Another summer is coming to an end here in SWFL. I hope everyone had a fun summer with their families and friends. I took some time away this summer myself to spend time with family and made some new memories on the water. Fall is around the corner and with the seasons changing so does the bite.
I am thrilled to walk into Fishin Franks and see larger sized shrimp making a come back. These are great for fall red fish. They cant resist a jumbo shrimp walking by them. Fish them free-lined or on your favorite jig head. If you aren’t a bait guy, gold spoon’s and soft plastics will do the trick. These reds are starting to school up, feeding the best during early morning hours. The rain forecast this week could throw this off. I am welcoming weather forcast, this rain will cool down the water even more and could increase the bite.
Snook season opens this week. You can buy your snook stamp anywhere you buy a Florida fishing license. Catching and releasing in our area will greatly help the population grow. Their population was decresed by the freeze a few years back, still recovering. Target them with live bait in deep pockets along the flats, or right along any sandy drop offs. Working a top water lure along the shoreline around first light will lure a hungry snook out to eat.
If your fishing from the shore line you have a lot of great options too. The white bait is along the beaches from Boca Grande to Englewood. Snook and flounder have been prevalent along gulf beaches, jacks mackerel, trout and a few small tarpon in lemon bay. Have a great week on the water and try to avoid the rain, the fish dont mind they are already wet!
Mallory Herzog- BigBullyOutdoors
Cold and blustery conditions is effecting getting out on the water. Luckily we live in florida and it usually passes with in a few days. Snook are starting to be pretty heavy around our local spillways, the cold fronts have triggered them to moved up the river and into canals. I stopped yesterday on my way home and caught a few on one of my favorite fresh water lures. Only a few more days until the GULF snook season is closed until spring time.
Over the weekend we intended to fish on the gulf. Mother nature woke us up to a different scene than we had planned on. We arrived to one of our favorite beaches in Englewood to find wavy blustery conditions. Winds blowing 20-30 mph. There was no way I wanted to spend the day fighting the waves to keep a bait out or the current and wind while im trying to cast a lure. We drove all the way out here so we might as well search for another place to fish in the area.
My friend’s family beach house also had access to a nice dock in lemon bay. We decided to try there. As we walked up David was on the dock with a nice keeper trout! He told me ” Every time I throw a line in I am getting bites, its been a great morning for fishing” It wasn’t long before we found out for ourselves! Andrew and I both caught a snook with in the first 10 mins of being on the dock! Andrew also hooked a snook that later threw hook that was a MONSTER! You don’t hook them all with top water but its so much fun to try! The bite went on like this for about an hour. Almost every cast you were hooking something. Trout, Snook, & Jacks were all over and hungry! We weren’t using any live bait today, which made all the bites we were getting that more exciting. Only gulp, and various top water lures such as Rapala and a Zara Spook Jr in bone white.
I was using a gulp and switching on and off of a popping cork. I wasn’t getting too much action so I switched to a top water lure. I’ve never used top water before but watched Andrew fish it countless times. I think its so exciting to see the fish on top water smash your lure before getting hooked. We were throwing on to a grassy flat area near some broken down old docks. Andrew showed me how to work the lure and get the action right so it would make that unmistakable “gulp” sound across the top of the water. Out of nowhere from around the corner came a very large school of jacks eating some glass minnows! Ive never caught a jack larger than my own hand so I was hopeful to get one of these to bite! I threw into the school of them with no luck they seemed to completely ignore my top water lure. One last cast into the back of the school and a big hungry jack smashed my top water lure making a huge splash and commotion.
It was a fun afternoon with some great fish! Andrew even went out wading on the grass flats and caught the fourth trout over 20 inches this morning. The fishing here is very versatile. This would be a great location for kayaking on a day with less wind. Boat traffic was pretty quiet and there are plenty of grass flats and mangroves to explore across lemon bay. We plan a return trip soon with our kayaks in tow. Im sure hooking these bigger jacks and snook in the kayak would be a blast! Im loving the new Penn Conflict, awesome drag and really smooth casting! I’m looking forward to testing its durability all summer to see if it can live up to the battle!