Busy doesn’t even begin to describe it. What a rush since the slow month of September. Some people, having seen what’s going on out there, are booking again for November. The action was actually not as good as I would expect for “October” but it will get better. No question that the weather is getting really nice. So, what’s been happening? A lot. Some legal limits listed and suggestions on what size you really should keep them (honestly, some of these rules should be changed).
Redfish are in schools. Big schools. We encountered a few hundred fish in one bunch yesterday. They are mostly tightly gathered in many areas around the Bay and pushing up wakes. The 12 Fathom 3 inch Mullet is the best bait to throw to these fish. They absolutely devour it. The thing about redfish: They move. They may not be in the same location day after day so be ready to search for them if you do not find them “where they were yesterday.” Slot size for harvest (one fish per person) 18 to 27 inches. Tip: Don’t keep a fish until it is 23 inches.
Pompano remain an option but you have to find them. The Silly Willy with a pink teaser is all I really use for this species. It was a great year for pompano and it has been dozens of great meals from these jigging trips. Minimum length 11 inches. Tip, let go until they are 13 inches. Mild weather, pompano should remain an option for a while.
Speckled trout. Just ahead, an explosion in this activity. There are good trout being caught but we are one cold front away from Trout Mayhem around the region. Topwater lures like the Mirrolure Top Pup are killer on shallow-water trout. Minimum length: 15 inches. Tip: Let go until about 17 inches. Four total is the limit in the South region, one of the four can be over 20 inches. The best trout action of the year, just ahead.
Flounder action is better but it is not “great”. Again, all you need is the 12 Fathom lures on a jighead and target the sand patches. They are difficult to land but for the swift, craft angler they can be caught. Minimum length: 12 inches. Tip: Let go until about 14 inches. Flounder: Will remain great until things finally get “cold.” El Nino? Flounder may stay in all winter.
Sheepshead: If you like these, take along some live shrimp on your outings because they are on the flats. Fly rodders can trick a sheepie but the lure people don’t get it done. A live shrimp won’t be turned down. Minimum length: 12 inches. Tip: Let go until about 14 inches. We are about eight weeks away from peak sheepshead opportunities.
Mackerel and bluefish are around. The amount of baitfish is the reason why we have so many of these predators around. The bluefish should stick around through a lot of the winter months. Mackerel will migrate off sometime during the next month or in early December. Tip: Kill every bluefish you catch (just kidding, even though I look at them like an invasive species….). Mackerel. Their minimum legal size is kind of dumb too. Keep the bigger ones and throw the “barely legals” back.
Kayak Fishing Skool will resume in 2017. No more session in November or December!
Call to book a trip if you want to get in on the fun. Kayak fishing trips are fun, instructional and a great investment if fishing is going to be your hobby in the future.
As always: Be careful out there!
Poachers are common thieves. See a poacher, report a poacher!
If you suspect a wildlife or boating law violation, report it to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Reward Program: 888-404-FWCC (3922).
Cell phone users can reach us at *FWC or #FWC, depending on your service provider.
Most cell phones allow users to send text messages directly to an email address. You can text Tip@MyFWC.com ; standard usage fees may apply.
Supply as much detailed information such as the location of the offender, the boat description, number of people on board, clothing, vehicle information and give the dispatcher your phone number. Do this discreetly. You do not want to have direct contact with these people.