by Matt Feuyo
Leaves are changing colors in SW Florida and water temps are starting to cool off significantly! Fish are preparing for the next few months of cold water and a less abundant food. How are they preparing you ask? By feeding heavily when the opportunity presents itself. Redfish, snook, tarpon, trout and all other game fish will turn on like a light switch when the dinner bell rings. Heavily baiting an area such as a dock, a set of rocks, a mangrove edge, offshore on your favorite wreck, or even an open water flat can hold your target species. Our captains like to use this live bait “chumming” technique for charters due to the massive amounts of bait that are in our waters year-round. We shake up a few, squeeze a few, and leave some fresh as we load them into our bait bat. This bat is designed for launching a ton of baits a far distance away from your boat, so that you can see what fish are eating in the zone you’re fishing. Once the baits are in the zone and you’ve seen some bigger fish feeding on your “chummers,” it’s time for you to present your bait. Every situation is different, but at the end of the day, making sure the drag is set, the hook isn’t rusty, and your leader line isn’t chaffed are all important details. We’ve all had that run in with an angry fish that is just a little bit bigger than the rest running with a full head of steam for the mangroves…but breaks off because you didn’t change your leader! Funny how the big fish seek out the smallest rod or the most frayed line. In these cases, the fight is usually over before it even started. I always preach about being ready for the big one! We have had a great fall thus far and can’t wait for an epic December!