Flagler County Fishing Report – October 2023
October fishing report brought to you by Chris
with Skinny Water Lures
September started off with lots of rainfall from Hurricane Idalia.
Have you ever noticed the increase of fish activity in the days before a storm? The changes in barometric pressure associated with good and bad weather will turn the fish on. Falling barometric pressure after many days of stable barometric pressure will cause most species of fish to feed aggressively. Fish evolved to understand that low pressure means a storm is approaching and they may have to fast for many days, which is why fish bite the best right before a storm.
Once the storm is upon us, most fish have swim bladders that expand and contract based on the water pressure and barometric pressure of the atmosphere. Low barometric pressure causes these swim bladders to expand, which makes the fish uncomfortable. To decrease the air in their air bladders the fish will use the greater water pressure caused by the deep water to find a comfortable place to wait out the storm. That is why they disappear from the shallows during extreme storms and hurricanes.
After the storm has passed, these fish will return to the shallows and go back to feeding aggressively. The fish may have not eaten for days so they will leave the safety of the deep water where they were waiting out the storm and begin feeding. If you get a chance to fish several days before and after a storm, your chances of getting bites will increase.
We felt that the bite was increased on the flats during the beginning of September due to Hurricane Idalia. Several days leading up to the storm we noticed the fish were attacking small baitfish and shrimp along the banks. We focused on downsizing and threw the SWL 3 inch paddle tail, which the redfish could not resist. The early morning topwater bite was also on fire as well.
Mid September we noticed the bait fish were still plentiful on the flats due to the “mullet run”. We found the fish seemed to turn off a little leading into the new moon phase. However, in the days after the new moon phase the fish turned the bite back on.
As the end of September approached, the redfish pre-spawn began. During this time you will notice the redfish will start gorging themselves on bait fish. Once the spawn starts the bite will slow down. Take advantage of this pre-spawn activity while the bite is hot.
During the last weeks of September we noticed that the redfish bite seemed to turn on a little more once the sun started poking over the horizon. The bite seemed a little sluggish early morning until the sun came up and started heating the water. Once the sun started rising the topwater bite turned on.
We found multiple reds being caught back-to-back in the same areas. Focus multiple cast in the same area before moving.
Due to the super high tides, we found schools of redfish pushed back into the small creeks and grass flats. Target the mouths to these creeks with topwater early morning. Switch to a paddle tail midday and work closer to the bottom. After midday, we slowed things down and switched to the SWL creature bait. This creature style bait allows you to fineness fish the oyster bars and deep holes. As we jigged this bait off the bottom, we found most bites came on the down fall.
When the bite gets tough slow down and throw a fineness style bait. This will allow you to target closer to the bottom and allow your bait to stay in the strike zone longer.
As October approaches you will notice cooler weather during earlier morning and late evenings. This cooler weather will allow the water temperature to drop slightly. This slight temperature change will turn the fish bite on even more. Look for the bull redfish to start moving in as they chase the large schools of mullet.
Thanks for checking out this month’s fishing report. Tight Lines!!
Chris Crego, Skinny Water Lures