We're now into September and the fall mullet run has begun here on Central Florida's East Coast. A couple of weeks ago Tropical Storm Fay stalled over the region and dumped upwards of 10-20 inches of rain around us. Not only did that raise water levels around here for a while, it also turned on the fishing in a big way!!! Rarely is a storm a welcome relief, but Fay really kicked the fishing up a notch. The storm didn't deter my activity during August as we still managed 20 days on the water and 13 charters. In less than a month we'll be receiving the first cold fronts of the year and we'll also begin to see the transition in fishing patterns. Get it while the gettin is good. So let's get to the report...
We had another outstanding month for Tarpon in August. I've already surpassed my record number of jumped fish and landings from 2007 and still have about a month to raise those totals. If the action holds steady, we will likely hook over 80 tarpon this year on our local inshore waters. We're generally fishing tarpon from 5-125lbs every day around Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River, or around Ponce Inlet. Highlights from August included a client landing a monster (estimated 100-120lb) fish in the Mosquito Lagoon and a day where clients jumped 5 tarpon on fly, landing three of those. My personal highlight was having the outdoors writer for the Daytona Beach News-Journal publish a feature story about me and our local tarpon fishing this past month (we sadly had an 80lb fish spit the hook on us before being photo'd). I&'m still holding lures and fly choices close to my vest, but anything that looks like a mullet will generally work. The fish are really on the move, but I currently have approximately 20 areas to fish them.
We're also now working out way into fall type patterns for Redfish, that include lots and lots of shoreline sight fishing for slot size (4-8lb) fish. It's the best time of the year for redfish topwater action, but we're throwing lots of spoons and plastics as well. My hand tied fly creation has been dynamite lately for my fly fisherman, as well as the mud-minnow bunny fly that was hot last month. The GIANT reds are in big spawning schools and this is the easiest time of the year to catch a handful of trophy fish each day. With the right conditions, each day we're averaging 5-10 redfish in the 20-35lb range. Black Drum are still active players on the flats, the higher water is helping them hide from all the other people now fishing them as well. We've only been hitting them if everything else is slow and they are good for a few catches each day at a minimum. All of the fish are generally in the 3-10lb range.
Spotted Sea Trout are really working the mullet pods. The best bites are coming in deeper water working plugs, plastics and pigfish or mullet. Right now they are low on my priority list until it starts getting colder and the sight fishing improves. But we're still getting good shots each day on the flats while we're looking for redfish. Snook fishing has been pretty good in the early morning and overnight hours still around the docks in Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange and Daytona. Snook season opens today and the best chance for bigger fish right now is at Ponce Inlet, where you have a shot to catch 28-40 inch fish drifting the jetties. Mullet, pinfish and croakers have been a great choice for bait. Shark fishing is good up around Ponce Inlet and the nearshore waters, with some occasional fish spotted sightfishing the backwaters up in that area. We've landed a bunch of spinners and black tips and last week I got a 4-5 foot bull shark in 60' of water, a mile off the beach on a nice calm day.
September is going to be really busy, limited dates are available. Lots of good openings in October. 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.