Capt. Bob’s West Central Florida’s Fishing Report
Fall is full of reasons to get your line in the water. Ideal water temps and migrating fish are just 2. It is just a great time for us to be outdoors is the main.
Casting from docks, piers and bridges can produce many species to do battle with. Live shrimp and small crabs can produce some tasty Sheepshead, Snook, Redfish and Jacks. No weight with a natural presentation usually is the ticket. You can also use a weighted bait and hookup with a flounder in some deep rocky or hard bottom areas. Jigs with Gulp bait or mirror lures and poppers like the Zara Spook are fun to cast around docks but most hookups will come from live greenbacks or large live shrimp.
As the water approach’s the magical temperature of 70 degrees most of the target species offshore will make themselves present. The rocks and hard bottom starting just 9 miles west of northern Pasco County will be home to large Groupers, Grunts and Kingfish. Trolling stretch 15 or 30’s along crab lines is a great technique. If you connect with a fish mark the spot and circle around and try it again. Mark it again with your next hookup and anchor on the spot. Drop frozen bait on a #6 circle hook with a 6 ounce egg sinker and hang on. If you have any live bait cast out an unweighted flat line with a stinger rig for a patrolling King.
If you have numbers offshore that have produced this is the time to anchor up on them. Big hungry fish and more of them will be waiting for you. Gag Grouper now needs to be 24 inches but the season runs till the end of the year. To windy to run out deep no worries the flats is alive with many species. Live bait floating a couple feet from the bottom works but our favorite is a jig with a nuclear chicken Gulp bait.
Check the size limits on your catch before putting them on the ice. Best source is myfwc.com and ALWAYS check the forecast before heading offshore. Fair winds and tight lines to all.
Capt. Bob Hubbard
Island Paradise Charters