Nearshore and offshore, fall conditions have immense baitfish schools migrating south. Inshore, mullet are massing together in preparation for their fall spawning runs. Both phenomenons are allowing us to fish the shoreline on the last thirds of higher water and to make short runs to more traditional offshore species within the same day.
Pasco and Hernando’s deep grass flats are hosting a hodgepodge of frenzied species. Near the bait schools, Spanish mackerel, cobia, sharks, speckled trout, and jacks are providing non-stop action. Less frequent catches of kingfish, bull redfish and tarpon are being made on the deeper plateaus anywhere from 2 to 9 miles offshore. Scattered rock piles in 8 to 12 feet of water are producing keeper grouper on these same flats, as are relief areas near the 20-foot contour line.
The backcountry redfish bonanza continues. The convergence of mullet at the fringes of creeks, rivers and bayous are holding outstanding numbers of mid slot fish. Quality trout and flounder are expected by-catches in the same areas.
This weekend’s quarter moon offer neap tides that often result in slower fishing. Small inlets, cuts and creeks force the tide into smaller areas that subsequently creates moving current and feeding flats fish.
Capt. Robert McCue can be reached at (800) 833-0489 or through his website www.GiantTarpon.com