October's Best Bets

The oil that was not here to start with is now supposedly gone and NOAA has opened up a very large area off of the Florida panhandle. At least we can go out now and look for a sailfish or marlin or maybe even a wahoo. The bottom fishing has still been providing us with some nice large grouper and exceptionally large scamp as well as some of the largest amberjack that I have seen in the last few years. Monty Ferrell put a extra large amberjack in the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association fishing tournament a couple of weeks ago and he did not have any close competitors. The red snapper are just getting larger and more numerous both on the close end structures and especially in the deeper water off shore. It is very heartening to see that they are going to allow us to bring home red snapper on Friday, Saturday and Sundays during October and into November now that charter season is almost over. They say “Oh you can bring home red snapper now” as if we are going to have a lot of charter trips during this time of year. And especially if a little bit of wind and weather occurs as is usual in October, I am not sure at this point but think that it would have been better to just give us a longer season next year however NOAA does not listen to any of the longtime older fisherman anyway, so they just do what they want to. There is an election coming up next month that I hope all fishermen will take notice as to what our government is doing to our fishing based on invalid information.

Inshore fishing has still been coming on real good even though the water temperature near shore has been as high as 89 degrees. It is beginning to cool a little the last few days and I expect it to come down fairly rapidly during October. Which should really bring on the speckled trout, kings, spanish and red fish. As the water temperature comes down to about 75 degrees the flounder will start moving offshore for the winter. And that is the time to fish the inshore artificial reefs usually around 50 to 60 feet of water. They will congregate around the wrecks for two to three weeks on the way to the deeper water. The king mackerel should start showing up in big numbers and large size in October as they start their journey south and hopefully the weather will allow them to take a slow journey along the shore as opposed to one big cold front that moves them straight across the gulf. I am looking forward to a great fall both weather wise and fishing.

Don’t forget to file a float plan, and let somebody know when you are going to return.

Be safe. Good fishing and good luck.