BACKCOUNTRY / BAY / INSHORE:
It’s a great time of year to be fishing in the bay and it will get better every day. There’s less pressure, fewer crowds and temps are dropping a bit in the mornings and evenings. This happens to be the best time to be working the grass flats for trout and red fish; they are starting to feed even harder for the next couple of months to fatten up for the cold months. Live bait is your best bet, but always try casting your favorite top-water lure. Soft plastics and suspending lures work well too, especially when it gets hotter. Focus on docks, potholes, and channels near the grass flats. Flounder can also be found in those pot holes and ledges as they make their way toward the pass. Use bull minnows , finger mullet, or soft plastic jigs fished on the bottom. Mangrove snapper and sheepshead are holding on most structure in the bay, from the jetties to docks in the bays, and they’ll take live shrimp and small minnows, as well as cut bait. On the beach, there are some redfish and flounder being caught in the surf, and a few whiting have shown up as well. Spanish and king mackerel can be caught trolling down the beach or around the bouys.
OFFSHORE: Amberjack season is still open and they’re plentiful. Cigar minnows, pin fish, and mullet work great but they will eat frozen cut bait almost as well; horizontal jigging also does a great job. Lots of gag grouper and red snapper are being landed but red snapper must be released. Other types of grouper and snapper, including some big mangrove snapper, are being reported as well as red grouper and scamp. Check any weed lines or floating debris for dolphin and triple tail. Have a light tackle rod already set up so you’re prepared. Don’t forget that there are always a few cobia hanging around the wrecks so be ready!
CAPT. DARYL SHUMATE
Liquid Native Charters