October is typically a big change for the fishing here on the Treasure Coast as water temps slowly start to decrease. The summer pilchards and migrating fish begin to dissipate as they move south to stay warm. However, here in Florida, there are always options to try while we wait for the winter migratory species to show up.
The “mullet run” kicked off mid-September and should continue through October. These baitfish are superb baits for the snook, tarpon, and big jacks throughout the rivers and along the beaches. Some of our biggest snook are caught using fresh DEAD mullet with the tail cut off or using only the head. The tarpon have been steady rolling back in the St. Lucie Estuary to also be caught using live mullet, but we’ve had some great mornings casting D.O.A. TerrorEyz and BaitBusters. The classic root beer color is great, but the purple sparkle has been very effective.
The “near shore” snapper bite has been good at the wrecks and reefs two-to-four miles out for lanes, muttons, mangroves, and some yellowtails using sardine cut bait and live pinfish. Kingfish are still being caught three miles out on live bait, along with plenty of ‘cudas, bonito, and sharks.
The tripletail bite has started to show in the Indian River along docks and crab traps. When cruising the river, keep your eye out for pelicans and terns hovering over small pilchards that can hold jacks and sometimes tarpon.
The pompano can start showing up skipping the flats in October and caught surfcasting off the beach using sandfleas, clam strips, and Fish Gum flavored bait with incoming tide. Mixed in with them are whiting, sand perch, and croakers.
The weather can be a big factor in the fall as we see windy, rainy conditions often moving through, so keep checking your weekly forecast when making fishing plans.