As hurricane season begins to wane and our prevailing winds shift to the northeast, fall marks the transition period setting the stage for our fall mullet run on Florida’s Space Coast.Along the beach, look for the silver kings (tarpon), smoker kings, blacktip sharks, jack crevalle, and redfish to be shadowing pods of Atlantic menhaden (pogies), thread fin herring (greenies), Spanish sardines, and bay anchovy (glass minnows) in close to the beach. Also look for snook fishing in the surf to improve, as we get closer to the commencement of the fall bait run. In and around the inlets, look for Spanish mackerel, tarpon, jack cervalle, and bonita to be working schools of glass minnows on the outside, and snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, and flounder in the area of jetties and other structure.Angling on the in-shore lagoons will continue to show improvement, with fishing in the predawn and late evening hours being most productive. Look for schools of redfish in the skinny water holding in the vicinity of bait concentration, and target them utilizing smaller topwater plugs. Once the sun starts to grow hot, the topwater bite will shut down, and bait becomes your better option. For larger trout, fish live pigfish in close to docks and other structure adjacent to deeper water. In deeper water, look for large schools of ladyfish, small trout, and tarpon pushing schools of glass minnows near the surface. These schools are easy to locate by watching for concentrations of birds, terns and cormorants, joining in on the frenzy, and they are perfect for fly anglers who are interested in the continuous fast and furious action provided by these speedsters. Last but not least, look for pompano schools holding in the shadows of the causeway bridges. Fish jigs tipped with shrimp or sand fleas (mole crabs) along the deeper edges and drop-offs. Lagoon water levels are extremely low, so please use caution when accessing skinny water.The shorter days in August also set the stage for the beginning of our fall mullet migration as the silver mullet begin to form up for their journey south for the winter. Along with this transition, breeder redfish form up for their spawn in the north Indian River Lagoon and inlet passes, as well as the snook in the surf.In closing, I would like to thank all of you who enjoy angling on Florida’s east central coast for your courteous and respectful treatment of the resource, other anglers, and the sport, and encourage all recreational anglers to become part of the solution by signing up and participating in the Angler Action Program, make your fish count.As always, if you need information or have questions, please contact me.Good luck and good fishing, Captain Tom Van Horn
Capt. Tom Van Horn is a Florida native with over 30 years experience
fishing on the estuaries of east Central Florida. Capt. Tom specializes
in light tackle saltwater fishing on the Mosquito, Banana, and Indian
River Lagoons. Species targeted include redfish, sea trout, snook,
tarpon, cobia, tripletail, and kingfish. Capt. Tom is sponsored by
RipTide Lures, Evolution Rods, Lipper Tools, Maui Jim Sun Glasses,
Woodies Rattles, Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Frog Toggs, and Team Daiwa. He
writes weekly fishing reports, fishing forecast, and articles about his
outdoor adventures. Contact Info: Capt. Tom Van HornMosquito Coast Fishing Charters540 Lake Lenelle DriveChuluota, FL 32766(p) 407 366-8085(p) 866 790-8081 Toll Free(p) 407 416-1187 Boat(e) firstname.lastname@example.org(w) irl-fishing.com
INSHOREWith September comes extreme high tides. In the backcountry along the ICW and the St. Johns River, these tides will open up the shallowest Spartina marshes and mud flats bringing redfish and sheepshead looking for fiddlers and mud crabs, along with snails in areas that normally have no water. If you listen closely you not only can see them tailing or with their backs out of the water, you can also hear them. Redfish will slurp the snails right off the grass or have their head down digging for crabs. It is time to break out the fly rods and the weedless jerk baits to pitch to the slots in the grass where you see tails and tips. A gold spoon will also work. This is a good time to get out of your boat and wade fish and be as quiet as you possibly can. Not only can you catch these big fish, you can also get some great photos.With this time of year brings great surf fishing, which will trigger good bluefish bites, also whiting and black drum along with the fall mullet run. If you are looking for bigger fish, tarpon will be hanging near the inlets feeding on baits, both early in the morning and late in the evening. This is also the start of the flounder run, with flounder being all over the river. The big ones will be around rock piles and docks. Flounder will hit artificial and live baits at this time of the year.Spanish mackerel will be making their inlet runs in the river and ICW. They will take a silver spoon trolling deep in the river.Trout will be gathering at creek mouths and areas were the water is moving. They will hit a jig, diving plugs, and live shrimp.OFFSHOREFish the wrecks northeast of Mayport for snapper and grouper. South of Mayport, anglers will do well with beeliners (vermilion snapper), cobia, triggerfish, and amberjack.Run off shore of St. Augustine and troll ballyhoo combos for sailfish.
OCTOBER FORECASTINSHOREThe doormats are here! This time of year the big flounder are stacked up in the inlets, along the jetties, docks, or any place there is structure under the water. You want to soak a mud minnow or mullet on a fish-finder rig and wait for the thump. Also you can use a jig head with a soft plastic, working it slow while waiting for the flounder to stop the bait. Looking around oyster beds and grassy areas you will find redfish and trout. Bluefish, yellowmouth trout, and black drum are also in the inlets and ICW. Live bait, like mullet and shrimp, will work for all. You can also use artificials, jigs with soft plastics, early morning topwater plugs, and suspending diving baits. The cooler water will bring a great trout topwater bite with low light, either early in the morning or on cloudy days. Beach fishermen will still find whiting along the shore along with pompano before the fall temperatures send them south. There will be some tarpon around feeding on live mullet at the mouths of inlets.OFFSHORESouth of St. Augustine to Daytona Beach, look for sailfish. They will be circling up bait in the blue water. You will want to get close to see this. This is truly a sight to see. And you will want to toss your baits into the schools, no doubt.Wrecks close to shore will still be holding grouper and snapper. African pompano and cobia will be at the deeper structures. You will want to use live bait. This is also the time of year to troll the ledge for dolphin and wahoo. At the roll down you may even catch a blue marlin.
Capt. Kyle Erickson grew up fishing and scouting the near shore and backwaters of The Big Bend. Through his years of experience, Capt. Erickson is able to offers expert guide services throughout The Big Bend and Forgotten Coast. He specializes in trout, redfish, tarpon and tripletail fishing, but is more than capable of putting you on some hardheaded cobia action. Both personable and friendly, Capt. Kyle will deliver a fun-filled day on the water full of drag-screaming action.Contact Info: Capt. Kyle Erickson(p) 850 229–2710(e) email@example.com