The mullet run is currently in full swing inshore here on the Treasure Coast! Schools of mullet of all sizes are being fed on by Snook, Tarpon, Jacks and a variety of other species. One of the most frustrating parts of the mullet run is the amount of bait around and getting the fish to eat your bait or lure instead of one of the hundreds or thousands of mullet in the school that you may be fishing. There are several different tactics you can use to help differentiate your bait from the others. One option would be to add a little weight on your line to slow your bait down and give it an injured appearance. The amount of weight would depend on the depth of water you are fishing as well as the current, it can be as little as a split shot or as much as a 1 to 2 oz egg sinker. A lot of times you will notice the bigger Snook hanging on the bottom of the school picking off the weaker baits. Another option would be to add a cork to your line, the cork will also help slow the mullet down when you are fishing on the surface. This tactic works great for pitching to the outer edges of the mullet school as well as for fishing sea walls. You will also want to try to “match the hatch” by fishing a bait profile close to the same size as the ones in the school.
Anglers can look to find Snook around the bridges, around docks, seawalls, in canals and along mangrove edges this time of year. If you find mullet around any sort of structure like that, you’ve got a great chance at running into some Snook. Fishing around the causeways at night has provided anglers a lot of success fishing the shadow lines with artificials and by floating live mullet with the tide. Artificials such as soft plastics like the NLBN paddle tails, jerkbaits such as the Windcheater, Yozuri Fingerling, Rapala X-Rap and topwaters have been productive baits that will each cover their own part of the water column. Fishing on the flats up by the power plant in the mornings has also produced some fish on topwaters in the mornings.
Tarpon fishing has been hot as well! Plenty of fish ranging from 20lbs to the triple digit class have been cruising around inshore feeding on mullet and crabs. The causeways are one of the best areas to look for them by fishing larger mullet, mullet heads and if you’re fishing an outgoing tide, it definitely wouldn’t be a bad idea to send a crab out. Other areas that have been producing Tarpon have included; the St. Lucie Inlet, the Crossroads, the North Fork and the Power Plant.
Stone Crab season opens up on October 15th which means crab trap buoys will be lined up throughout the river providing anglers a great opportunity to target Triple Tail. The best way to look for them is by cruising down the crab trap lines and channel markers with the hope of seeing one. If you do see one, turn around and toss a shrimp on a jighead towards the buoy or channel marker and it shouldn’t be long before that Triple Tail eats your shrimp! There have been a lot of keeper Mangrove Snapper caught recently as well. Look for them around structure and you can catch them on live shrimp or smaller finger mullet with a weight to try to pick out the larger ones. If we start seeing some cool fronts this month, you can expect to hear reports of Sheepshead, Black Drum and Pompano making the catch list inshore.
September’s offshore surface bite was pretty lackluster, but is typical for September here. Plenty of Kingfish were around with a few Sails and Mahis in the mix. We can expect to see more Mahis, Sails and Blackfin Tuna making their way to the fillet tables in October as we typically have a consistent pelagic bite in October. Before Hurricane Ian, we had some of the most consistent Mahi fishing of the month so that will hopefully be a sign of good things to come. You will see a lot of boats find their success by kite fishing with live Threadfins and Goggle Eyes as well as a lot of boats switching over from slow trolling live baits to trolling ballyhoos. We can also expect a few Wahoo to be caught around this month’s full moon on the 9th. October offers us the opportunity for some of the best local Wahoo fishing of the year.
For those bottom fishing, Vermillion Snapper, Mutton Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Lane Snapper, Amberjacks, Almaco Jacks have all made the catch list recently. For those targeting Vermillions and Lanes, fishing chicken rigs with squid will be the most effective method and will provide an opportunity for a variety of other species as well. Vermillions have been caught from 60’-140’ as well as some bigger ones caught at Pushbutton Hill. For the Mangrove and Mutton Snapper, fishing with live baits or dead baits such as Bonito strips, grunt plugs or ballyhoo should be able to get you a bite. Be sure to fish a longer leader as these fish do become leader shy at times. If you want to battle with some Amberjacks, fishing wrecks with live baits and heavy tackle is going to be your best bet.
Surf Fishing Report
There have still been some Whiting and Croakers caught in the first trough on pieces of shrimp and shrimp flavored Fishbites. We have also begun to see a lot of juvenile Pompano caught on the long rods. The majority of the fish have been caught on EZ Flea and Electric Chicken Crab flavored Fishbites. It doesn’t hurt to pair either flavor of those Fishbites with a piece of clam or a sandflea. We can expect to see some larger fish showing up in October and into November to kick off our fall Pompano fishing.
For those that love the mullet run action, there have been a lot of mullet cruising the beaches. Don’t be afraid to move from beach to beach looking for bait schools because chances are they will be followed by Tarpon, Snook, Jacks and a variety of other gamefish.
Lake Okeechobee Fishing Report Capt. Angie Douthit
The month of September brought some rain, high temperatures and lower water levels but
hurricane Ian took care of that. Despite the storm, getting back out on the water, fishing has
been good, not great but good despite the drastic change…water temp; water clarity; water
levels and etc. The month of October is typically a transitional month where you’ll find bass in
the shallows, open water and deeper water areas where they are feeding on small hatchling
minnows, bream still bedding in shallower water and shad. As October continues it’s a good
time to start your search for the upcoming bass/crappie spawn time. I like to focus on the
North-End of the lake in areas where you have a hard-sandy bottom along with some good
vegetation cover or nearby. Every year with a new spawn something always changes just a
little whether it’s a certain cover you’ll find them in/nearby or perhaps they’ll be out in more
open water, it’s definitely going to take some time to narrow down their patterns and expound
thereafter. As the season kicks in, the fishing guides on this lake work hard to not only put
customers on fish but share this beautiful lake and all its nature for those who travel near or far
to see its beauty so be respectful when you approach someone who is guiding, it’s the right
thing to do. Areas to fish for bass are; spots along the shoal and whidden’s pass; a spot or two
at Dupree bar; open water area out from dyess ditch; some spots along horse island and Indian
prairie; middle/outer edge of tin house; 3 rd point on up to buckhead ridge and the pass area; a
few smaller areas within kings bar and areas around j & s lock. Lures for bass to try: worms;
jigs; swim bait/swim jigs; top water; popping frogs; flipping creature-style lures; some rattle
trap and spinner baits. Colors are: Junebug; redbug; white; crawdad for jig trailers and skirts;
watermelon red depending on water clarity; green pumpkin and bream colors for swim jig skirts
and swim baits. Now is the time to book your fun and productive day fishing the big O for bass
and crappie….the start of the spawn time is fast approaching. I can accommodate groups and
multiple days. Call 863-228-7263 or check out my website at www.southfloridabassfishing.com
where you’ll find past fishing reports, up-to-date customer pictures and their catches; hotel
accommodations; pricing and etc.