fishing Forecast

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  • 11/05/2021 9:01 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    November, A Most Productive Month
    by Captain Tom Van Horn

    As a Florida native I can’t begin to count all of the outstanding fishing adventures I’ve experienced on the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida in November. We’re truly blessed by the opportunity to experience the natural side of such a magnificent resource, and blessed am I to have a loving and considerate wife who understands and tolerates my passion for the outdoors and stretching line.


    For a host of reason, November prevails as one of the most productive months to fish Florida’s east coast. It’s the season of the mullet, with waves of baitfish (black and silver mullet) migrating south through the lagoon and along the beaches. Currently the inlets are jam-packed with bait increasing the diversity of species one can expect to catch. Along with this seasonal migration come the cooler temperatures and an influx of predators on a quest for warmer waters and an opportune meal.

    As the water temperatures cool, look for the near-shore bite out of Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet to heat up. When the seas allow it, look for cobia and tripletail along the Port Canaveral buoy line, and on weed lines both inshore and offshore. Also, the cooler waters will trigger the snook and tarpon bite both along the beaches and in the inlets.

    On the lagoon flats, redfish and sea trout will begin their transition from finfish to shrimp and crabs as the mullet run wanes near the end of the month. Also, as the water levels begin dropping and the water cleans up, tailing redfish will become more common and sight fishing improves. When you’re in this situation, nothing beats a well presented DOA Shrimp or 3″ DOA CAL paddle tail as these tailing fish are targeting smaller baits.


    November is one of the best months to target snook at Sebastian Inlet. In addition, ocean flounder and oversized redfish have already begun to show up on the Port Canaveral buoy line and in the inlets, and their numbers will only improve as the month progresses. Other notable predators shadowing finger mullet and glass minnow pods are Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and blacktip sharks.

    On the inside, schools of pompano will soon begin to move off the lagoon flats through the inlets and invade the beaches in search of sand fleas (mole crabs), their favorite winter food. Also, look for large schools of ladyfish, small trout, jack crevalle, and Spanish mackerel busting pods of glass minnows in deeper water, and finger mullet near the shoreline and causeways. These schools are easy to locate by watching for bird activity, fish busting, and bait showering on the surface.

    November also serves as the beginning of crappie season on the St Johns River and all major freshwater lakes in Central Florida. As the cold fronts pass; I will endeavor to keep my lines tight, and promise not to take nature’s blessing for granted. See you soon on the Lagoon.

    As always, if you have questions or need more information, please contact me. 

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn
    Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
    www.irl-fishing.com
    407-416-1187

  • 11/05/2021 8:48 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Cold Fronts Matter
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    With the end of 2021 near the cold fronts are coming and depending on how far they get through our state, will depend on what, when, and where we will fish. Sometimes we get lucky, being on the southern end of Florida, as fronts are usually weak when they arrive here. October had very little influence from cold fronts, so things really have not changed up much. The “Red October” will probably be even better in November for the back bays.


    The migration or push of fish has had a slow start with lack of cold air coming from the North. However, the biggest factor is when will our first significant cold front or two make its way past Tampa. As the weather to our North cools off we see migrating fish following the big schools of threadfin herring, menhaden, and pilchards South. The predators that eat these fish are not going anywhere unless the bait gets pushed South of here. Kingfish, Cobia, tripletail, bonita, and mackerel are just a few examples of what usually sets up home here in Southwest Florida.


    The back bays are full speed for redfish, trout, black drum, and pompano. The water temperature should stay in the high 70’s barring any substantial cold fronts. If water temperatures stay up snook and tarpon will continue to be targeted along our beaches as well as the near shore waters, and of course the back bays. Lastly in our back bays we usually stumble upon some strangers this time of the year. Permit, tripletail, and cobia are good examples of fish we pick up randomly during these changing times, so be ready for anything.


    The offshore guys will be watching the weather as cold fronts will make things rough. Those that choose not to make the long 40 plus mile runs can easily target kingfish throughout the area now. There is a lot of different ways to target these fish. Trolling large deep diving hard baits works well, or freelining blue runners in areas you already know they exist. Look for kingfish starting now regularly from 20-90 feet of water. Those that run out to the deeper waters will be able to find plenty of groupers, lane, mangrove, red snappers, and mutton snappers, as well as aj’s and kingfish. The regulations are constantly changing on these species, so be sure to download the fish rules app so you do not get in trouble for not knowing.


    Tight lines, Capt. Greg Stamper

    Snookstampcharters.com
    239-313-1764
    Fort Myers beach, Fl

  • 11/05/2021 8:44 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Winter Migration Begins
    by Captain Charlie Conner

    With the hot months of summer behind us, November brings milder weather to the Treasure Coast.  The dry season has arrived, so rain won’t be a huge factor now.  Water temperatures will begin cooling down as winter is fast approaching.  The winter migration of many fish will begin this month and bring exciting fishing action to anglers in the area.  Enjoy November and get out fishing soon!


    Black drum are moving into the area in November. Brody shows a nice drum
    he caught while fishing docks along Fort Pierce.

    Redfish can be found around docks and mangroves with DOA shrimp or live bait.  I love fishing docks this time of year.  You just never know what might be lurking under one.  I fish my lures from up tide of the dock, so that it will stay under the dock.  You only need to twitch it and can fish it much longer that way.  It’s always a challenge in getting a fish out from under one, but the excitement is well worth it.  Snook fishing will be good around the usual haunts.  Docks, bridges, and inlet fishing should produce some good snook action as the water cools off.  There will still be some tarpon around the area.  My favorite is the DOA Terror Eyz.  Live or cut bait will work also.

    The pompano are beginning to return to the river and will be a favorite target for anglers throughout the winter.  When fishing the surf, use sand fleas or clams and the same in the river.  Doc’s Goofy Jigs or Fish Bites are great artificial lures for the pomps. You should still find some flounder around on the sand flats of the inlet and river.  

    Look for mackerel, bluefish and jacks to fill up the inlet this month.  Most shiny lures will work on these predators.  You can also find them hanging in the channels up around Harbor Branch. Docks and bridges will hold black drum, sheepshead and the sand perch as they begin to arrive this month.  Live or dead shrimp always works best on these fish.  It might be breezy out there…..but the fish will be feeding!

    As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!!

    Good Fishing and Be Safe,

    Captain Charlie Conner
    http://www.fishtalescharter.com
    email: captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852

  • 09/30/2021 3:26 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Who doesn’t like October?
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    Another month of rain danced across Southwest Florida. Some areas got a few inches here and there, and other areas got soaked. Anglers this month will still need to dodge these storms occasionally, but as this month comes to an end things begin to calm down. Lightning both in the mornings and afternoons concern most boaters and will continue to do so for about another month. Fishing between or before storms was good for most anglers throughout Southwest Florida last month and should continue along with some new targets.


    The back bays cool off when we get a lot of rain consistently. This makes the fish happy and more active than it was during dryer weeks. Water temperatures in some areas will drop as much as 5 degrees on the surface. Redfish love this type of weather and the small schools that started to move around last month, now become bigger. We call it red October for a reason peeps, and there will be an abundance of them throughout the area. Snook, pompano, and spotted sea trout will fill in the rest of the main targets. As the waters north of us begin to cool black drum become much easier to target as well as pompano, bluefish, and mackerel.


    Nearshore was a combination of Snook, permit, snappers, and mackerel as of last month. These fish should continue to be found as main targets for about another month. Those that fish the wrecks within 9 miles will do well on permit when using live crabs on long leaders. Those that use shrimp, crabs, or threadfin herring weighted or on the bottom will catch Snook and by now black drum. The snook are all big “35” plus and the black drums are in the 30-pound range, so be prepared to handle fish of that size. Mackerel can be found by simply looking for the birds going crazy.


    Offshore will continue to be a storm dodging type of month. Often in our mornings, you will see the big storms far off on the western horizon, exactly where those boats would be heading. Those with good radar and weather instruments can make good decisions on which way to head and when. Those without the right equipment, stay home. Fishing for mangrove snappers as well as groupers will continue to be the best bet. 100 feet plus is usually a good starting point for the red groupers and 75 feet for the snappers. Kingfish, cobia, as well as tunas, will now start showing up more often.


    Tight lines, Capt. Greg Stamper
    Snookstampcharters.com Fort Myers Beach, FL
    239-313-1764


  • 09/30/2021 3:23 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    As the water cools the fishing heats up
    by Captain Michael Manis

    This is one of my favorite months as southwest Florida transitions out of summer but is still a month or so away from the first front that suggests winter is approaching. Cooler water temperatures put game fish on the move. This combined with moderate breezes provides opportunities from inshore shorelines to the beaches. Looking for redfish and snook, I still won’t venture too far into the backcountry, as I’ll stick to shorelines bordering the harbor’s perimeter. However, I will make my way off the beaches looking for migrating bonito.


    Snook, in post spawn, are looking to fatten up and will begin making their way from the passes and adjacent channels. They’ll begin the transition to river, and backcountry creek systems where the brackish water will help them tolerate the cooler months ahead. As they’ll be keying on the scaled sardines that are so prevalent, baitfish patterns are my fly of choice. In addition, the stronger tides on the week of the 4th and the 18th should really put them on the feed.  


    Redfish will be schooling throughout the bays and sounds that surround the harbor. Keep an eye out for mullet schools as there’s a good chance the redfish won’t be too far off. Redfish in groups can be very competitive when it comes to food and mullet kick up a lot of small easy prey species like grubs, crabs, and shrimp off the bottom. The redfish version of the drive thru. Here too, the redfish are also keying on the scaled sardine so the same fly patterns I’ll use for snook are perfect.

    Spotted sea trout are also a good bet. Look anywhere in two to four feet around any grass flat in close proximity to a pass. They like the higher salinity and cleaner water that flushes in from the gulf. All our inshore predator species are keying on the scaled sardine so here too I’ll stick with the same baitfish pattern.

    For a change of pace, bonito are migrating down the coast following schools of baitfish.  Take a run outside any pass and if it’s going off, you’ll know. Keep an eye out for diving birds as they’re picking at the scraps from the bonito blowing up on bait. It’s a feeding frenzy and you can get close enough to throw just about anything into the mix. It’s a great opportunity to get into the backing with a fly reel.

    Lastly, schools of black drum are bouncing back and forth between the U.S. 41 Bridge and the perimeter canals of Punta Gorda. They eat flies and will also get you into the backing.

    Until next month, good tides.

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    941-628-7895
    mike@puntagordaflycharters.com
    www.puntagordaflycharters.com

  • 09/30/2021 3:16 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Transition Fishing
    by Capt. Charlie Conner

    Fall has arrived on the Treasure Coast. As we transition this month, the water will begin slowly cooling down for winter. It has been a hot summer, so don’t expect a huge temperature difference. October provides great weather and hungry fish. Plan on enjoying this month. It’s a fantastic month to be fishing!

    There will still be lots of hungry predators out there chasing them around the river and along the beaches. Live finger mullet, croakers, and pigfish will be the best live baits to use. DOA Terror Eyz and Bait Busters will be good artificial lures to use for snook. Try around the docks, jetties, turning basin, and bridges docks around the river. Lighted docks are especially productive when fishing at night.

    Redfish has continued to be a good bite for us again this year. There will be some good action for anglers around Fort Pierce. October will continue to be a productive month for those who seek redfish on the flats. The DOA 2 3/4“ shrimp or CAL grub tails are two of the best choices for redfish along with a variety of live and cut baits. The trout bite will be good this month. Get out early with a top water lure for some exciting action on the river. Switch to a DOA shrimp or CAL jerk bait later in the mornings. Harbor Branch, Queen's Cove, and Middle Cove are all great areas to fish for trout around the Treasure Coast.  

    Look for some sheepshead, black drum, and snapper to be moving in around the bridges, docks, and channel edges. The surf will be alive with jacks, snook, bluefish, and other predators, which will all be chasing the bait schools along the beach. Croakers and whiting will also be hanging along the beaches. It's another great month to fish along the Treasure Coast! Have fun and get out fishing soon!

    As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!!

    Good Fishing and Be Safe,
    Captain Charlie Conner

    http://www.fishtalescharter.com
    email: captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852

  • 08/28/2021 4:03 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Dodging Weather
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    Well, it’s still crazy hot, it rains every day, fire occasionally comes from the sky, and the waters almost 90 degrees. With that said fishing continues to be good and this pattern should continue into September. The best bet is to start as early as you can, fish until it starts getting hot or the lightning chases you off the water. The back bays will be all about redfish, snook, trout, and tarpon. The nearshore bite will be good for snappers, snook, cobia, and permit. Those going out deep will have a variety of options depending on how far they choose to go out.


    Offshore anglers will be fishing from 70 feet all the way out to 150 generally. The closer runs will be primarily for snappers of many varieties and cut baits or even shrimp will work just fine for that. Most of the big snappers i.e., three plus pounds will be caught on nighttime trips where they get out there at sunset and chum for an hour before fishing. Grouper fishing will start in about 100 feet of water with the bigger fish typically found deeper. Red grouper, gag groupers, scamp, and black grouper will be targeted more and more till year end. Should anglers get out past 150 feet then tuna, dolphin, a few sailfish, and even wahoo will be also available to target.


    Those fishing the back bays, creeks, rivers, etc... will need to play the tides. Generally, when the water is hot paying attention to when the tides are stronger will increase your chances. Incoming or outgoings does not matter to me, but I want them early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Slacking tides in the middle of the days heat makes things very tough. Start looking for redfish schooling up towards month end, as Red October is coming. Snook will continue to be found on the beaches, river mouths, passes, and sandy mangrove shorelines. Our juvenile tarpon fishing will remain good thru this month and will continue that way until things start to cool off. Late September or certainly in October anglers can expect pushes of fish coming down from the North as water temperatures begin to slowly cool off.


    The nearshore snapper bite has been good for snappers usually 1-2 pounds. Pilchards, pinfish, and shrimp are the standard baits. 3/8oz and 1/2oz jigs with 20lb fluorocarbon for the snapper works just fine. Snook are still going to be around the wrecks and reefs however you will need at least 30-40lb leader should you target those. Cobia have been showing up mostly when permit fishing. Having a rod with a jig or swim bait ready to throw is a standard as they do not usually stick around long.

    Tight lines, Capt. Greg Stamper

    Snookstampcharters.com
    Fort Myers beach, Fl
    239-313-1764 

  • 08/28/2021 4:01 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Bait Schools Mean Action
    by Capt. Charlie Conner

    September will continue to be warm, but the fishing is always exciting.  August was a super-hot month!  It’s a great time of year to target tarpon, snook, and redfish around the Treasure Coast.  Lots of bait has arrived in the area and the predators are chasing it both in the river and on the beach.  Water temperatures will continue to be warm and have been in the upper 80’s lately.   It is always best to fish early or late in the day.  The fall mullet run begins this month and that will bring exciting action to the area. September is an awesome month to fish the Treasure Coast!
     

    Photo: Eli found this nice pompano while fishing along the channel edges in Fort Pierce.

    Snook season opens again on September 1st.  Live bait, DOA Terror Eyz, and assorted other favorites used around jetties, bridges, and sea walls can get you hooked up to that slot fish. Make sure you are prepared for the season and check your equipment.  It’s always good to check your license and snook permit, too.  

    Fish the shallow water early.  Look for redfish around docks and mangroves this month.  They like the shade these areas offer, and you can get a nice redfish fishing live bait, DOA shrimp, and CAL grub tails.  The trout bite improved this year, and you can find some nice fish around Bear Point, Harbor Branch, or Round Island flats.  Fish top water early and switch to DOA shrimp or CAL jerk baits as the sun warms up.   

    Find the bait schools and you’ll find the action! It's easy to spot the bait this time of year.  The fall mullet run is going on strong in September.  If you do not find bait around your favorite fishing spot, you will most likely not find many fish there.  Move around if you need to find active bait.  Fish love this time of year and they are out there gorging themselves on the bait in anticipation of the coming winter months.  Water temperatures will begin to mellow out and will get back to normal.  It's a great time of year to be fishing!

    Remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!

    Good Fishing and be Safe,
    Captain Charlie Conner
    www.fishtalescharter.com

    captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852

  • 08/28/2021 3:51 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Hit the Outside Bars Early
    by Captain Michael Manis

    With the heat still ever present, I’ll continue working early and concentrate on outside shorelines that run adjacent to open water bar systems. In particular, shorelines that adjoin creek mouths and deeper cuts are my favorites. This type of habitat can hold snook, redfish, and juvenile tarpon.


    Redfish are beginning to school up now and they can be a lot of fun when grouped up. Keep an eye out for stingrays as they kick up a lot of sediment and redfish will hang close looking for an easy meal. When they’re on the feed like that they’re a bit less cautious and when there’s a few fish together they’ll also be more competitive. Also, the rays are sometimes easier to spot than a fish and that’s particularly true when the water is on the tannic side.


    While on any outside bar system,  don’t be surprised if you see a school of jack crevalle cruising and busting bait. They disappear as quick as they show up so be ready to throw no matter what you’ve got rigged. 

    The spotted sea trout bite will start to get better as the month progresses. For the most part, anywhere in two to four feet within the proximity of a turtle grass flat should be good first thing in the morning. 

    Tarpon will be scattered throughout the upper harbor. The bigger fish are around the deeper holes and bridges. Some smaller fish can be found around the perimeter canals of Punta Gorda and outer mangrove shorelines that adjoin creek systems. In addition, this is a good time to keep an eye out for schools of black drum bouncing back and forth between the U.S. 41 bridge and the same perimeter canals holding tarpon.

    Also, don’t be surprised if you run into some sharks around the deeper holes. Black nose, blacktip, and bull sharks are always possible. Spanish mackerel could be anywhere especially if you’re around one of the markers.  Smaller sharks are great sport on the bars that border the open harbor. When it’s hot, these bars stay a bit cooler from a decent tide flow.

    Whether from land or a boat, fishing off the beach can be a lot of fun this time of year. There are still snook in the surf and many of these fish are also going to be making their way to shorelines and dock structure inside the passes. 

    Schools of Spanish mackerel are here too and will be moving in and out of the passes busting bait. As always, find the bait and the fish won’t be far off.  

    Until next month, good tides.

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    941-628-7895
    mike@puntagordaflycharters.com
    www.puntagordaflycharters.com  

  • 08/28/2021 3:48 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    The Mullet Run Begins
    by Capt. Tom Van Horn

    September marks the beginning of the fall bait migration on Florida’s east central coast. Consisting primarily silver mullet, baitfish numbers will be increasing as we progress into October and November. It is hard to predict exactly when or how strong the mullet run will be, but along with the arrival of the bait, comes the predatory species we love so much. Thus far, the lagoons are loaded with mullet, so it is shaping up to be a good run.


    The beach snook run started in mid-August with a few fish already showing up, and it will begin to pick up substantially, just in time for the opening of snook season on September 1st. My favorite bait is a live finger mullet.  Fishing the very edge of the surf casting your bait just beyond the white water. Walk slowly along with the direction of tidal flow, so your bait does not wash in with the waves. The same system will work for tarpon, just cast it out further, and make sure you have adequate tackle and line capacity to handle these mighty fish.

    Look for snook, tarpon, jack crevalle, sharks, and large kingfish crushing bait pods along the beach. These pods are easily located by watching for fish and birds busting bait. Once you have determined the direction of fish movement, usually south, simply set up in front and let them come to you. This is my preferred time of year for targeting snook and tarpon along the beach.

    Near-shore, good numbers of kingfish will continue to work the beaches, wrecks  and reefs. When fishing for kings, slow trolling live pogies on a stinger rig is one of the most productive methods.

    In-shore on the lagoons, seatrout are still plentiful on the deeper edges of the flats, with the best bite happening at first light or sunset. Look for ladyfish, tarpon, slot size reds, and jack crevalle to be mixed in. Fish with top water plugs for explosive action, or work ¼ ounce DOA CAL jigs with colored CAL Tails for the subsurface strike. Near the end of the month, start looking for the pompano and flounder to begin moving out of the lagoon through the inlets and into the near-shore waters along the beach. Also look for the larger redfish to begin to form up just outside the inlets, feeding on baitfish and small crabs carried out by the tide, and for Spanish mackerel and bluefish devouring schools of glass minnows (bay anchovies) in the same areas.

    September is also the time of year the breeder redfish school up for the spawn in the north IRL and inlet passes of Ponce and Sebastian, so it is a good time to target these schools. Please remember these are brood stock fish, so if you target them, please use adequate tackle (20-pound class or better) to get them in quickly and handle, and release them with extreme care.

    As always, if you have questions or need more information, please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn
    Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
    www.irl-fishing.com
    407-416-1187

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