Fall is officially upon us and that means cooler weather, wind shifts, and the beautiful spectacle of changing leaf colors; at least if you live anywhere besides Florida. We often joke that Florida does not have much of a fall season and that it goes directly from summer to winter. But, that just isn't true. We might not get the long, drawn out changes, but there is still a difference. The sun changes angles, the sunrises seem to take a little longer, and the mornings lose some of the humidity they held during the summer days. Yes, the temperatures still rise into the 80s and 90s, but the difference is still there and can be felt by us, as well as nature. This time of year also provides some spectacular fishing. In fact, if you are not a fan of hot weather, this time of year will be your favorite to come join us and enjoy everything our area has to offer.
Let's start with fishing. Fall means a later sunrise, which in turn leads to a little later launch time. Instead of 5:30-6:00 launch times, we are looking at 6:30-7, with sunrise taking place a little after 7:20 in the morning. This makes it a little more enjoyable for those on vacation, who are not as keen to waking up early. The lower sun angle also means a little longer topwater bite for fish like snook and seatrout. They love the fact it stays darker a little longer, as it makes it harder for prey to see them and avoid being ambushed. Tarpon, which will remain in the area until our first true cold snap, are also more likely to hang in the upper water column, making them a little easier to fool into biting. Another benefit is cooler water, which leads to higher oxygen levels, less algae, clearer water, and feistier fish. When the fish can take in more oxygen, they fight harder and have an easier time at the end, when they are released. As mentioned, the tarpon bite will
remain in the area until the first solid cold snap. They are here now, with plenty of fish in the 20-50 pound range. The big ones are still here too, and seeing tarpon the 100 pound plus range occurs on a frequent basis. They don't always like to play, but when they do, it is memorable. Snook, which reside here year round, will remain active until the waters get too cold in the winter. The snook bite has been good and the big ones are finally reaching the area, after spawning. These fish will test your gear and your abilities. They are strong fighters, employ dirty fighting tactics, and know their area better than anything else around. The redfish and seatrout will be here all year round and sight fishing gets even better with clearer water. Redfish have been plentiful and they have been happy. They are cruising across the grass flats, backing along shorelines, and tailing in small groups. Fish of size can be found and most are happy to accept your offering, if it is presented well. We are also coming to the spawning season for our redfish. Our area has the only group of inshore breeding redfish known to exist. However, I will not target them while they are spawning. years of people harassing these fish and constantly pounding the schools for hours and days on end, has led to decline in spawning activity; this in turn has impacted the number of redfish in the area. I warned about this more than a decade ago. While those people destroying them laughed at the time, they are now trying to figure out what happened and why numbers are down. I have no problem targeting a big redfish when they are done spawning, but I will not chase them and further impact the system; I hope
others follow the example. Besides, there are plenty of fish in the slot and just above slot range that provide plenty of action. The big seatrout will also start to congregate and make themselves available to better sight fishing. Sight casting these fish is all about patience and stealth. Taking your time, moving across the flat as slow as you can, and making sure that the boat is quiet while doing so, is paramount for success. Topwater plugs and popper flies work great for these fish in the early morning hours. After that, I like to switch over to soft plastics and baitfish pattern flies.
For those who are more interested in photography or just watching nature, this time of year is also great. Bird numbers and varieties will expand dramatically as the weather cools. A variety of ducks will return, as well as the white pelicans, eagles, split tails, and more. There is a reason we become one of the hottest areas for birders to visit. Cooler weather also means the other wildlife in our area will become more active. Bobcats, deer, hogs, otters, and more will start being observed along the shorelines. Add in plenty of dolphins, manatees (until the cold weather gets here), and a nature observed or photographer can enjoy plenty of activity.
So, if you're ready to come enjoy some wonderful weather, great fishing, and the spectacles that nature has to offer, book your trip with me now! Call or email and let's get you out to enjoy it and relax! CLICK HERE TO BOOK!