Fishing Report – 10/5/12
The only way to describe fishing in Southwest Florida the past month is HOT.
Redfish, snook, trout, jacks, flounder, tarpon, sharks, everything seems to be in fall transition mode, which means they are all looking to eat.
Almost everyone we’ve fished with has been able to achieve an inshore slam, meaning they’ve caught a trout, redfish, and snook in the same trip.
The reds are loosely schooled up right now, and they are littering the flats and potholes, anywhere from just below the slot limit (18″) to well over the top (27″). We’ve been catching them on spoons, mirrodines, white bait, and pinfish. The top half of the incoming/outgoing tide cycle has been best.
Snook haven’t been big, but have been very willing to play – tons of them along the mangroves right now, with a few foragers out and about on the flats. Our biggest in the last few weeks has only been 25″ or so; that said, we haven’t been targeting them, just picking them up as bycatch.
The trout bite is also really good right now, and catching a limit isn’t hard. Remember, you can only keep 4 per day, with only one of those over 20″ – on my boat, we do not cull, and 4 18-19″ trout eat about as well as anything. Leave the big ones to catch again next time.
It’s the second (and lesser known) tarpon season in Southwest Florida – the fish have moved up into the harbor, rivers, canals, and backcountry. This is the time of year to break out the fly rod to target 5-15 lbers. These fish are notoriously hard to hook, so enjoy a morning when you can jump a handful – you were going to turn them loose anyway.
Below are some pics of a recent trip – I’m trying to be better about taking pictures, but when the catching is this good, it’s hard to put down your rod, even for a few minutes!
If you’ve never fished in paradise, make sure you book your trip soon. Fall is one of our favorite times to fish, and it’s only here for a limited time!