September equals the beginning of the fall transition in the Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River, and around Ponce Inlet. Cooler temperatures greet us to start the mornings and astronimical high tides raise water levels considerably. These two ingredients typically signal the fall bait run to start...and when it does fish feed aggressively before it’s gone. I fished two tournaments within the past month, both with my son. In the Skinny Water Redfish and Trout tournament we brought in the top total weight in the speckled trout division with nearly 10lbs for our two speckled trout. In the other, the CCA annual youth inshore tourney, I guided him to a overwhelming win. He took 1st place redfish (biggest in tourney), 1st place speckled trout (biggest trout in tourney), 2nd place Jack Crevalle, and 1st place Overrall Grand Prize for all age groups. Lately, we have begun to see water clarity clear up considerably after dealing with extreme dirty water all summer. This allows us to do more sight fishing. The redfish and trout bite has been really strong over the past month. Giant trophy class bull reds are schooling to spawn in a couple different areas. We’re also finding pretty good numbers of tarpon, jack crevalle and a few flounder. September is going to be about the last month we are able to fish with pigfish and/or croakers for the year, soon they will all be too big to use and will migrate out of the area. The catching has been really good lately with several days of 10+ redfish and 15+ trout per day.
The Redfish action has been the best thing going. Cleaner water has allowed for more sight casting and higher water levels have pushed the action to the shorelines, grass flats, and on top of oyster bars. We’re coming across numerous redfish in the 4-10lb range in these shallows, finding them in small schools, singles, and pairs. They’ve been eating best on soft plastic jerkbaits and shrimp, spoons, and plugs in addition to live shrimp, live mullet and pigfish. Bigger adult redfish have been on the move to Ponce Inlet and towards the Indian River to spawn. When you hit the right pattern, multiple fish are being caught over 25+lbs. The catching during the past week was really good, with most days producing 10+ redfish. This action should continue right on through the rest of the month.
The Speckled Trout bite continues to be good and consistent on a daily basis. Higher water levels moved most of the trout off of deeper edges and up into shallower waters where they are shadowing schools of finger mullet early in the morning. We’re still using pigfish for most of our trout catching, but with higher water levels we’re catching some big gators on live mullet now as well. The lure action has picked up with a return of cleaner water; soft plastic jerkbaits, topwater plugs, and crankbaits have all worked lately. Catching has been consistent, with most days producing 10-15 trout. During the past couple weeks we’ve caught numerous trout over 5lbs, with a couple big fish between 7-8lbs.
Tarpon numbers have been strong in the ICW around Ponce Inlet, New Smyrna and down into the Mosquito Lagoon. Colder ocean waters have kept the tarpon action inshore and with the onset of the fall mullet run, most of these fish will hang around one more month feeding on the abundance of bait. Once the first cold front settles in later this month, most of the tarpon will leave the area, with only the resident juveniles sticking around for the coming winter. We’ll throw swimbaits, plugs, jigs and live bait to these since they are in 10-20’ of water.
In addition to the above, we’re also finding loads of Jack Crevalle around Ponce Inlet and the ICW around New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater. Some days you’ll find them crashing bait fish on the surface, other days they are hanging 10’ deep. These fish will eat a variety of lures and live baits and provide constant catching action. The cleaner water has also helped the Flounder action. The first cold front of the year will also trigger a mass flounder migration towards Ponce Inlet and the catching will be steady. Some of the biggest fish of the year will be caught from now through November.
Don’t miss out on this transition month of fishing. Only have about 12 days left open for the rest of September. October dates are starting to fill quickly as well. As always short notice trips are available if I have the date open. Call or email to secure a reservation. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. Read my fishing report archive to review write-ups from the past several years. I look forward to fishing with you soon…386-212-4931.