September is our last chance for some summer Sebastian offshore fishing action and there are many fishing opportunities to enjoy on those flat days when the storms choose another track. Watch for cold water upwellings and a late summer run of cobia in our area. The unpredictable upwelling seems to be running late this year and may push back some of August’s opportunities into September. Mangrove snapper fishing falls into this category too. Try chumming up those big mammas on the reef when the water is clear and warm. You’ll need to freeline with a sneaky presentation to fool these big girls. Try a night trip if the weather cooperates. The fish lose the advantage of keen eyesight and can be taken advantage of at night.
King fishing should be a good bet this month from the beach all the way to the 90 foot reef. The trick is to find the fish though observing those big marks on sonar along with pods of bait and hunting birds. Dolphin fishing is on the itinerary too. Keep an eye peeled for schooly fish feeding in the weed patches from 50 feet on out. Pulling up to a lively patch and plucking a few tasty mahi with spinning rods equipped with a small artificial lure is great fun. Warm water is everywhere, and weeds are often abundant (and scattered) so focus on the presence of bait and well-formed rips. Blackfin tuna surge in our area this month from 90 feet to 250 feet so keep some small, way back lures in the spread while trolling. Also watch for the shrimp boats that will dump their bycatch early in the morning. Blackfins, cobia and of course bonito will swarm around these boats looking for a handout. The bite can be rekindled with your own chum slick in this area.
The mullet run should be going strong this month along our beaches. Cruise north or south looking for diving birds or better yet, mullet getting blasted into the air! For big tarpon, pitch a big mullet around the action area, using a 7/0 circle hook and 6 feet of 50-to-80-pound mono leader. Blacktip and spinner sharks are good sport in these same pods of mullet and can be taken on live mullet or freshly caught blue fish. Use a couple feet of wire leader if you want to eliminate some cut offs. Let the shark eat the bait for a good while before getting tight with the circle hook. Snook can be in this same area way up in the surf. Throw a live mullet or your favorite snook plug in there. A long casting fishing outfit is useful here. Be careful of the breaking waves. They can pop up unexpectedly when a set of swells move in.
Well offshore, many seasoned anglers will be drifting for swordfish this month. Although a bit early in the season, the calm weather of September makes it a good bet. The traditional approach is to drift at night with specialized gear including: 50-to-80-pound tackle, light sticks, and rigged squid presented at various depths. Newcomers have much to learn here to have a crack at one of the oceans prize catches.
Best of luck out there and take advantage of those few summer days that remain!