Fall has definitely arrived here on the inshore waters of Central Florida's Space Coast. The first cold fronts of the season have begun to dip into Florida, dropping morning temperatures low enough that a light jacket is necessary. There's never a slow month for fishing here in Florida, it just changes with the seasons. Redfish, snook, and speckled trout will be the staples of charters during the next two months, with the occasional opportunity for some late season tarpon. No slowing in activity, as I had another 11 charters and 20 days on the water in September. On to the report...
Falling water temperatures have signaled the fall migration of adult Tarpon to leave our area. They are now staged around Ponce Inlet and just offshore along the beaches. For the next couple of weeks we'll occasionally locate some small juveniles, but the bite will be diminishing as these fish move towards deep holes in the remote backcountry. But what a year it was, as we jumped 73 tarpon on light tackle and fly on our inshore waters and landed 23 of them. Of that total, about 30 of those were tarpon between 50-125lb and we landed 2 over 100lbs.
Sight fishing for Redfish is picking up pace and will continue to do so as the bait run thins, and the water gets cooler. The waters are turning clear and as the water levels begin to fall later this month, big schools of 100-500 fish will start to form. But for now the action is tight to shorelines and sand spots for scattered slot size (4-8lb) fish. It's the best time of the year for redfish topwater action, but soft plastics are hot too. My hand tied creation "NL Crab Puff" is being eaten without a second glance (and the only one who has the tying recipe is me). GIANT reds are still schooling to spawn and schools in the NIRL are blowing topwater plugs out of the water. While these GIANTS are still available every month of the year, I basically quit fishing them November-January unless the conditions are glassy.
Black Drum have saved many days when the bite for other things is slow. There are three areas in both lagoons with massive schools of 500 fish that will jump all over a live shrimp. They will also eat my crab puff fly which is another opportunity for my fly anglers. The schools are packed with fish in the 3-10lb range, with the occasional fish in the 10-15lb range. Spotted Sea Trout are really working the remaining mullet pods. It's been a great bite with a variety of lures (plugs and plastic) and catching 30-40 trout has happened more than once recently. Sight fishing for giant gator trout in the 7-10lb range will improve as the water clears and gets a bit cooler, with the occasional sighting of a 11-15lb trout.
Snook fishing is pretty good and about to get exceptional. There are fish scattered on the flats of the lagoons and around docks in the river. These fish are gorging themselves on baitfish moving with the fall bait run. By the end of the month all of them will be on the move towards the backcountry holes they will call home for the winter. We'll likely be catching 20-30 snook a day by the end of November.
Good openings are available throughout October, and the holiday season near Thanksgiving is always a busy time. Book a trip with me now to experience some of the best fishing of the year. I look forward to fishing with you soon, please call386-212-4931. Here is a sample of recent pictures just added to the Galleries. You can also read reports from the past year by visiting my Report Archive.