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September 2019

By Neil Taylor and kayak fishing staff contributors

Around the state:

There is a lot of fun in the month of September.   Challenges exist in “the hottest month of the year.”   Tropical, hopefully not but it is the peak of hurricane season the next two months.   The biggest challenges are with the heat.    The water temperatures will be the hottest of the year.    But “fish gotta eat” so be there at the right time and get a hook in them!    To start September:   Hurricane Dorian.   Impacts in different areas are about to be seen.  

The Tampa Bay region– 

On the water:   September will have all kinds of opportunities.   The challenges, mentioned above:  hot water or tropical weather systems.    But, if things are in settled periods even the heat of the water will not prevent you from finding some fantastic action.     The usual species are there if you go to the right spots.   Other species are going to be intercepted for enjoyment.    Trout, flounder, pompano, black drum and even cobia will be caught.   

The combination trips will work great.   Morning, start fishing before sunrise and when the action in the shallows dies, paddle out to a channel or bridge and deep jig for other species.   Simple and productive, it is not a bad thing to consider.     Redfish by sunup, pompano with sweat in your eyes.    Will pompano get better?   It hasn’t been a good year.   2017 and 2018 were excellent years.   This year:  Five days where pompano action was good and that was it.   

Trout:  A few but we need Fall conditions for trout action to get a lot better.   Figure, six weeks trout action will be excellent again.   Cooling water is needed and that is still a ways off.

Honestly, best action has been “baby grouper.”   Small gag grouper we call “grass grouper” are thick on the flats.    We call them grass grouper because they like the deeper turtle grass areas.     They hit hard and fight good.    Not that large, none are legal so they are throwbacks.   In the olden days, before regulations, people probably ate them a lot.    Now, the rules, these fish are kept in the habitat to become big grouper.    Living the rest of their days offshore, they spend their juvenile years eating pinfish on the flats.  

Keep your eyes open:  If you are not fishing where there are baitfish, you may be in the wrong spot!

In the Southwest “Suncoast” area of Florida, Steve Gibson
September forecast: Redfish should take the spotlight as their numbers increase on
the flats along the east and west sides of Sarasota Bay. Also, look for spotted
seatrout, an increase in flounder numbers and snook at night around lighted
docks. Snook action should also improve during the day along the beaches.

The East coast of Florida, The last full month of summer really.    Things aren’t great.   Fish have been caught.    Algae has been problematic here and there.    A hurricane to start September might erases the algae problems.   Who knows what it does for the rest of things.    Could stir things up for a while.    It could cool things down and bring some decent opportunities.    Time will tell. 

In the Big Bend of Florida’s Panhandle, Robert Baker at TnT Hideaway on the Wakulla River: .   If you are going to be in Panama City, stop in and see Brad and his staff at Sunjammers:   The guys are reporting great action throughout the region for trout, redfish and flounder.   Kingfish, cobia and pompano are also options for the kayak anglers.   Hitting the right spot, trout and flounder will be caught in big numbers.     In the right spot, someone could really catch some redfish as well.  

In Northeast Florida: September should be a lot of a continuation of last month which is trout and redfish and of course some really big flounder.  Most of the fish have been active morning and evening but the midday action around the passes will be pretty decent.      Fall nearing, cooler water action will arrive in another month and a half.   

In the greater South Florida area:

The Everglades, Flamingo anglers are enjoying some great action but come back a pint low if they do not remember the correct supplies.    Get a bug suit and load up on repellent, we’ve got great action down here.    Tarpon are a great bet.      Around the rest of the region, you can pick your species and go for it.    Beware of stormy weather on extreme trips.   Kayak anglers have faced some perilous situations, something that is best to avoid.    Join up with a friend if you want to do something like this but be ready to weather the storms.      The hurricane:    Will it be close enough to shake things up?      It wouldn’t hurt to have it powerful enough to stir up the water some.    Algae, the worst it has been in anyone’s memory.  

The tip of the month:
Check the weather.    Planning of trips can be most effective if you see the forecast for storms.   Some times of the day will be more likely to have convection storms than others.    That being the case, if you schedule or reschedule your trips accordingly, you may be less likely to have Tripus Interruptis.        The squalls are no fun.   But the fishing can be trickier before and after storms as well.   If you have options on when you go, make it a good choice based on odds.   Around hurricanes and tropical weather, just don’t go.    It is not worth risking your life to catch a fish.    Take the time off to do other things instead.     Florida:    Be very wary of lightning.   Lightning is still probably the number one way to get killed out there finishing a close second to drowning.  

Need help learning how to kayak fish?   Hire one of our guides on staff for your region and take advantage of their knowledge and sharpen your own skills!   Steve covers the Sarasota/Bradenton area, and Neil works the Tampa Bay area!    Steve Gibson.   Neil Taylor

Get out and into the action but as always: Be careful out there!

Neil Taylor, site administrator