Fall is finally here and that brings some of the best fishing of the year! Many things to do this month. To start out, this might be the last chance to get a shot at a Tarpon. Often times on an outgoing tide at the jetties pulling bait on the rips, they can stack up and drifting a live mullet can be a ticket. The big Jacks will also be around exploding on bait. Cast a big topwater like a Rapala skitterwalk, Mirrolure Top dog, or if it is choppy out, use something that will make a good commotion like a High Roller prop bait or a Johnny Rattler. All good choices. Connect that with a adequate piece of 25-40 lb test Hi Seas Fluorocarbon leader. Not more than 30 inches if you connect it to braid. Cast around the bait and hold on.....If the fish are there, you are going on a sleigh ride!! Talking lures, topwaters will also get the attention of the redfish and trout in the intercoastal and river. Working points, creek mouths and over structure can be very productive. Diving plugs, swim baits, and topwaters, all mullet immatating baits will be the best bet. The backcountry reds, trout and flounder will all be active with the southern migration of the mullet and cooler water. Flounder will be very active this month, as in the past, anglers have scored on big doormats in the mayport and adjoining tributaries. A TBS black nickel jig, shrimp tipped bucktail, or fish finder rig on the bottom will be a great choice. Work the jigs slow and wait to feel that exciting "thump" and give the bait a moment and set the hook! Reds will be around many of the backcountries oysters bars and mud flats. Again work the lightest TBS jig and bait combo you can get away with will be what you want to use. Shrimp, mullet or mud minnows are best. Cast to the rips around the bars or sight fish them. Good baits for both situations. Working with bait combos, put a crab, mullet, or chunk of ladyfish on the bottom with a standard fish finder rig along the St.Johns river channel and a bull redfish can be your surprise! Fish to 20-40 lbs are common. All in all, this is usually the last month before the migratory and pelagics head out of our area, so get out and get them, or another year gone bye!! Good Luck out there!
Capt. Tony's expert insight on what you should look for on the water and how to get the most out of the current fishing season.