The start of fall is usually the least hyped up time of the year for fishing, when the bite is probably at its peak for most of South Florida. Personally, this is my favorite time of the year to fish. When the weather starts to cool off slightly, the water temperature starts to cool down too, but not enough to give any fish lockjaw. It’s a time when the bite is consistently good, every single day for about two straight months. Unlike summer, when we get lots of rain and see changing water levels, October is the beginning of consistency in our weather. It’s the perfect time to enjoy being outside and catching lots of fish.
Peacock bass will become the most aggressive in their eating patterns starting in the fall. This is when they will feed heavily to bulk up before winter when they jump right into full on mating season. In the urban areas, more significant numbers of largemouth bass start to show up in or under vegetation as they start to come out of those deeper spots that hold the cooler water over summer. They move into the shallows, where you can target them on topwater and subsurface baits. My topwater choices are a chug bug and live target frogs. My go to for a variety of largemouth and peacocks is a Yo-Zuri 3D minnow and also their new Rattl’n Vibe lipless crankbait. Fall is also a unique time where the eelgrass is still nice and thick from its summertime growing. You can throw a fast moving weedless fluke or speed worm through eelgrass or hydrilla and get some good numbers of fish in a short amount of time. As usual, I find myself throwing the fly rod around a lot and have found that any small, white or chartreuse and white combinations work extraordinarily well for peacock bass, largemouths and even panfish!
If you don’t have the patience for casting artificials or fly fishing, live bait is always a great option. I’ve said this several times in the past, especially when fishing with kids, live baits are always an effective option!
Capt. Johnny Stabile
South Florida Fishing Charters