T his is the month every light-tackle saltwater angler has been waiting for all year long. Just about every near-shore species that swims in the Atlantic Ocean will be a possible catch within 5 miles of Cape Canaveral beaches. The reason for this is the annual migration of mullet that is occurring right now. This is affectionately known as the “Fall Mullet Run.”
These baitfish range in size from about 5 to 14 inches in size. This wide range of baitfish sizes allows everything from flounder, bluefish, and mangroves snapper to cobia and 150 plus pound tarpon to find something to eat-usually within the first 100 yards off of our area beaches. With this high concentration of predators and baitfish in such close proximity to shore, boaters and surf casters alike are able to find something feeding at virtually every stage of the tide or time of day. Most anglers use live baits rigged on a VMC circle hook appropriate to the size of the baitfish their using. This is the best way to keep your rod bent on most days.
Other anglers enjoy using artificial lures. I happen to be one of these anglers myself, and here are some very good ones that I use at this time of the year. The first is a simple bucktail jig. I prefer natural hair to synthetic when targeting redfish, tarpon, snook, and flounder, but if bluefish, Spanish mackerel or bonito are your primary targets then the synthetic tails have a huge advantage because of their durability against the sharp teeth and powerful jaws of these three species.
Another of my favorite lures is the Rapala size 10 or 12 X-Rap lipped diving plug. Good colors are Spotted Minnow, Olive Green, Blue or Green Mackerel, and Glass Ghost in this very versatile and easy to use mullet imitation. These can be cast or trolled with equal effectiveness. Spoons like the Krocodile, Crippled Herring or Cast Champ are also great lures to use at this time because they allow you to cover a lot of water and mimic an injured mullet with very little angler input. King mackerel and tripletail are two other species that bear mentioning this month. Live mullet rigged on a wire stinger rig will keep you attached to the sharp toothed kings and a hookup jig head adorned with a fingerling mullet is deadly on tripletail that will be holding on buoys, weed lines, and other floating debris If you don’t fish at any other time of the year, now is when you should dust off your rod and get out on the water because the bite doesn’t get any better than it is right now.