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 and, the big bull Redfish will all be there. 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 ,Johnny Rattler, or just a big chugger. All good choices. Connect that with a adequate piece of 25 - 40lb Hi Seas Fluorocarbon leader. Not more than 30 inches. Also use the same leader to make up your fish finder rigs for the bull reds. Fish from 25 - 40lbs are common. Use enough weight to hold bottom along the channel edges and use a piece of lady fish, mullet or crab on the bottom, this is a good place to catch the bulls. Don't forget to use a jetty anchor, Danforth and other types have a tendency to get hung up. Talking lures, topwaters will also get the attention of the redfish and trout in the intercoastal, river and backcountry. Working points, creek mouths and over structure can be very productive. Diving plugs, swim baits, and topwaters, all mullet imitating baits will be the best bet. surrounding areas that have an outlet to the sea holding bait is going to be a great place to get some action. The backcountry reds, trout and flounder will all be active with the southern migration of the mullet and cooler water. This is a good time to catch a big trout as they will be feeding heavy on the mullet. A diving plug that imitates a mullet is best. Remember to let the gators go after a picture so we can aid in maintaining our trout population. Flounder will also be very active this month, as in the past, anglers have scored on big doormats in the Mayport area structure and adjoining tributaries. A TBS black nickel jig paired with a finger mullet or mud minnow will be the best bet. Fan cast the area working the jig slowly back to the boat. Also, a shrimp tipped bucktail jig, Gulp or standard bottom rig / bait 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 when condition allow. This is the last month before the migratory and pelagics head out of our area, so get out and get them, Good Luck
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.