October is one of my favorite fishing months in the state of Florida. The water and air temps are coming down and the fish are in transition mode to their favorite winter haunts and feeding all the way. That is what makes it such a great month to get out and target your favorite species. The bait, which can be a little tough to find in the warmer months, seems to be everywhere. We all know that a live well full of live bait, this time of year, can lead to one heck of a day.
The flats have already come alive with hungry redfish schools and speckled trout of all sizes along with ladyfish, bluefish, flounder and jacks. The cooler water temps put fish in the mood to feed and induce a feeding frenzy on the flats and in the back country. Snook will be feeding heavy this month. They feel the cooling water temps and notice that the daylight hours are getting shorter. Target the mouths of the rivers, residential canals and those flats adjacent to deeper water for best results, as they will stage up in these areas as winter approaches.
Off the beaches, the fall kingfish bite should fire up late in the month and with any luck, will last a while. A sharp cool down and they could be everywhere. Anchoring up over hard bottom and chumming or slow trolling with live baits are both great options. Anchoring up is better for action as the Spanish mackerel and sharks will come around as well. But, if you want a big smoker kingfish, slow trolling is the way to go! Troll with the tide slowly bumping your vessel in and out of gear until you find the presentation pace they want. Be sure to leader up with a short piece of wire as the toothy kingfish will normally make quick work of a mono or fluorocarbon leader. Be sure to fish a light drag on these fish as well. The strike is quick and fierce and giving that fish a little room to run before tightening the drag will up your catch rate.
Remember to practice some catch and release and only keep what you’re going to eat fresh. Everything we put back today will lead to better catches tomorrow.
Catch Capt. Michael Anderson every Saturday morning on CH32 WMOR at 6:30am for the Reel Animals Fishing Show and Saturdays 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.