With the onset of September, fall is nearly here. The beginnings of the annual fall bait run are starting to take place locally with daily schools of mullet moving south down the coast and the inshore waters are teaming with finger mullet and hatches of pinfish over the grass. As fall nears, a transition in fishing patterns takes place. September is perhaps one of the better months to fish in Florida; hungry fish gorging themselves preparing for the winter months and daily chances to score a backcountry slam of redfish, tarpon and trout.
Redfish again yielded a super and consistent bite during August in the Mosquito Lagoon, North Indian River Lagoon, and around Ponce Inlet. The key theme during the past month has been the annual spawn. In all locations, schools of GIANT bull redfish are on the move and spawning around the moon cycles. At Ponce Inlet drifting blue crabs, finger mullet, pinfish and croakers can produce trophy redfish. In select areas of the NIRL and Mosquito Lagoon, massive schools of trophy bull reds will crash topwater plugs, swimbaits, flies and a variety of live bait. Remember these fish are spawning, so limit your catch, land them quickly, and release them with care. On the shallow grass flats in the Lagoons and around the oyster bars and mangroves around New Smyrna, we’ve been sight casting smaller juvenile redfish in the 5-10lb range. Increasing water levels have opened up more fishable territory, flooding areas and structure that have been high and dry all summer. On average we are still getting 10-15 redfish per day. The top lures have been topwater plugs, swimbaits, and DOA shrimp. Fly anglers are getting good action with deceivers, spoon flies, and crab patterns. Mullet and pinfish have been the top live bait choices.
Tarpon are scattered throughout both the Mosquito Lagoon and the NIRL, ICW, and nearshore waters. If you want to score on a late season tarpon time is running thin as most of the adult fish will migrate out of the area by months end. Like last month, many fish made a run to spawn around the last full moon cycle and they have been filtering back inshore since. We found good tarpon numbers every day we looked, and the bite was pretty good each time we did. We hooked another dozen fish during the month, landing a couple in the 70-90lb range. One of the proudest moment of the year was watching my 9yr old son jump two, landing one which was his first tarpon, a fish in the 80-90lb range. The DOA baitbuser or a swimbaits has been the top lure choice lately, and for pickier fish a live mullet or pinfish have produced bites.
Speckled Trout fishing has been consistent on the edges and in the deeper creeks and sloughs where there is a good concentration of baitfish. Pigfish and croakers will score consistently on numerous trout for live bait anglers, lure anglers will find great success in the same areas working a popping cork rigged with a DOA shrimp. Extreme amounts of floating grass have made using surface plugs a tough and impractical task. While a majority of the trout are in deeper water right now, as fall moves in and the water cools off, we can expect great sight casting for big gator trout again.
I have limited openings remaining in September and early October. The next 6 weeks can produce some of the best fishing of the year for trophy redfish and tarpon. Call or email now to reserve/book a date. Short notice trips are accepted if I have the date open. 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…386-212-4931.