Captain John Fischbach of Absolute Florida Flats Fishing and guide Service reports fall fishing conditions nearshore, offshore and deep sea fishing charters continue to improve after the
effects of the round of hurricanes we have encountered subside and fishing conditions are drastically improving as the wind lays down and the water clears up. Flats, bays, bayous and estuaries are full of fish that are feeding hard. The inshore fishing has already begun to look like our usual outstanding fall fishing with water temperatures in the high 70’s. Big gator Spotted Sea Trout are in good numbers on many fishing flats along with upper slot to oversize redfish around Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, New Port Richey and Clearwater on the shoreline. Trout up to 5 pounds are eating live pilchards in slightly deeper sand potholes and grass lines, submerged oyster bars and shallow hard bottom rocky areas. One important technique that I emphasize to my clients is to cast their free-lined bait up current
and let the tide carry it into the fish and down the structure we are fishing as to not break up the school of fish. They are in tight schools in some areas on the inshore flats. Redfish are here early for their annual spawn due to the drop in water temperature and this past waxed moon helped them migrate to shallower water. There are big school’s in our area near the river mouths, creek mouths and bayous. Snook Fishing is at it’s fall peak as they are staged up in mass numbers, ready to make the dash to the warm protected rivers in our west central Florida region. There are many areas these species stage not far from the Pithlachascotee and Anclote rivers. Bring home your delicious Snook before the season closes!
Reef and wreck fishing is also great! Gag Grouper, Red Grouper, Black Grouper, Sea Bass, big Mangrove Snapper, grey snapper and Amberjack will not pass up a lively bait on a 6/0 circle hook made off to 60-100 pound leader and the appropriate size lead for depth and current. All these species are not only fun to catch but are awesome table fare. ESPECIALLY Kingfish and Jumbo Spanish Mackerel,
Bonito and Cobia are the pelagic species that are available for expert and novice fisherman alike. They are impartial to the angler or the bait as the smokers (big King Fish) always eat the flat lined baits behind the boat on a 3/0 J hook with 1 or multiple stinger hooks (treble hooks) with 15-20 inches of wire to prevent these razor sharp toothed fish from cutting you off, while bottom fishing at anchor. Slow trolling large live baits is a sure way to get a sky rocketing king fish hooked up easily smoking 100-150 yards of line off the reels with double hook-ups and triples during their migration to the south this time of year. This type of fishing in federal waters is also a sure way to get your blood pumping and mass amounts of adrenaline to be released into your body!!!