As we approach the end of September, we’ve been having the first few cold fronts of the fall. Water temperatures are dropping and the fall mullet run will be soon winding down. This is a major transition period for our inshore fish and bite activity can rapidly change into full blown feeding frenzies on a daily basis. For the next 6 weeks it’s going to be redfish and speckled trout day-to-day. Tarpon are moving out of the area into the Atlantic Ocean, snook are on the move towards their wintering areas, and flounder will begin moving into the backwaters again. Around major weather changes (rapidly cooling water or heavy rain accumulations) bite activity can be epic!
Water levels are way up so fishing for Mosquito Lagoon Redfish has been great for singles and doubles cruising shorelines and schools tailing on shallow flats. In the Indian River Lagoon and at Ponce Inlet bull redfish have been schooling by the hundreds to spawn. It’s a great time of year to catch redfish on topwater plugs, spoons, or soft plastic jerk baits. Otherwise shrimp, cut mullet, or pigfish will guarantee bites. Some days we’ll catch a few, other days we’ll wear with close to 20. Most of this depends on weather for the day as major weather changes will trigger intense bite activity. After a recent major rain event we found a school of 200+ redfish in a tight ball tailing madly on a shallow grass flat. Another day where the water temp dropped 8-10 degrees had every fish on a shoreline slamming baitfish and crabs. Bull reds that are spawning will often eat whatever is thrown in front of them…plugs, spoons, and flies. Soon the spawn will be over and these big reds over 20 pounds will scatter widely and we’ll quit fishing for them till late winter.
It’s been quite the bite lately for Speckled Trout in Mosquito Lagoon with lots of 18-22” fish being caught with higher water levels and increased bait activity. They know colder weather is on the way so it’s time for them to “get it while it’s good”. We’re still getting 15-25 trout a day working pigfish on drop offs in the Lagoon and flooded oyster mounds and drainages around New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet. Several trips recently caught nearly 10 trout a day in the 3-5 pound range. As we get into November we’re gonna start to see the giant gator trout moving up shallow to lay in sand holes and sand sloughs for most of the day instead of retreating to deep water shortly after sunrise. Free lined mullet in these areas will be a great ticket to a speckled trout over 10 pounds.
The last recent cold front dropped water temperatures into the mid 70’s and many of our inshore Tarpon quickly made their way to Ponce Inlet and just offshore along the beaches. We’ll still find some stragglers hanging out in the ICW chasing schools of big mullet but the best is likely over. Swim baits, jigs, and free-lined large mullet and pinfish will draw interest. If we can get some calmer winds and light seas there can be epic fishing in the ocean on bait pods. The smaller tarpon in the 5-10 pound range will be here through the winter and we can find consistent bites into November.
Snook are still scattered but you can see them starting to get more concentrated with slightly cooler water temps. Over the next 6 weeks all these fish will be on the move to where they are going to spend the winter. Now we are catching some here and there on deep shorelines and docks. I’m a cold weather snook fan and do my best catching November through March. Judging by how many snook we saw this summer and the increasing sizes, later this fall is going to be one for the books with 10-15 pound snook.
October and November can be awesome fishing during the fall transition. While many people are in the woods hunting or settling into school schedules they miss some great catching. I’ve got half of October still open and a bunch of days in November. I take last second scheduling if I have open days. Call me at 386-212-4931 or email to secure a date. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. I look forward to fishing with you soon…