With fall just around the corner, we’re starting to see fish move up on the flats, getting ready for their winter patterns as we start fishing later during the day. Snook, redfish, trout and many more species are roaming around the flats and bay area reefs. Reefs and wrecks are holding a lot of mackerel, mango snapper and some keeper grouper this time of year and will be over the next few months. When bottom fishing these places, I like fishing the slower tide so I can use the smallest weight possible to get down to the bottom, then add as the tide picks up. I will also put out a flat line for mackerel and sharks. As you start moving up to the flats this month, you will find a lot of fry bait to nice sardines. That means fish are moving up on the flats to feed. In 2-5 feet of water you will find trout feeding as you move into 3 feet and above. Up to the mangroves you will find snook and redfish feeding. In the fall I like the outgoing tide to about halfway up the incoming tide.

Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at

Latest posts by CapMel Staff (see all)