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The Bite In The Bay: October 2012

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On: Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 3:19PM | By: Captain Woody Gore

Snook are closed on the gulf coast. With most of the Snook we caught averaging in the 22- to 25-inch range. For those who like the night life associated with Snook fishing, this is great time. They’re hanging under residential docks watching the light line for a quick meal. Use a shallow diving artificial lure or free-line a big shrimp. Make sure to use a weighty leader like Seaguar 30-40 lb., so you don’t get cut off on the pilings.

As for the others, expect some good-sized Mangrove Snapper at the bridges with some topping out around 3 pounds. Cobia are showing and, for us, it usually only takes a chum bag over the side to spark their curiosity. If you hook-up, be ready with another rod and bait as other Cobias will be following the action. Mackerel, Bluefish, Jacks and Ladyfish will be feeding on bait schools everywhere. If it’s glass minnows they’re after try to match the hatch.

If we get lucky we get some nice dryer air this month as fall is just around the corner. It seems like this is the time of the year when I have to put a jacket back in the boat for the early morning ride to get bait; especially if the wind is blowing.

The water will start cooling down and the fish should start getting a little more excited about being fish. The bites have been exceptional during the last weeks of September and I expect it to continue right through the fall. You can expect good catches using live bait and artificial lures all over Tampa Bay.

If you’re interested in some exciting early morning action, tie on a new 16MR MirrOMullet Surface Walker or Top Dog Jr. from MirrOLure and walk-the-dog across a calm morning grass flat. The anticipation will kill you waiting for the next explosive strike of a large Snook or the water moving swirl of a stalking Redfish. A topwater lure strike is more than exhilarating… it’ll almost stop your heart.

From other articles, you’ve probably surmised that when it comes to fishing artificial lures are close to my heart. There is something magical about tricking a fish into striking something that’s alien-looking at best. I often think the stranger the lure the better chance of getting a strike. Over the years I’ve used everything imaginable to catch fish—live baits, artificial lures, and plastic straws. I’ve even used a strip of old white tee-shirt to catch Spotted Sea Trout and I’ve come to this conclusion… if it has action and looks wounded something’s going to try to eat it.

Try your hand at something man-made on your next fishing trip. You’ll be surprised at how many fish you’ll catch and how much fun you’ll have doing it.

There are plenty of Redfish and Snook are all over the area hanging around the many lush grass flats and mangrove shorelines. As Redfish move back into the bay it’s usually fairly easy to find them schooled up on the many grass flats covering the Bay. It’s also the time of the year when we see some of the big Redfish start showing up. You never know whether you’re going to a catch one in the slot or one of the giants over 30 inches, so be prepared. These big Reds often top the scales at 12 to 14 pounds. The upper bay area is holding good numbers of fish, but you must pick your tide days carefully when fishing north of the Courtney Campbell Causeway, especially by boat. The area gets extremely shallow on low tide days.

Never turn your fishing nose up at Ladyfish and Jacks, especially when kids are involved; they can certainly make or break a trip. Most children are not interested in fishing, however they are interested in catching and they don’t care what it is. When you take kids fishing make sure it’s all about them catching fish. You’ll get your turn when you and your buds get out.


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