The variety of species that are caught inshore in the August / September time frame can be quite limited. In a nutshell, redfish dominate the scene, with a very occasional decent snook showing up now and then. With that said, the last few charters have produced good numbers of big redfish. A triple hook up on redfish all over thirty inches was the highlight of the most recent charter. Catching these fish can make for a relaxing day, which is good based on the temperatures in late summer. No need to catch that whitebait bright and early. Drop a few pinfish traps the night before a planned trip, or early the morning of and give it a few hours to fill. Once 15 or 20 good sized grunts and pinfish are obtained, it’s off to hunt redfish. Average tide days make this more challenging so wait for the full or new moons to plan the next trip. As tides deepen the water over pothole covered flats, the hunt can begin. Look for mullet activity to increase the odds of success. As water pushes higher, mangrove shorelines come into play. Both areas can be productive and, it appears that schools of fish are starting to gather, so it is possible to find fast action. Smaller grunts and pinfish can be used whole but tossing out big, cut chunks of these baits accomplishes two things. First , it puts scent in the water and second, by hooking these chunks inside out thru the belly meat, it makes the bait very difficult to remove, letting the bait work for longer periods of time as it is somewhat immune to being pulled of by small catfish or pinfish. If fishing an open flat, rod holder your rods and get a cool drink and sit under the sun shade. The fish will almost always hook itself. If fishing the mangroves, it’s best to hang on to the rod as keeping big fish out of the trees may require quick action.
Water temps are just starting to show some signs of dropping so look for near shore reefs to come into play for mackerel and snapper in the coming month. Bonita, barracuda and other fish may make guest appearances as well. By loading the bait well with whitebait and chumming aggressively, you never know what might show up. Bring some steel leaders or tie-able wire leader with you as some sharp toothed species are sure to be around. Good luck and good fishing.
Captain Stewart Ames
GONE FISHING CHARTERS
P.O. Box 541
Crystal Beach, Florida 34681