Beautiful is the word that comes to mind when thinking about the weather, water and fishing of late.
The daytime temperatures have started to cool and the weather has been very consistent with a light breeze out of the east which keeps our gulf water calm and clear.
Consequently, the fishing is very good. Snook are still prowling the beaches, passes and adjacent bays. Tarpon have started their fall migration heading south from points north. Redfish are lurking along the mangrove shorelines at higher tides, jacks seem to be everywhere and mangrove snapper are still around in good numbers with many 10” keepers still being caught.
I’ve always loved sight fishing snook along the beaches. They love to hug the shore and are easy to spot when the water is clear and calm. They can be very spooky and many times tough to get to bite but regardless are fun to pursue. There are still snook in the passes and adjacent bays. We got a nice one the other day in one of my favorite bays south of Naples, see pic below.
I’m seeing tarpon along the beaches which is the norm for this time of year. Baitfish are everywhere and consequently bigger fish follow. Early morning is best and they also can be tough to catch as they are selective and it can be difficult to “match the hatch” when they are eating mouth fulls of small bait fish.
I’m also seeing a few redfish along the beaches along with the snook although not nearly the numbers that we see snook. It’s a fall thing as this is the time of year they’re most prolific. There are decent numbers of reds in the backcountry which has been the case for a couple of months. I’ve always thought it odd how we can go for months catching only a few reds and then they seem to show up out of nowhere and hand around for a few months.
Got into some nice jacks yesterday. We were cruising south along the beach when we saw this dark mass in the water. We slowed down, put down the electric motor and moved up on them. They were tough to get close to but we managed to get an 11 pounder which Chris & Julie tag teamed. See pic below. I love big jacks, especially in clear water. There had to be 100 fish in the school and it’s quite a sight watching them swim by the boat in gin clear water.
Sharks are still cruising around. We’ve been catching nice bulls and lemons in some backcountry bays not far from the passes. I’ve also seen some sharks along the beaches and on some of the nearshore wrecks.
It’s maybe my favorite time of year to fish, let’s go before it’s over.
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