October can be one of the best months to fish in Florida

Date: October 8, 2020

October can be one of the best months to fish in Florida.  After a cold front or two come through and a drop in the water and air temperatures things become so much more comfortable.  After dealing with our summer heat and humidity beat down, this is a welcoming trend for sure.

Here in the Bay area there will be schools of redfish invading and patrolling the flats, this will continue on into the winter months too.  The real trick is to come across a school without 50 boats corralling them and beating them up and down the shoreline. Whenever I am fishing a school of reds I like to get ahead of them, post up and let them come to me, catch a few and move on.  There are a number of ways to catch these fish.  Live greenies, cut bait and a variety of artificial baits will get the job done.  One of my favorites though is using a top water plug early in the morning.

The fishery is nowhere near as good as it was say, more than 15 years ago.  We used to have multiple schools with numbers in the thousands, now we are lucky to see a school of 200 fish.  The reasoning for that is up for debate but my personal opinion is that these fish are pressured too much. Not just angling pressure but the amount of boat traffic in the bay has increased tremendously over the last decade.  When you have hundreds of boats every week buzzing the flats, of course they are going to be spooked.  Luckily, there are grass flats that are no wake zones but also quite a few internal combustion motor exclusion zones where the fish still get into decent sized schools.

Whether you were for or against the ban instituted by FWC closing the harvest of redfish, snook & trout due to the 2018 redtide that caused massive fish kills, I think most can agree that it has done more good than bad for our fishery.  I personally have seen more numbers of all three species this year.  The keeper sized snook numbers are not at the level they were before “the Freeze” but they are getting there rapidly.  Trout have flourished as well.  I look forward to seeing how this fall’s redfishing is going to be, I have a feeling it will be pretty good.  With that being said I will be at the meeting next spring to see how the FWC staff presents the data to the commissioners and what they recommend moving forward.  I urge you to do the same.  We all have a chance to have our voices heard at these meetings.

So get out there and have fun.  Take a kid fishing.  Be respectful to one another.


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