October Fishing Report
In the last few weeks of Oct we started to FINALLY feel the weather cooling off here in North Florida. It didn’t last very long but it was enough to drop the water temps in most places as well as putting the fish in their fall feeding mode. The trout bite in St Marks and Panacea areas seemed to start improving due to this. On Oct 20th I took a group from Atlanta out on a windy morning. The water was murky and we had a strong wind chop to face most of the morning. Yet, we prevailed! Most of our bigger trout were caught using Rapala Skitter walk top water plugs and 6” Gulp jerk baits. The crew caught 5 trout that morning that were over the 22” mark with the biggest pushing 26”. Later in the month when I would find cleaner water and the wind wasn’t blowing 20+ knots (you remember for that one hour on Tuesday?) Sebile Stick Shads in chrome/chartreuse put a ton of fish in the boat. The water clarity and chop from the wind, I feel, made the top water effective because they could “hear” it and hone in on the bait. Jody here seemed happy with his results!
The trout were not the only show in town though. The reds were acting like they should in fall, heading to structure that holds heat as well as getting skinny in the creeks. We had several good days of pulling on these girls on a good variety of baits, but the top producer was the Skitter walk again. Check out my blog post on “Fishing Blind” where I covered fishing dirty water conditions. The reds were caught inside Ochlocknee bay all the way in the marsh creeks, in Oyster bay near bars and in the St Marks river around oyster bars as well. Didn’t get a chance to run east towards the rock garden but I’d bet $50 they can be found around the outcroppings and on the grass lines on higher tides. Mark caught his red about half mile up a creek in the St Marks river on an incoming tide throwing a Redfish Magic spinner bait.
November 1-15 Forecast
Decided to switch it up a little when writing my fishing “reports.” In addition to covering stories from recent fishing trips I’ll also be covering what I foresee happening in the upcoming weeks. I feel this information might be useful to you the reader and my goal is to update this every two weeks to keep it current with our conditions. My entire mission by writing these reports and the blog post, is to bring information of value to anglers and what better way than giving you on-the-water knowledge you can take and apply on your trips!
I’m a few days behind but it’s hard to type when the fishing is this good! We’ve finally started seeing the winds dying down which is good news. Along with this drop the water clarity is starting to improve. For the next few weeks when targeting trout I’ll be starting to look a little shallower in the mornings and evenings. Ease into between 2-4 foot depth and target broken bottom with jigs or work with a topwater plug to cover water. Also start looking in the rivers and their mouths. Found some really nice trout action at the bars of Ochlocknee as well as heard rumors of trout being landing in the Wakulla river. With falling water temps they should be looking to fatten up before winter and the bite should be hot!
Redfish should also start easing toward the rivers and the creeks in them. Fishing in the marsh in Ochlocknee last week we only found puppy reds but there was a lot of them! What I see this meaning is the slot size shouldn’t be far behind. Just need a few degrees cooler water temps to get them in with their little cousins. There were some good mid slot reds out on the bars in front of the St Marks Lighthouse as well as the Wakulla Beach area last week. As it cools off, look for midmorning tides that expose the oyster bars in your areas, and fish the incoming tides tight to these. They will retain the sun’s heat, much like the dark mud in creeks, which will draw the reds to them for warmth as well as a meal. Top water will still be a great search bait but I always throw a Aquadream spoon some even if I saw no strikes on top. Sometimes they are just being lazy. All in all the fishing should be great, but you only know that if you go so use that sick day from work and go! Better yet, call me and let me be your guide!
As always if you have a question feel free to reach out to me directly.