By Michael Murphy
The weather is about to change to a more comfortable temperature. This will bring the bait fish back more in the flats for a while, and the target species will be on fire. October is typically loaded with trout, reds, snook and snapper.
Redfish are schooled up and running the flats and passes. Use lots of chummers and look for the big wakes of water being pushed by large numbers of redfish. Catching redfish is kind of like finding the right girl: Most times, if you chase them, they will push further and further away. The best way to target redfish is to get ahead of them and wait for them to get to you and become interested in your bait presentation. Cast well in front of the school and wait for them to come to you.
Mangrove snapper are on the prowl with great sizes and numbers. Use the smaller baits and double them up on the hook. Chum heavy and they will show themselves in the flats and reefs inside the bay. The water, currently, is very dark with all the rain we have been having. This makes them a little less leader shy, but as the water cools off and clears up, you may need to drop your leader down to #10 or #15. Hook sizes should be good with #1 or 1/0 circle hooks.
The water temperature drop should bring the trout back into the shallower water around grass patches. Be cognizant of your grass flat areas, as many of the sea grasses will begin to recede into their dormancy phase.
Spanish mackerel haven’t really shown themselves this year in the typical numbers and may be a latent effect of last year’s red tide. Live greenies are the bait selection you want for some great-sized mackerel if you can find a school.