September is here and we are just around the corner from some cooler weather. We should start to get some relief from the summer’s heat and see water temperatures drop. With the cooling water temps fish will be on the move. Snook will be making their way back to the backcountry, redfish will be schooling to prepare to spawn and we should see the big trout move onto the shallows.
We will start to see some pre-spawn schools show up in our region this month. Spawning season usually run from August through November with this month being the peak of the season. Live or cut bait will work. I prefer cut bait. A cut threadfin, sardine, pinfish or ladyfish will be hard to turn down. If all else fails, go to the old trusty shrimp. I fish a 25lb Trilene fluorocarbon leader with a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook. Areas in our region from the Kitchen to Joe Island will hold redfish. Look for the mullet and the redfish shouldn’t be far behind.
I sound like a broken record with my trout forecast but they continue to bite. Last month was another good month, and I am looking forward to it continuing through the year. With water temperatures hovering around the high 80’s, continue to fish any grass flat in the 4ft-7ft range with good tidal flow. As temperatures fall, move to the shallow flats with good potholes and depth changes. Small scaled sardines (green backs) are my go to bait. I fish a 24” 25lb Trilene fluorocarbon leader with 1/0 Daiichi circle hook under a weighted cork. Trout is a good species to try out your artificials skills. Top water plugs like the Zara Spook or Mirrolure She Dog are good for an early bite. As temperatures rise, I like Berkley Gulp! Shrimp and D.O.A Cal Shad.
September usually means we are gearing up for open season. Not this year. FWC had decided to keep season closed until August 2012. This will give the snook in our area a chance to get through a couple spawn seasons. That doesn’t mean you have some catch and release fun. The Southshore region got hit hard but is holding some decent fish. Not like it did in the past but are catching some nice fish. If you do target these fish, handle them with extreme care to ensure a healthy release. Live scaled sardine free-lined is bait of choice. 25-30lb Berkley Trilene fluorocarbon leader with a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook will be good. Fish areas with good tide movement and ambush points.
Best of the Rest
Look for the spanish mackerel to show back up in our region. As water temps cool, the mackerel will follow the bait. A Chum block and lots of live scaled sardines will keep the action lively. A 40lb Berkley Trilene fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 long shank hook will help with cut offs. If water temperatures cooperate, maybe some early season king mackerel will invade the beaches and maybe make their way into our region. Wire leader is a must for these drag burners. Live sardines, threadfins, and blue runners are the best baits. First spot for early season kings is the Skyway bridge and ship channel.