October fishing report
The weather getting cooler; the bites getting hotter….
It is an awesome time a year to be fishing the local Sarasota waters with temperatures on the fall and fishing is on the rise. With that being said the fish are moving and grooving all through Sarasota looking to be aggressive and eat as much as they can, which is great for us. The fish are really active this time a year.
First, always when you first go out have a game plan starting with am I going to use artificial or am I gonna live bait. Once that is determined use your eyes looking for birds, bait, Mullet, moving water, any anomaly that sticks out to you. For me I love to find the birds: usually if you find the birds head to them - tons of jacks, lady fish and trout are always ready to FRENZY up around those birds . The birds are feeding on the white bait underneath, and the fish are feeding on the bait that are on top so it causes a sandwich effect causing the bait to breach the surface .
After you get the skunk off the boat start chasing your big 3 which is SNOOK, Redfish and Gator Trout. Will start with snook which is my favorite.
Right now the snook are very opportunistic: they are lurking in the dark and feeding in the light - structure structure structure - whether it’s a dock oyster bed or pass current, they are there and feeding. Right now the best baits are white paddle tails with a 1/4 jig head swimming it at a steady natural movement in those light areas, across docks on to the oyster beds or, if in heavy current, about a foot off of the bottom. Most of the snook are sitting half way in the water column, hiding and waiting for the bait to cross face. For all my live bait anglers, net as much white bait in your local area as possible find a good oyster bed or sand flat and chum chum chum with the bait live. What I do is get a dip net full of white bait, give it a couple of good squeezes, and spread them - this gives them an injured motion that the snook can’t resist! Once the cum is out, start looking for those fish to boil and bust that bait on the surface - once that occurs you’re in the money. Take a live white bait on a 3 ot circle hook with a 30lb or less fluorocarbon leader and send em into that chum. You will be successful shortly.
Next is our elusive REDFISH. For them keep it simple, looking for deep docks in a steady current . Once that is found a simple Live shrimp on a lead weight will do the trick. The more current the heavier the weight. I put the lead about a foot above a 3 ot circle hook and try to get as close as you can under the dock. If the redfish doesn’t bite, a quality mangrove snapper, black drum, or snook will beat em to the punch but stay confident and you can stumble on schools of hungry reds…
Gator Trout: although the trout are not in full swing yet they are there and getting more aggressive as the water cools. For the trout you’re looking for grassy bottoms with sand flats or off of oyster beds where the water starts to deepen up. I like to fish in the 4-5 foot range bumping grubs off the bottom via split tails paddle tails and stick jigs. For my color choice I like to match the hatch or usually dark on dark light on light matching with water color. The trout vary in size between 15-25 inches with trout I like to say 1 is a fluke 2 is a habit.. they love to frenzy up - don’t be surprised to pull 10+ out of 1 spot.. for my live bait guys, Pinfish, shrimp and white bait all are successful on a popping cork with a circle hook attached, or for the shrimp I use a 1/4 jig head with the cork about a 1-2 foot about depending on depth of the water. Don’t be surprised towards the end of the month to hook up on some big gator trout.
These upcoming months are my favorite times to fish - get out there and bend those rods and remember: confidence is key. Stay confident and you will be succesful in life and on the water. Good luck and happy fishing!
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Capt Tony jr -sr
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