For the first time ever I skipped my September report. There was some really good early reef fishing trips. We has some great trips offshore for Tuna. The lobster trips were the best yet this year. The reason, many less people than normal and really HOT weather.
October is our transitional month for everything. The weather (heat) has less bite to it. We still have heat and storms, but our weather is really nice if there are no tropical systems. Fish are being triggered to begin to move. We will see less of our summer fish and a sprinkling of our winter fish mixing in. Each trip in October-November will be unique.
Reef Trips: The days are getting shorter and the heat is waning. Morning reef 1/2 day trips are still your best bet. For now, I would prefer not to operate 1-5pm afternoon half day trips. Halloween is about when that can start being good for trips again if the conditions are in our favor. I will not tell you no, but morning trips are the way to go for this month. November is usually when 1-5pm trips are back in my game plan.
I will say September was some of the sharkiest trips in recent memory. From reef to offshore, the sharks were always there getting their share of our catches. That should be less of an issue as the waters cool in October. Snapper and jacks will be primary species that we target on the reef. Mixed in will be mackerels, grouper and bonus migrating fish of every type.
Wreck Fishing: The deeper wrecks 5-7 miles out in 200ft of water or more begin to wake up and produce better catches more consistently. Mutton snapper, amberjacks, kingfish and other deep water fish become more reliable. Our wrecks are heavily fished. October, November and the first half of December we can take advantage of less anglers on these spots. If you want to book a 6 hour trip, we can make a mix of reef and wreck fishing and have plenty of time to properly fish each venue and find success.
Offshore Fishing: Great for blackfin tuna 27 miles offshore. This is an advanced trip not well suited for beginners. I take new anglers offshore often, but it is trial by fire. It is a fast paced fishery that requires a solid knowledge base of how fishing equipment works and how to operate independently without making tons of mistakes. How do you prevent this? Experience helps significantly. If you have zero experience, there is Google and YouTube. I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but I’m smart enough to watch 3,5,10,20 videos on how to do something or how it works and that counts for experience. On offshore trips, I am the driver and crew chief in a race. You are my crew changing tires, fueling and making adjustments. You are my crew. We are doing “sets” on fish that are timed and specific and looks like a play on the football field or a pit stop. It is a team effort style of fishing. Every group is different. The more you know, the more we catch. Mistakes and timing and not knowing is a learning curve that adds extra challenges. My trips are custom adventures. I’m a good teacher. Offshore fishing we will typically have 10-40 opportunities for catching a fast, strong fish in an environment with hundreds of variables. What you know and can do matters. You are a variable I can’t calculate. The math and statistics can go very well on most trips. WE do dictate our success on these trips. Mistakes and sharks are what decides what we bring home. Most of the time we are in the 10-20 keeper zone if all of the parts come together. I bring plan A, plan B and plan C into this trip. Plan C is rare.
In the water activities have been all over the place. With the passing of Hurricane Ian, our waters have had weeks of poor visibility everywhere. It is clearing up and will clear, but the dirty water is still very present. Blooms of moon jellyfish have become common and wearing a long sleeve rash guard is extrememly helpful. Lobstering has been very good on the bayside through September. That deck of cards is getting shuffled right now. Looking out to the bayside, chocolate milk mud puddle visibility in all of my lobster spots. The ocean side lobstering is probably done for the season. Storms move things around. I see October being a great month for lobstering as soon as the water clears.. Halloween is normally my cutoff for lobster charters. Who knows. Weather, water temperatures and patterns decide that. I use Halloween as the end of my lobster charter trips.
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