This Month's Fishing Outlook
The big news for the September outlook is the return of snook season after a closure that lasted over 3 years. That was due to the extreme cold of the '09/'10 winter that killed a lot of southwest Florida's prized gamefish. The season will open on September 1st and will last until November 30th. Anglers are allowed 1 snook per person per day with a slot limit of 28 to 33 inches in length. You must also add a snook permit to your saltwater fishing license to possess a legal fish.
The water flowing out of the Lake Okeechobee basin is slowing a bit and the water quality will continue to improve, provided we don't get a tropical blow. This has helped clear the waters quite a bit in mid to upper Pine Island Sound and in Estero Bay.
Speaking of snook. They are in the midst of their annual spawn along the beaches and there are quite a few nice ones in the mix. They will continue to hang out there through the month of September and will feed on just about any live bait thrown their way. Pilchards are a favorite but they'll readily eat live threadfin herrings and pinfish. On the artificial side, go with anything that imitates a small baitfish. Favorites are Yozuri Crystal Minnows and Mirrolure 19 and 17MRs. Another place to search for snook is along mangrove shorelines and around dock pilings.
Redfish will continue to be a major focus for most backcountry anglers. As the water darkens from the rainwater runoff, the reds begin to move and chase bait near the oyster bars and the outer edges of the mangrove shorelines. They are also looking for larger offerings. On that note... switch to cut baits like ladyfish, pinfish and threadfin herrings. Keep your rigs simple. A 2/0 circle hook with no weight, 20 pound test leader and light line is the ticket.
Sea trout will moving along the edges of the open flats in about 3 to 4 feet of water. Live shrimp under popping corks is the old standby, but don't overlook going to the artificials and flies. Shrimp imitations work well and so do soft plastics. In the world of fly fishing, go with the Clouser Minnow. Dark colors in dark water, light colors in clear water. As September wears on and the days grow shorter, look for sea trout on the shallow water flats in the early morning hours.
The nearshore reefs are the place to be for action. Spanish mackerel, bluefish and jacks will be schooling up in the nearshore waters. Look for birds and you'll find the fish. The nearshore rock piles and ledges will be heavily populated with mangrove snapper and sea trout along with a mix of pompano, flounder and other reef critters. Live shrimp and cut baits will both work. A little further offshore you'll find a good mix of red and gag grouper. Beef up your tackle and be ready for the unexpected.
ATTENTION INSHORE ANGLERS: THE BACKWATER TOURNAMENT SERIES, Inshore Shootout, is Saturday October 5th out of Fort Myers Beach and the Cat has your way in. We’re giving away a free entry into this exciting Inshore Shootout where you’ll have a chance at over $8,000 in prize money ... And we have your free entry into the tournament!
ENTRY ONLY, DOES NOT INCLUDE BOAT, CAPTAIN, LICENSES, CALCUTTA, GEAR, BAIT, ETC.
October 5, 2013
Hosted at Moss Marine on Ft Myers Beach
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS