As we enter the second week of October weíve yet to see any real cold fronts. This is a little concerning considering our last two fall seasons have gone the same way. Once we finally get a front itís so dramatic that it drops our water temperature 10 degrees in a matter of a few days. Letís hope that it doesnít happen again this year.
Redfish, trout, Spanish mackerel, and bluefish are semi-migratory, as they will follow bait and clean water on an almost daily basis. Inshore, targeting flats that are adjacent to deep water give you a high percentage chance of intercepting some of these schools of fish. Look for the fish to stage up right where the deeper part of the flat shallows up sharply creating an edge.
Areas of clean water will 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 youíve 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. Despite the lack of a real cold front thus far, the days are getting shorter. Spanish mackerel, a fall favorite, are schooling heavily in our near-shore waters. Along with the mackerel are sharks and the occasional cobia and soon enough weĎll be talking about kingfish.
Local fishing piers put you right in the action. Redington, Pier 60, the Fort De Soto 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.
Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.