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