Paddle Power in September 2023

Run mullet run! It is September and for kayak angler’s Central Florida wide there is only one thing our minds. One of the few instances where we can all feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, and the fall mullet run is just that event for us. This yearly migration of our areas most prominent bait fish stirs the imagination with sheets of bait being predated by every manner of coastal fish you could find. The mechanics of this fall tradition are relatively simple and though you can not predict things of this nature with consistency it is well know that September is the time to get your mullet run fishing going in full force. The mullet run is a function of cooling temps in coastal states north of us. The relatively warm water liking mullets realize that their summer home of coastal Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia will become significantly cooler than they can endure over the coming winter. So with each passing cold front, and even though we wont feel that cool down or frontal action for some time to come, the mullet move. Pushing out of the bays and backwaters to the surf where they start their southernly migration to warmer South Florida waters. This mass exodus of prey has a predictable effect on every manner of gamefish in its path, its time to eat! Fattening up in the time of plenty to prepare for the coming cold season and scarcity of food. The influx of mullet will be seen in the lagoons to an extent, but the real action happens on the beach, inlets, and in Port Canaveral. Waves of mullet push south with ever increasing density and frequency throughout this month and into next. For many anglers Snook will be the star of the show for both fight and a visit to the kitchen for dinner. Tarpon, flounder, redfish, jacks, bluefish, Spanish Macks, and even kingfish will invade the near-coastal and beach waters looking to take advantage of the feast. Launching your kayak around the inlets, port and beach will get you into plenty of fishy situations! Take great care when fishing around Sebastian and Ponce inlet in kayaks as the currents are relentless. Port Canaveral is a great option with considerably less current but be mindful of the larger boat/ ship action often found there. Hitting the lagoon just inside of those flowing inlets can make for a great day of fishing too. Obviously matching the hatch and fishing with live mullet is a sure way to put a bend in your rod. One big tip on the live bait front would be utilizing a bit of weight to get below the hoards of mullet and make your offering stand out from the rest. To witness the raw nature of a mass prey migration confronting predators in wait is something everyone should see. National Geographic live and in person.