October 2011 Best Bets

The rumor I receive last month that the government is going to allow us to fish for red snapper for a few days this month was exactly that—a rumor. NOAA claims that all of us caught too many red snapper in June and July, and they are even talking about shortening our season even more for 2012. The problem is there is so many large red snapper in the Gulf off of Mexico Beach and even Panama City and Apalachicola that they are eating too many of the smaller grouper and other fish. Supposedly all of the control is based on factual information that they have obtained from everybody including the commercial fishermen. If there were ever factual information that is really not factual, this must be it!

Let’s get on to some real fishing now and talk about the large number of huge amberjack and gag grouper that are just waiting for you to drop a bait to. As you know by now, the 16th of last month we can bring home any fish in the Gulf except one of those red snapper. The red grouper, vermillion snapper, and scamp are still plentiful in the deeper water. Also, it will not be uncommon to catch a big ole’ mahi-mahi or wahoo. There is still a good bunch of them showing offshore.

Now is the time when those king mackerel should be showing up in large number as they will be returning from the west on the way back south. Some of the Spanish mackerel apparently had a lot to eat as they have gotten larger and larger. They also have moved just a little further offshore around the car body reefs and the ship’s channel. The speckled trout and redfish have not slowed up one bit. They only seem to be getting larger by the day. From my point of view here at Mexico Beach, it appears that October is going to be a banner month for both inshore and offshore 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.