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Hurricane Irene passed well east of us Saturday. Though like her predecessors, she left us for the most part unaffected. Gusty winds associated with these brushes of destruction are natures way of cleansing the waters. Much to the south red tide is plaguing the Gulf off of Sarasota. Lets hope the winds have helped our friends to the south.
Inshore, bull redfish were in full swing prior to the weather. These fish come in off the Gulf. The passes are their highways and the flats just east are redfish oases. Flooded oyster bars, mangroves, salt n pepper grass flats, points off of grass stands, creek and river mouths are likely spots. Keep in mind that during above average winds, reds favor the lee side of these structures unlike the snook. Cul-de-sacs out of the main flow of current are as well worth a look.
Water temperatures are favorable for an active snook metabolism. Good current flow and structure adjacent to deeper water are the classic ingredients for these of most prized gamefish. Pay close attention to the tide fluctuation and the changes in ebb and flood. While quarter moons do not offer great tides, these tides can be enhanced by the onshore and offshore winds. More consistent fronts will make there way in our area at this time of year. Water pushed in by southwest winds and the first drop in the barometer will trigger a frenzy on otherwise lock jawed fish.
Trout fishing has been fair. The flats off Hernando and Citrus Counties traditionally are the best areas to fish during this part of October. To my knowledge this event has begun and Pasco and Pinellis will next in the following weeks. When the tides do not reach optimum heights for redfishing, trout anywhere along the Suncoast will serve as the ol stand-by.
Offshore grouper have begun to become more active in 15 to 30 feet. Mackerel are everywhere and will return as the waters begin to clear after the blow. There has been much talk of kingfish off the coast in the papers. Neither I, nor anyone to my knowledge has taken any in this area yet. Fall kingfishing can be a matter of many variables. The water temperature is not at the comfort zone of these giant mackerel. Our first significant cooling will take place in the upcoming week. Lets see if that will bring all of the essential ingredients.
Anglers fishing for mackerel off the beach from Clearwater to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge have put a few tarpon in the air the past 10 days. Though this is not unusual, it too is not reliable. If you are in these places be prepared. On the beach the poons have been spotted in the potpourri of bait on hard bottom. Anyone fishing tarpon in this scenario knows these can be the most temperamental of fish in the world. At the Skyway, the south end of the bridge has been producing on the outgoing tide both during the day and after dark.
Fall fishing conditions can change suddenly, get out now and enjoy it!
Screaming drags and tired arms!!!
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