I thought it would never get here after the very hot summer, but the first cool mornings have arrived in Florida. Water temperatures have dipped into the mid 70’s and the mullet have begun moving out of the Lagoon’s and towards the nearshore waters. Tarpon numbers have thinned, but the redfish and speckled trout are gorging themselves on baitfish migrating out of the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon and the catching has been excellent. Not only was last month a great month of fishing in general, but I won the Xtreme Redfish Series September tournament for the Titusville division, besting a 14 boat field with a 13.86lb bag weight...this was the second redfish tournament I won this year.
The Redfish bite is excellent in the Mosquito Lagoon and the tidal waters around New Smyrna Beach for juvenile redfish from 5-10lbs. On an average day we are catching 10-20 redfish on a variety of lures and live bait. On high tides around Ponce Inlet, New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater redfish have been stacked on top of oyster bars or under mangrove branches. We’ve found consistent results casting topwater and surface plugs like the Mirrolure Top Dog or Mirrodine or we’ve sight casted a DOA shrimp or DOA CAL soft plastic for fish we see. In the Mosquito Lagoon redfish have moved into areas that last month were too shallow to fish. In the Lagoon we’ve found many redfish shadowing big schools of bait or laid up in deep sand troughs against shorelines and produced consistent catching using the same lures mentioned above. Trophy bull redfish in the 20-40lb range are wrapping up their annual spawn cycle and are in big schools in both Lagoons and around Ponce Inlet. A variety of live baits will ensure catching success, but if you can find a school that’s not being hounded by an armada of boats you can get them to eat topwater plugs, swimbaits and flies too. Fly anglers on my boat have had success lately throwing my mangrove crab pattern, a borski slider, or spoon flies.
Speckled Trout fishing is still consistent on the edges of flats 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 have been finding catching success using topwater plugs, suspending twitchbaits, or a popping cork rigged with a DOA shrimp. As the water continually gets cooler, trophy gator trout will stay up on the flats longer during the day giving us a better chance to sight cast a world class trout approaching 10lbs or better. We’ll find these fish lounging in sand spots near concentrations of bait and score using swimbaits, soft plastic jerkbaits, and DOA soft plastics like the shrimp and CAL.
The Tarpon bite is winding down inshore with a few fish still widely scattered in the ICW. We jumped another half dozen tarpon over 80lbs and landed 2 last month. Most of the real action right now is nearshore in the ocean, but the waves/swell over the last two weeks have been in the 3-6’ range which is too much for anyone to get out there and target them. While the adult fish have largely moved out of the area, we’ll still be able to specifically target resident juveniles from 5-25lbs in remote backwaters for the remainder of the year.
As cooler weather settles in Flounder will be picking up steam. From now through early next year is the best time to score on a big doormat Flounder, with November perhaps being the best month of the year. Mud minnows or small finger mullet rigged on a jighead or fishfinder rig near creek entrances around Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna will score on good numbers of flounder.
Limited openings remaining in October and November and December bookings have been filling quickly. 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.