As we roll into September, water temps start to slowly cool down which is badly needed. The fish start to transition into their early fall and winter haunts. You can actually spend a whole day on the water without suffering from heat exhaustion. For me, one of my favorite things to do is work dock lines and deep-water mangrove shorelines with artificial baits targeting snook, redfish and big speckled trout. This is normally the month when I can start to do that again with early mornings and late evenings producing the best bite. Soft plastic paddle tails like the Marsh Minnow from Mirro-Lure and the Rage Swimmer from Strike King Lures will both get the job done this time of year.
Snook will start their push toward the rivers and deep-water canals, feeding on almost anything along the way. This is one of my favorite times of the year to catch that 40-inch snook of a lifetime. As they push toward their winter haunts, they feed heavily in anticipation of winter cold fronts and depleting food supplies.
The Redfish, which have been tough to find all year, will hopefully show up and feed heavily on the flats this fall as the summer bait hatch finally grows up. We usually start to see new schools on the flats this month.
Big Gator Trout return to slightly shallower waters to feed and the flounder bite picks up significantly on areas of hard bottom.
Toward the end of the month, we may start to see some kingfish off the beaches. The gag grouper will start to push into shallower water and feed more aggressively in the cooler waters.
September is still a little warm on the front end, but normally by the end of the month things will be quite fishy. Take advantage of the changing conditions and pay close attention to transitional areas, and this can be an incredible month on Florida’s west coast!
Catch Capt. Michael Anderson every Saturday morning for Reel Animals Saturday on 970WFLA from 6:00am to 8:00am and Sunday mornings on AM620 for the TA Mahoney Co. Reel Animals Radio Show from 7am to 9am or to book a trip call 1-866-Gamefish. Check local listings for Reel Animals TV