s biting, how to catch them or want to book a trip, give me a call or shoot me an email. Good luck!