October is prime time for inshore fishing. Targeting the coveted inshore slam consisting of snook, trout and redfish is a real possibility on any given day this month.
Targeting spoil islands and barrier island points gives you a good chance at finding all three species.
Look for the fish to stage up right where the deeper part of the flat shallows up sharply creating an edge. Also, look for areas of clean water to be holding the most fish.
Prospecting these areas with a top-water plug during the first few hours of daylight will allow you to find where the fish are holding. Once you’ve found an active spot, live chumming with white bait when the tide is at its strongest point has yielded the best results. Free-lining your bait with the tide will give you the most natural presentation.
As we enter the fall cool down, changes are beginning to take place; each passing week brings more bait and predators. Spanish mackerel, a fall favorite, are schooling heavily in our near-shore waters.
Along with the mackerel are sharks, cobia, bull redfish, and, soon enough, we‘ll be talking about kingfish. Local fishing piers put you right in the action. Redington, Pier 60, the Fort DeSoto piers and the Skyway piers give land-based anglers a chance to catch some of the great game fish this area is known for.
Easterly winds in between fronts will allow for the water to clean up along the beaches. Look for the clean water to provide the best action for the kingfish and Spanish mackerel.
More and more crab traps will begin to be dropped in our near-shore waters. Tripletail is notorious for hanging on the down current side of the marker floats.
On a recent trip we were able to spot and catch four nice sized fish. These fish are willing to eat just about any small live bait, with a tail-trimmed pilchard being a personal favorite.
Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at email@example.com. To get a fish photo in the paper, send the photo along with your name, when and where it was caught to editorial@TBNweekly.com or mail it to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772.