While the fall has been steadily improving, many of us were convinced it was slower than usual. This has been the slowest October in several years for redfish. This is the time of year that the larger fish school to get ready for their move offshore, never to return to shallow water. While we have caught fish regularly, the large schools have been more scattered than usual. While this has persisted somewhat, within the past two weeks things have improved considerably. We even got in a quick offshore trip that was hindered by the usual problems when people go outside of their element, as well documented by Capt. Thompson in his weekly online blog post from Florida Sportsman (it was all his fault….http://www.floridasportsman.com/4cast/bb/index.html ). We did come away with one nice kingfish…came within a hair of getting spooled, this fish took a pinfish on a spinning reel with a stinger rig. Doug Barrett, whose boat we were using, came even closer. I could see the metal spool before his fish stopped…but the hook pulled shortly after.
In general, we’ve been doing pretty well. The day before the offshore adventure, Doug Barrett and I found some nice redfish in shallow water and some excellent trout fishing. Interestingly, most of the fish were caught on suspending lures.
This weekend there were several events going on….the Big Bend Bash, put on by the Big Bend Sportsman Forums, and the fall tournament of the Gainesville Offshore Fishing Club. Because of some forecasted winds, the tournament was cancelled. Naturally, the weather was beautiful all weekend, and we predict the make-up date on November 6 will be worse…because that’s what always happens. We fished the early morning extreme low in close to shore and found a great trout topwater bite. I caught approximately 30 trout, all on topwater plugs, and most were chunky 18 to 20 inch fish. We also found this nice 7 pound redfish, taken on a suspending Catch 2000 and another oversize 10 pounder that avoided a picture.
On Sunday, because the trout bite the day before had been so excellent, we decided to try and catch some trout on fly, in spite of the windy forecast. We managed four trout in spite of marginal conditions….and I also found THE clouser pattern for lizardfish, scoring four of the highly sought after gamefish. Unfortunately we couldn’t get any pictures of them, but I am confident they are tippet records.
I must apologize for posting all the pictures of this ugly mug….that’s the way it is when you catch all the fish. Now that the weather’s improved, along with the light-tackle fishing, I’ll be posting more regularly with pics of others.