Homosassa – October Fishing Report
You have to love October! It’s my favorite time of the year, and from inshore to offshore, there is something for every angler.
The red fishing is as good as it gets! Good numbers of red fish will be holding on the outer limestone bottom keys from Chassahowitzka, to the spoil islands north of Crystal River. Cut baits such as fresh mullet, are always a favorite, as well as a frisky live pinfish. The floating grass is disappearing and artificial lures such as soft plastic jerk baits and “walk the dog” type plugs can be very rewarding. At sun up, and always, watch for mullet activity and an incoming tide is best.
The trout which have been seeking comfort offshore in the deeper water, will now be migrating inshore. The kelp grass that attaches itself over the shallow “yellow” hard bottom, has been growing all summer, and it’s a fine trout habitat. Also, the oyster bars are another early fall favorite to target trout. Locate these areas, and set up your drifts using DOA deadly combo cork rig with a glow, root beer or watermelon colored shrimp.
With the preparation of the cooler months coming, our resident snook population will also be feeding heavily. Over the last several years, our snook population has exploded, and an angler can experience a rewarding catch. Areas such as the mouths of the rivers, outer islands and the numerous rocky points with deep water nearby, are good starting locations. I prefer artificals like the MirrOlure Mirrodines and Yo-zuri Mag Darters, but many other bait fish imitation plugs will work equally as well.
Save the gas grouper anglers; now is the time to target those shallow water groupers. Shorter days and cooling gulf water temperatures not only bring the gag grouper closer to shore, but they also become much more aggressive. The floating grass is disappearing, and this is the time of year to troll heavy duty lipped plugs like Rapala x- raps and Yo-Zuri mag minnows over likely grouper locations. Trolling is also a great way to find your own honey holes. Ledges, rock piles, artificial reefs and wrecks from 10 to 40 feet, will be holding excellent numbers of grouper. Plus, keep an eye out on the channel markers or the grouper rock you’re fishing, for a late season cobia. The fall time of year gets a smaller run of cobia, but they are around, and it’s always a good idea to have a jig or live pin fish ready to go.