October is the month to be on the water since the temperature is almost perfect for fishing. There are Spanish mackerel, big schools of jacks and blacktip sharks all over the bay and beaches providing nonstop action. While you can catch the jacks on normal inshore tackle, you will have to bump your leader to about 60 pounds to land Spanish mackerel and sharks. Now that stone crab traps are out, look for big schools of breeder reds roaming just off the beach. Once you locate them, hold on. The ones we have been catching have been over 40 inches. If you wish to target them inshore, they continue to be schooled up in upper Tampa Bay. On extremely low water, look for deep holes just off the grass flats. The redfish will not move far off the flat. They move just far enough to find water they are comfortable in. Snook have not made the full transition into their winter homes yet. They continue to hold on the grass flats for now. On high tide they have been holding pretty tight to the mangrove line. A nice scaled sardine under a cork has worked best. It seems to be slowing the bait down a bit and snook are pouncing on it.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.