The fronts have arrived and the water temperature has declined. This is the time of year that you should break out your artificials and start stalking your favorite inshore fish at the lower tides. When the negative tides arrive, like they have, you don’t always need a boat to go catch trophy fish. There are plenty of areas to drop a kayak in or, even better, wade fish!
Your best bet is chasing redfish and gator trout at the last hour or so of the outgoing tide. Start walking slowly and keep an eye out for bigger schools of mullet grouped together. You should find your gator trout and redfish mixed in with them. I use a bigger/heavier bait while throwing through the mullet schools. This keeps my distance from them, but it lets the bait reach your desired area.
A couple of baits I like to use during this time is the Rapala Skitterwalk for topwater and then a weedless bait called “The Slick Lure.” They both produce great casting distance along with great fish production. Another thing to add to the arsenal during this time is bait scents. Add either a shrimp or ladyfish Pro-Cure bait scent to your artificial. This will enhance your chances of a bite.
While casting through these schools of mullet, keep an eye out for tailing redfish. They are feeding like crazy this time of year in the open flat and there’s nothing better than sight casting a tailer! Remember they will still spook, even if they have their head buried in the grass feeding. Make long casts and work the bait slow for your best shot at them!
As far as the deeper water goes, cobia have been the talk around town. Find the stronger moving tides along with some structure. Throw out a couple of chum blocks and set your baits at different depths in the water column. This will not only produce cobia, but will have the kingfish, grouper and snapper firing off as well. I like using 80-pound leader and a 6/0 circle hook just in case you do get a grouper that wants to pull you into the rocks. If you do run a free line bait out of the back of the boat, you might consider a thin wire leader. That way it only improves your chances at landing Spanish mackerel and kingfish. The bait of choice this time of year seems to have been frozen threadfins and pinfish. Sometimes, the fish are feeling lazy. They tend to go after the threads more so then a live bait. Whatever your bait of choice is, just make sure you’re ready for a good time!