October Fishing Report Capt. Dan Clymer
With just three months left, grab a grouper while you can. Shorter days and cooling gulf water temperatures send the grouper migrating inshore and allow an easier reach for more anglers. From the intake canal off the Power Plant, the shallow rock piles, ledges and your favorite offshore grouper numbers; all these areas will be producing more keeper sized gags throughout these months. Standard bottom fishing rigs with frozen sardines, threadfin herring or live pin fish will work well, but if you’re like me – you can’t wait to take out the trolling plugs. Various large lipped plugs like MirrOlure, Rapala x-raps and Yo-zuri Mag Minnows are all excellent choices. Choose a lure that coincides with the depth your fishing, then troll over the structure about 4mph and hold on.
The trout which have been seeking comfort offshore in the deeper water will now be migrating inshore. The spotty bottom inside the Bird Rack is generally a good starting point for the month of October. The kelp grass that attaches itself over the shallow “yellow” hard bottom has been growing all summer and its fine trout habitat. Locate these areas and set up your drifts using DOA deadly combo cork rig with a glow, root beer or watermelon colored shrimp. Another one of my favorites are the scented baits such as the MirrOlure Lil’ John on a 1/8th jig head. They can be rigged by themselves or under a rattling cork.
Large red fish schools are roaming the mangrove points in our area and many are quality sized fish. Fresh cut mullet or live pin fish around the rocky points seldom get refused. Live shrimp works well too, but the abundance of bait stealers can be frustrating, so a larger piece of bait or select sized shrimp will stay in the strike zone longer. The floating grass will be disappearing too, so now it’s time to put back on your favorite artificial and cover some ground
Snook are another good choice as well and the season is open; as they are feeding aggressively in preparation for the upcoming cooler months. Points with good current flow and deeper water adjacent to them are good prospecting areas. DOA glow jerk baits and MirrO’lure MirrrO’dines are always a snook favorite. Use these baits aggressively and a steady tempo twitch, twitch retrieve with an occasional pause; will usually generate an explosive strike.
October is one of the best months to fish our area. There is something going on for everyone, both inshore and offshore; so please enjoy some of the best our Nature Coast has to offer.