Spacecoast Fishing Report

The world is slowly returning to normal, during this Covid crisis. Here in Florida, it means that kids are heading back to school, the sun is getting a little lower in the sky as fall approaches, and the baitfish run is starting along the coast. While there has been no shortage of bait in the river all year, the baitfish run brings new energy to the area. Pilchards and menhaden are replaced by the finger mullet and huge waves of these can be found running along the beaches and through the river. The numbers of finger mullet entering the river is usually dependent on the number of storms that are in the Atlantic; the rougher the conditions out there, the more the baitfish head inside inlets and traverse down the river systems. The predators follow the bait; although some predators prefer the river systems for their own protection.


In my area, all of this adds up to tremendous fishing action. August was off and on with action, as some fish came back and some others left, all in the name of making little fish. September means snook will return to their haunts, redfish will begin to prowl the shorelines, gator seatrout will begin fattening up on baitfish, and tarpon will become even more active. Snook fishing had been wonderful until the majority of them left for spawning. Looking back at past years' logs, they were right on schedule and should make their return over the next couple of weeks. Gator Seatrout did the same, with many slipping into deeper water for spawning, but they too will return, full of roe and ready to eat anything that they see. I urge extra precautions when catching these big female trout, as they are the future of our fishery. I implore you to treat them gently and release them as quickly as possible. Unlike many areas, our trout will spawn well into their old age and finding fish in the 30" range, full of roe, is not uncommon.



Successful fly battle with a redfish

Presently, redfish and tarpon have been providing the majority of the action. Redfish are being found hunting along the shorelines and oyster bars, where you can often locate them with half of their body out of the water. These fish are actively feeding, but they are not easy. Being in water that shallow and exposing themselves to every predator out there, they are very cautious. It takes a proper presentation or all you see is a mud streak as they run (check out the forum page for a story on this from a personal perspective). Still, a proper presentation results in voracious bites and can provide hours of activity during the right tide stages.


Tarpon in the area are plentiful and range in size from juveniles in the 5-10 pound range, to adult fish

Tarpon on Fly

pushing 100 pounds. There is little doubt that the smaller fish provide more opportunity and action, but there is something about hooking into a triple digit fish that makes it worth taking a chance; if you are up for the battle. My favorite ones to chase are fish in the 15-30 pound range. These fish readily eat the proper offerings and will provide plenty of fight and aerial acrobatics. While I prefer to fly fish for tarpon, they will be quite happy with soft plastics; Z-Man Minnowz are my go to selection for these fish; the tail action on these jigs is unsurpassed and irresistible to tarpon. The Micro Feather Changer has become my favorite fly for the fish. Again, the seductive movement from this fly is unsurpassed and the tarpon cannot stand to let it go by.


Our next major change in fishing action will take place later in the fall, with the first cold front. Until then, the activity should steadily improve and the fish will give plenty of opportunity for rod bending action. If you are ready for a break from the craziness of the world, book a trip and come enjoy some peace and tranquility; the only time that peace and tranquility is disturbed is when a fish interrupts us and I don't think anyone minds that.


Call (386) 314-5998 or email captainjohn@tailhunteroutdooradventures.com to book a trip or ask some questions. Until then, stay safe and keep having those dreams of big fish and screaming drags!

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