This past weekend we finally saw the winds calm down a bit and switch back out of the east. Prior to Hurricane Dorian we were experiencing some of the best fishing in months. Hopefully, we will get a nice stretch of consistent weather this week; if so the fishing should be great by this weekend. Fishing for schooling redfish, jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel and mangrove snapper has been red hot at times.
With so much bait around, finding potential feeding areas have been fairly obvious. Flocks of dipping terns or high-diving pelicans actively working the edge of a grass flat could lead you to your only stop of the day.
New moon tides this past week provided some good red fishing. This is the time of year when we start to encounter schools of redfish with good regularity. These redfish are most likely moving in from the Gulf and staging up on grass flats near the passes. Look for the usual signs, such as clean water and the presence of mullet, but also keep an eye on any suspicious mud clouds along the outer edge of the flat indicating the presence of a school of fish. Fall redfish will often stage on the outside edge of the flat and never move up with the tide. This is probably due to all the fry bait out in deeper water.
Mangrove snapper have been schooled up heavily around near-shore structures. Jetties and reefs in as shallow as 15 feet of water are holding keeper mangos up to 14 inches. Setting up to create a down-tide chum slick will enable you to bring the fish right behind the boat. Then it’s a matter of fooling the larger fish while contending with wolf packs of 2- to 4-pound Spanish mackerel. Be sure to bring plenty of hooks.
Up and down area beaches schools of Spanish mackerel can be found working bait pods throughout the day. Anglers looking for some fast fishing for Spanish mackerel should troll silver spoons in 15 to 25 feet of water. This has been a banner run of Spanish mackerel over the last several weeks and should continue throughout the fall.