Fall Changes

Capt. Dave Stephens

Fall on Charlotte Harbor, it’s a special time of the year. It’s one of the best times for our spectacular fishery. We have so many extreme things going on. We have pelagic fish that are passing through the harbor. For the people that do not understand what a pelagic fish is, I’ll explain. This is a fish, that migrates from north to south. These fish follow the water temps in the gulf. As the waters cool in the fall, they follow the waters south. As the waters warm they follow the waters north. Our harbor has many pelagic fish that pass through our harbor. One of the most popular is the Spanish mackerel. These guys follow water temps around the mid 70 mark. Another well-known pelagic is cobia. Also, another fish that follows the cooler waters.

We also have many fish that call Charlotte Harbor home and the most popular is snook. Without a doubt they are the most sensitive to weather changes. Snook can survive in freshwater and have been introduced to help control certain fish populations. The only problem, a certain level of salinity is required for spawning.

Over the past week I have seen large schools of glass minnows in the harbor. This has brought in the ladyfish and jacks. Locating these guys isn’t that hard; look for large swarms of terns. Often you might see large tarpon feeding on these ladyfish. So, I recommend bringing a large rod with you. The snapper bite has been probably the best I have seen in many years, and will probably start to slow down. Mother Nature always has her say in things, hopefully next year will be as good.

Well it’s hard to talk about fall without talking about redfish. Over the next couple months these guys should be making a strong presence in the harbor. Large schools of mullet will start to school up on our local bars, attracting these guys. Mullet are a vegetarian fish, but they stir up the food sources that reds feed on. As waters cool down a lot of changes will be happening in the harbor and that will make for some great fishing. If you would like to experience some of Southwest Florida’s finest fishing? Give us a call or send an email. All of our charters are customized to fit you sand your party’s needs.

Capt. Dave Stephens