This year has been sort of strange in the
way of weather and we all know, weather plays a big part in the
outdoor activities like fishing. At the beginning of the year,
it took forever for the water temperature to warm up then once
it got in the mid to high seventies, it dropped back down to the
low seventies and stayed there for a while. Now, here it is the
end of September and the water is down to 75 in the ICW and the
ocean temperature this summer has ranged from the low eighties
to the low seventies. The ocean temperature has a lot to do with
wind direction and this year we did not have our normal
east/southeast prevailing winds. Instead, we had strong westerly
winds for most of the summer. And now we are going through one
of the wettest Septembers that I can remember. What does all of
this mean? What is going on? Well, what does it really matter?
We cannot do anything about the weather. The only real thing
that matters, is you better get out there and catch some fish.
And I mean some flounder, reds and trout.
Thatís right, the fish are biting and you
better get some. This is mullet exodus time and that means the
fish are biting. If you have a cast net, now is the time to get
it out and put some finger mullet in the live well. This time of
the year, finger mullet are by far the best live or natural bait
to use to trick the eating fish, to come home with you. Mullet
can be fished by impaling them on a lead head jig and tossing
them to the edges, rigging them under a cork with a weighted
lead head jig or unweighted hook, free lining them out the back
of the boat or sent out on a Carolina rig. Any way you fish
them, they are a primo bait, this time of the year.
If you do not have a cast net, not to worry
as you can use an assortment of both soft and hard plastic lures
to trick the fish. For soft plastics, it is hard to beat a
Saltwater or Bass Assassin as they make so many shapes, colors
and sizes, you are bound to find one that works for you. If you
do decide to use a Bass Assassin, it is hard to pass up on the
shad, curl tail or paddle tail shape. Try these styles and you
should be able to sneak up on some eating fish and if you play
your cards right, you might be able to invite a few to join you
for dinner. For color, it is hard to go wrong with a lure that
is either, white, silver, black, chartreuse or blue or some
combination of these colors, like, silver and chartreuse or
black and silver. These are by far not the only colors that will
get you a bite but these colors that have consistently worked
for me for over 40 years.
As far as hard plastic baits go, use the
same colors as above. I like a floater diver because, I am
usually fishing shallow water and a sinking lure will stay hung
up on the bottom or get buried in an oyster mound and even in
the day when lures were free, I do not like losing them.
Topwater lures also work exceptionally well, this time of the
year. Just about any lure that makes a splash or rattles will
produce some nice fish. I really like a Bomber Long A in blue
with silver sides or a Mirro Lure Provoker. Both of these dive
when retrieved and float when you stop the retrieve. So if you
come in contact with the bottom, you can stop winding and they
will float back to the surface.
Another way to fill the cooler this time of
the year is fishing at night under lighted docks. When you find
a dock that is holding fish, you can quickly limit out on trout.
When I fish at night, I ride through and area with several
lighted docks, looking for fish crashing the surface.
This is also the time to get a pile of
flounder and they will eat, shrimp, mullet, an assortment of
artificial lures and mullet filets. Try bridge piles or rocky
shorelines and be ready to give up some tackle in this structure
filled bottom. Bring more than one hook because you will be
fishing the bottom and you will get hung up on whatever is on
The monster reds are also in the river and
fishing over deep rock piles or ledges with mullet, crabs, squid
or cut up ladyfish will produce some nice string stretching but
it is rare that you will catch any that are in the keeper slot
size. Most of these are in the 20 to 40 pound class.
If the water temperature keeps dropping,
you can expect and early bite from sheepshead around the jetty
rocks and a fiddler crab fished in or near the rocks will
generate some tasty fish for the table.
All of this rain has pushed some snook into
areas they do not normally visit, so you might end up with a few
of these as Capt. Dave Borries did last week.
Fun Fishing Inc
904 757 7550