October Redfish Schools Have Arrived, Hallelujah!

It’s been a long and miserable summer and I for one, I’m glad fall is finally here. And even though it still feels like summer, the fishing has fall written all over it. Despite the continuous daily heat, the dew points are dropping, the days are getting shorter and most importantly, the water temperature is falling. This my friends marks the beginning to some excellent inshore action.

October has always provided some of the best opportunities for catching massive amounts of redfish during a single outing. Looking back in my archives, reminded me of a charter with three clients who caught and released 96 redfish in just five hours on October 12, 2007. I have yet to repeat such a feat, but catching 40 or more is possible if you encounter a large school of redfish. To do so, the conditions have to be perfect and you need a little luck.

First off, you have to locate a school of redfish in a no-motor zone, because schooling fish won’t tolerate a lot of boat traffic. Once you enter a zone using your trolling motor and find fish, it’s important to set up quickly and start to bombard the area with live-bait chum. Doing so, will keep the redfish actively feeding at your boat side for hours on end, if you’re not interrupted by other boats.

Cooler water temps this month will trigger larger snook to feed more aggressively also. Last month the snook fishing was pretty good, but not many big fish were being caught. That will all change this month, especially as we get closer to November. Mangrove shorelines and docks are good areas to pursue snook.

Mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel will still be active this month and in most cases they can be caught while fishing over of the same structure provided you have a good fresh cut-bait chum slick going. Don’t be surprised if you catch the occasional cobia, tarpon, ladyfish and jack crevalle while doing so.

Monday, October 10 is Columbus Day, which typically kicks off the fall kingfish migration. I’m not so sure about this year. It’s been too hot, but trust me, they’re on their way.