Both Big Pass and New Pass will be productive spots to fish this month. Pompano will be targeted by many anglers, along with Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and ladyfish. Drifting with the tide and bouncing a jig off the bottom is a proven technique to catch pompano and other species. Yellow, white, and chartreuse pompano jigs work very well in deep, swift water. These jigs are small and compact, allowing them to sink quickly. These same jigs are effective in shallow water and on bars when cast out and retrieved back to the boat using short hops. Spoons and Rapala plugs are very effective when breaking fish are seen working in the passes.
Pompano will also be taken on the deep grass flats, as will speckled trout, bluefish, mackerel, jack crevelle and other species. Soft plastics such as the Bass Assassin Sea Shad baits on a ¼ ounce jig head are extremely productive and a lot of fun to fish. A live shrimp either free lined or fished under a cork is the top choice for anglers who prefer live bait. Fish will begin moving south from the passes to the flats between Stickney Pt. and Blackburn Pt. and will be scattered over a large area. Successful anglers will fish quickly until the fish are located.
Redfish schools will be thinning out in the shallow water, but there will still be plenty of fish in the pot holes, along mangrove shorelines, under docks, and around oyster bars. Rapala plugs, weedless gold spoons, and Bass Assassin Elite Shiners on a Pro Elite jig head are all excellent choices for probing the shallow flats. These same lures will also catch snook, along with speckled trout and jack crevelle. Snook will be migrating through these areas on their way to their winter haunts and will be feeding heavily. Points, bars, and docks with current are prime ambush spots for game fish. Large live shrimp are deadly when fished under docks, although it will not allow anglers to cover as much water. Night fishing under lighted docks and bridges will also produce a lot of snook this month.
King mackerel, Spanish mackerel, false albacore, cobia, and sharks will bend rods and test drags in the inshore Gulf of Mexico, provided the severe fronts stay away. Point of Rocks on Siesta Key is a prime fall spot to either sight cast to breaking fish or troll plugs and spoons. Live bait will also produce, especially once fish are located. Live blue runners and threadfins slow trolled on a “stinger” rig will catch some very nice kings along with sharks. Drifting a live shrimp or small bait fish will catch plenty of Spanish and albies.