The blitz is on with the passing of the recent cold and will only push more of them south as the temperatures cool. We can expect the Snook to be on their way to their winter haunts, Redfish to remain in large schools, and one more good shot at the Silver kKing before the temperatures drop below 70 degrees. During our fall months, the bait is much bigger than August and averages 3-4 inches and sometimes up to 5, so our larger puglisi flies work really well when targeting Tarpon, Snook, Redfish and Trout.
Docklight fishing for Snook has been on fire for everyone fishing around the new moon. Small white flies tied sparsely can imitate an array of different things when retrieved accordingly and will always be the go-to for snook. Before the recent front, there were a good amount of snook scattered along the beaches, in the passes and on the flats but they’ll be quick to retreat with the water temperatures reaching 70 degrees this past weekend. Once the weather warms back up in a couple days, they’ll get back to chewing but look for the best fishing to be before the cold fronts in the upcoming months.
Redfish are in big schools and you’ll either zero or be a hero when targeting them last month and the next. Inside of Tampa Bay, the Redfish and Jack Crevalle mix together and oftentimes, the Jacks give away the position of the school because they’re unable to turn down food when in a pack. In other spots on the coast, look for ospreys or frigates hovering above the school either trying to grab one or pick off a snack the Redfish have pushed to the surface. This is by far the easiest time to catch a redfish and fly selection doesn’t seem to matter when they’re in the mood but I encourage everyone to still try and make a stealthy approach.
Jack Crevalle, Spanish Mackerel, Bonita, Bluefish, Ladyfish and some other assorted species can be found off the beaches annihilating everything in sight and it can make for some really fun action. For flies, a durable clouser seems to do the trick 90% of the time but in some instances it might be necessary to trim or pluck the fly apart to achieve a smaller profile.
Tarpon are still very active and will continue to be as long as the temperatures stay over 72 degrees. There are a lot of fish that will reside in Tampa Bay through the winter months and fishing for them will remain strong through October.