September Fishing Forecast
Captain Jim Britton
Fall is finally here! As the heat index finally drops away from 100 degrees, the month of September provides two noticeable events which will influence inshore and surf fishing-the fall mullet run and flood tides.
As the mullet run begins, anglers will find bluefish and spanish mackerel in the inlets and following the large schools in the surf. Target these toothy fish with a well constructed artificial, such as a Gotcha plug or a suspending Mirrolure. A live mullet on a fish finder rig, fished from the pier or in a beach run out, will be the key to landing nice sized flounder and redfish. Pompano can still be found in the surf, as well, by using sand fleas or a small piece of Fishbites artificial bait.
The fall mullet run will get many species of fish stirring in the river also. Jack crevalle, ladyfish, bluefish, tarpon, and trout will all be found chasing the mullet schools traveling the ICW. Target these fish with a suspending hard bait, soft plastic jerkbaits, or a gold spoon. But for me, the start of fall means flood tide fishing! Consult your tide charts to find the days with the highest high tides. On these days, plan to search your favorite grass bank for tailing redfish. During the flood tides redfish and sheepshead will move up into the grass and feed on the snails that are on the grass blades. Bring your wading shoes as anchoring the boat and walking out may be the best approach (remember to do the “stingray shuffle”). Target these fish with a live shrimp, your favorite fly pattern, or a small artificial crab.
Offshore anglers should enjoy a more active bottom bite this month. Grouper will move onto the shallower wrecks and reefs (70 to 90 feet). Triggerfish, black sea bass, and even the occasional lionfish should be available also. Remember when anchored up to free line a live sardine to entice cobia and amberjack that will be lurking around these same areas. Sailfish can be targeted by trolling skirt and ballyhoo combos or kite fishing live bait