The bite has been good! Fall is great time for inshore fishing! This year has been no exception! The October redfish bite has been strong. When the bite is on a fishermen at times can literally throw a bare hook and catch a quality redfish. Recently we stuck a soft plastic into a submerged oyster bed only to have redfish suck up the plastic and almost pull the rod into the water. A sign of feeding redfish is when see a blue tail on these fish. These fish with a blue tail are in an active feeding mode. Contrary to popular opinion catching a fish or two wont scare fish off the flat. The thrashing and fighting of a fish can and often excites the school into a feeding frenzy. When this happens catching is easy. Just chunk anything into the water and hold on. Just like shrimp up the flats. The question is how long will this last? As long temperatures are mild and we don’t experience a real shot of winter fishing for redfish should remain strong. Another great sign for redfish is orange butter flies. We are seeing plenty!
As temperatures continue to fall anticipate the seatrout bite to intensify. The seatrout has been good but will likely get even better. During October on one trip we on a nice seatrout bite only to find sharks have taken over a few days later. Its likely a bonnet shark is not able to run down a healthy seatrout but several sharks on flat can push the seatrout off.
Temperatures to date have been pretty mild. Shrimp are still up on the flats. Should be relatively easy for a person to cast net a quart or two. Lots of small to medium shrimp. Reports of large shrimp being caught by deep water casting. Sheepshead appear to pretty numerous inshore as well flounder. Usually large flounder are caught during September. This year there have been reports of good catches large late season flounder.
A word on conservation. Keeping some fish no problem. Keeping a lot of upper end redfish will impact the school you are fishing. Just a reminder it takes five years for redfish to sexual maturity. Keeping a few redfish is no problem but when possible release as many upper end fish as possible. I do not keep a redfish for myself. Its not because I would not enjoy eating the fish it’s simply because this fish is so fun to catch. My hope is when you and go out there will be plenty of strong tugs. If you keep a limit, no problem. If you have access to the resource and catch plenty of these fish my suggestion is go light on the resource.
Tides during the week are increasing. Early morning tide on Saturday Nov. 14th is at 8.2 feet. Nonetheless fishing should be good! The Cystic Fibrosis Savannah Inshore Tournament is being held this weekend at the Bahia Bleu Marina in Thunderbolt. Should be a fun event! And more importantly is its benefitting a good cause. Also in this event every fish caught will be released. This is concept that is a little novel but an excellent idea. Likely if we ever have to have a closure it will take years before a reopening. Please support your CCA chapter as well turn your spent fish to the DNR at designated freezer drop offs. There are drop off freezers at Hogans Marina, Bahia Bleu and Landing Harbor on Skidaway Island. This is an excellent program to participate in. These carcasses are a key component in establishing limits. Enough said.
Hope you survived the recent rain and are able to get on the water!
Fish On! Capt. Jack McGowan