The tough winds are gone but we will have moderate winds from the east through the weekend and into the first part of next week…..and then hang onto your hat for late week as the winds will turn westerly (nasty) and kick back up to the twenty knot level. Those westerly winds here in this shallow domain stir up the muddy bottom and deliver water that rivals the color of Starbucks Cafe Latte and impacts the fishing big time. In addition we have a full moon tide come next Thursday with a morning incoming ranging close to 4′. The afternoon outgoing is much gentler. Water temperature is toying with the 78-80 degree level and starting the piscatorial fall activity.
Primary message here is to fish backwater early to mid week. After that, with the westerly winds the water quality will tank and so will the fishing quality. Redfish are staying active as fall moves in. Look for schools of reds….mostly medium size traversing the shallower open Bays (Johnson, Rookery with emphasis on Henderson Creek, Addison to Upper Addison) mid tide working artificials or small tipped jigs on the perimeter of the schools. Later, as the tide crests, move over to the shallower mangrove edges and work a shrimp under a popper up close to the tree overhangs. Even as we’re yet far away from the sheepshead spawning season, there are some take home sheepshead showing on the Keeywadin docks and structure. Also black drum in the early season mix. Both on small pieces of shrimp or fiddler crab tight to the encrusted structure. Pompano are day to day (depending on the water clarity) in both Capri Pass and Hurricane Pass working the first and last hours of either tide with small tipped jigs worked to the bottom.
Conditions good through midweek. Avoid when the west winds kick in. White bait roaming the first reef structures.Moving quickly so stay mobile. Pelagic action following the bait. Stay mobile working small top water tipped jigs to the perimeter of bait eruptions and/or bird action. There you will find the mackerel and bluefish assaulting the bait schools and suckers for going after a small tipped jig worked quickly up near the surface. Of course you will need chum to draw and hold the action. Bottom action here is still pre-fall migration, so you’ll want to work for lane /mangrove snapper and perhaps a gag grouper on the structure you are working for the pelagics. Tipped weighted jigs will do the trick but be sure your rigs are immersed in the flow of the chum. Chance for some really good action.
Sea conditions will tank late week. Still have good red grouper action in state waters ; Feds closed red grouper harvest in federal waters suddenly, with no prior notice two weeks ago. So set up at seven to eight mile hard bottom and work a live pinfish or cut ladyfish tight to the bottom on a drift on either tide. The gag grouper are out a little deeper and can be caught using the same bait and technique. Try a start in 50′ of water and work on a drift. The gag grouper are open to harvest until 12/3/15. Some trickle of the south migration has started. A few cobia have shown on the deeper wrecks and jumping on live runners and threadfins worked sight casting. The kingfish action can’t be far behind. Super deep wrecks still holding amberjack action on live bait dropped vertically into the wreck structure.