Change of Seasons

By: Capy. Mike Ikemeier

Going into November the redfish bite is going to be great. In Tampa Bay, October is known as “Red October” for a reason and fishing in the Bay lately has been on fire! The snook and redfish bite has been so good but also grouper are also starting to show up thick. These past few weeks, we have been fishing the flats early for snook and redfish. We fish for these species early because of the extreme temperatures here in Tampa Bay. Following hurricane Ian, the water temps have dropped drastically and really kicked us into the typical October patters. The very unique part of this is after we target redfish and snook, we go out to deeper water for grouper and snapper fishing. There are not many places where you can catch snook and redfish and then go less than a mile away and be ripping grouper off the bottom! Following the cool water from the hurricane, the grouper bite is now on fire! It’s an amazing experience to be able to chase snook and redfish shallow and then feel the power of grouper in the same day. Also, another unique and very fun experience we’ve been taking advantage of, is dock light fishing at night. While dock light fishing you can see the fish in the light and watch then eat your bait. It’s basically shooting fish in a barrel. The dock lights can hold snook, redfish, snapper, and sometimes even tarpon! Recently on the dock lights the tarpon have been very thick! Another very cool experience is fishing the docks for grouper. Just like bass fishing we flip under docks with big live baits. Usually, we use pinfish or big pilchards and there’s nothing like trying to pull a grouper out of a dock. You must have patience or else you will break the line, but it’s pretty cool being able to catch a 24+ inch grouper out from under a dock in only 5 feet of water. You can also find grouper around the Skyway Bridge, however, fishing around the Skyway you won’t only just catch grouper, as there is a wide variety of fish that are delicious to eat. For example, my favorite fish to eat in the Bay is mangrove snapper. On the Skyway, mangrove snapper are plentiful and can get pretty big. Overall fishing the many areas of the Bay has been great, give us a call as we would love to take you on the adventure of a lifetime and show you how we do it!