Captain Mike’s September Fishing Report

September 2016 Fishing Report

14188651_1209464069105683_3767839610391043083_oSeptember is the start of our Fall season down here in S.W. Florida which means that the scorching hot and humid weather we’ve been enduring for the last few months will start to give way too cooler and less humid conditions and believe me – we’re all ready for that change. Fall also kicks off the start of the return southern migration from some of our nearshore species like mackerel, kingfish and tuna that where hanging around the northern part of the gulf trying to beat the heat. We pretty much always have these species here but their numbers will dramatically increase over the next few months.
Early Fall is a time of transition for most of our species which means that they are moving around a lot looking to fill up and fatten up on whatever they can find to feed on before retreating to their winter haunts. This transition is great for anglers because you can pretty much toss whatever your tackle box is stuffed with at them and you stand a reasonable chance of hooking up. Fall fishing can be spectacular and just like spring fishing everything is here and there all hungry.


Best Bets for September = Backcountry fishing

The backcountry bite is really heating up right now and it will only get better and better as the month progresses. There are plenty of slot sized snook along the mangroves and around the mouths of creeks to go around and don’t be surprised if a 40 plus inch monster linesider decides to destroy the top water plug your tossing around. The redfish bite has also been strong lately and they have already started to school up all along the east and west walls of the harbor and a few good schools are also hanging around the oyster bars in Gasparilla Sound. We have been doing very well tossing gold spoon, soft plastics and cut pinfish at them on the incoming high tides but top water plugs and suspending twitch baits also work just as well.
12968175_10156771003720517_398993062659354627_oOne of the neat things about the backcountry this time of year is that, unless you’re looking right at the fish you want to catch, you never really know what will be on the end of your line until you reel it in. on any given cast you could catch a flounder, trout, pompano, jack, ladyfish, snapper, mackerel or cobia let alone a snook or redfish. If you ever wanted to get good at using artificial baits, then you’re in luck because this is the time of year to do just that.
Backcountry fishing is the best bet for September but don’t overlook some of the other great game fish we have around here. The shark action is on fire right now with plenty of Blacktips, Lemons, Bulls and Hammerheads around that are all ready to make your reels drag scream for mercy. Most of the sharks are in the 3 to 5-foot range but almost every trip sees a fish in the 6 to 8-foot range. Tarpon are also a very targetable species this month with plenty of 100 plus pound fish in the deeper holes of the harbor and high jumping juveniles hanging around the canal systems. Tarpon are never an easy target fish but if you have one on your bucket list that needs to be crossed off then book a trip because there here and contrary to popular belief – they will bite; you just have to know what they want.

If you’re looking for just a fun day out on the water or your looking to catch your fish of a lifetime, then give me a call and book a trip – love to have ya!

Tight lines,
Capt. Mike

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