Captain Billy Norris
The weather is hot, and so is the fishing! From backwaters to offshore, the bite over the last few months has been stellar! We are getting into the latter part of the summer months, and before we know it the weather will start to cool off. Right now however, we are still in that summertime fishing pattern. The main fish to target right now in the backwaters are snook and redfish. This time of year, both of these species are eagerly taking live pinfish. For tackle, use roughly 3’ of 30 pound fluorocarbon with a 3/0 circle hook. Depending on the situation, fish them either suspended under a cork, or pinned to the bottom with a split shot. The whitebait has been tough to find lately and when I have found it, it’s been small baits, a size more suited for fishing snapper or smaller snook. Try to fish the backwaters in either the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat and get the best bite.
September, and especially October, are my favorite time of year to target redfish. As the weather starts to cool these fish will push onto the flats and way into the backwater. Over the last few months we’ve been catching lots of redfish on the nearshore wrecks in 15’-35’ of water. The large number of redfish offshore should be a nice foreshadowing of a great late-fall redfish bite in the back.
Nearshore has also been great lately. The mangrove snapper bite has been dynamite on nearly every wreck we have been fishing. We’ve caught a limit nearly every time we’ve targeted them, with fish averaging 12-20 inches. For tackle, use a lighter pound test fluorocarbon leader to increase the amount of strikes. There have also been a number of cobia around lately, one of my favorites for the dinner table. When targeting cobia, definitely beef up your tackle as these fish will run and break you off if you are undergunned. I recommend at least a 5000-6000 class reel with 50lb. braid and at least a 50lb. fluorocarbon leader. Cobia will eat pretty much any live bait presented to them, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t find whitebait. If you are looking for just sport/catch and release, the permit and tarpon bites have also been on fire. As we get later into fall, focus primarily on redfish and be ready for the arrival of kingfish, as soon as the water begins to cool off. Fishing is great as always, so get out there and rip some lips! Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Instagram @pale_horse_fishing_charters for up to date fishing reports, tips and photos!
-Captain Billy Norris