October is my favorite month for fishing in Florida… period. Why? Simply put; October’s weather is as near perfect as we’re likely to experience in Florida. Warm days and cooling nights are tough to complain about and I believe the fish feel the same way.
Locally, we can expect our redfish to continue their spawning activity. A savvy and alert angler may find groups of monster breeders rafting on the water’s surface at first light when calm conditions allow. It’s quite the thrill to see dozens of fins breaking through the surface film exposing their presence with promises of light-tackle battle!
I said light-tackle, but let’s not get too carried away and come under gunned. Sure, we can beat a monster redfish on ultra-light gear. The real question here is SHOULD we? My answer is “not now”. Let’s save this mind set for when the fish are not actively spawning and for a time when the water temperatures are optimal for the fish’s metabolism. This means later in the fall, all winter and typically through spring. I don’t go ultra-light on big fish until the water temps are well below eighty degrees.
For now my medium/medium heavy rods are coupled with 3000/4000 sized reels loaded with fifteen pound braid and twenty or twenty five pound leaders. These outfits will cast spoons, jerk baits, top water plugs, chunk bait or live pinfish and mullet effectively and still allow a fair battle. “Fair” for both the angler looking for a thrill and for the critter deserving every chance at a full recovery and clean release!
Pinching the barbs down on the treble hooks adorning many of the lures we choose helps the de-hooking process of your trophy catch. Too, it adds a degree of safety for the angler when a hook becomes buried in one of us!
For me, I love walk the dog type of top-water plugs like the Fender Walker from Banks Lures and of course the Super Spook which most anglers know about. When the floating grass mats interfere with the aforementioned lures I go to a Z Man Pop Shadz. This floating soft plastic is almost totally weedless and super effective.