October is a transitional month for offshore fishing out of Sebastian. Early in the month is a great time to work the beaches, taking advantage of everything the fall mullet run has to offer. Run north or south on one of those glassy mornings until you see something blowing up the bait or take a chance where the pelicans are diving. Tossing a live mullet is pretty much a sure thing. The only question is what crazed fish you’ll hook up to. Tarpon, snook, shark, jacks, kingfish, redfish and others will all be in play. Throwing any type of “mullet imitation” lure will work too when the fish are hot.
Further offshore, in the 60 to 90-foot range cobia can be a good bet in October. Try jigging your favorite reefs at least for a few minutes. If the “cobes” are home, they will show up quickly. Drifting live baits in this range will always produce good action on a mixed bag of species. If you get cut off, try a wire-based kingfish rig. If you catch an Atlantic sharp-nosed shark, run for the hills. They can swarm like flies this time of year. If you want to put some meat on the table, target mangrove snapper and trigger fish. The mangroves will require a sneaky presentation and some fresh/live bait. Try a pinky sized strip bait and a #1 j-hook for triggerfish.
Well offshore, fishing around the Gulf Stream waters will produce a fair share of mahi, blackfin tuna and sailfish. Once again watch for shrimp boats dumping by-catch early in the morning. Every fish within miles will come by for the breakfast buffet. Blackfins, cobia and mahi will be likely targets if you can get your bait bast the bonito.
October is also one of the top months for sword fishing in our area. When the weather turns stable in October, many experienced offshore anglers will take a chance on catching one of these delicious monsters. Nighttime fishing is preferred as the fish rise to the surface from the 1000-foot depths to feed. A rigged squid drifted at various depths is the traditional technique. Daytime fishing for swords has become more popular and usually requires presenting baits very deep. If you’re not familiar with this type of fishing, do your research or better yet, hitch a ride with an experienced captain. There is much to learn about gear and presentation for this type of big game fishing.
Best of luck out there and enjoy whatever mother nature serves up this month!