Anglers love the Forgotten Coast in the fall. In addition to the cooler temps and quiet surroundings, the shorter days and cooler nights encourage several fresh and saltwater favorites to come out for a bite.
While the technical start of fall is September 22, fish consider it fall when water temps drop to the lower 70s and upper 60s. The water temperature changes tell the fish to head to deeper waters for protection against the cold. They gather and are very active. Don’t worry about fishing during the mornings and evenings like in the summertime. Fall fishing is at its best during a high tide.
Inshore fishing is all about redfish. Simply put, catching redfish is fun. They put up a tough but exhilarating fight, and they are delicious cooked almost any way! Redfish and trout can be found in the flats, mainly north of the Hwy 98 bridge in Apalachicola, off Carrabelle around both ends of Dog Island, or on the flats back toward Eastpoint around Yents Bayou. As the water cools, the redfish will start moving toward the river and get around the docks and flats in Postun Bayou. Shrimp are always the best bait but if you are using artificial bait, try gold or silver spoons with traditional grub in the colors of gulf red, white, or new penny. Redfish also like suspension mar lure in the colors of greenback or silver.
Offshore/Deep Sea Fishing
The weather for offshore/deep sea fishing can be unpredictable. Checking the weather and what fish are in season is crucial before setting out. If you make it out to the deep, you will do well to target cobia around the channel markers/buoys. Natural or artificial eel or bright-colored jigs should do the trick. The channel markers/buoys are at the passes on either end of St. George Island, or for fishing in deeper waters, look on your offshore chart to find the K or S towers.
If you are surf fishing, keep in mind that the mackerel and pompano are gathering to go to deeper water. Look for the deeper areas between the sandbars from the shore and aim there using sand fleas, fish bites, or fish gum.
Bass, bluegill, and stump knockers start feeding this time of year. Crickets, worms, and light spinning tackle are perfect for this. Or look for striped bass and sunshine bass. They provide fun light tackle or fly rod action throughout the fall.
Fall Fishing is so much fun and can be a fruitful endeavor. If you’d like some coaching, book a fishing charter with one of our expert guides.
Photo Credit: Robinson Guide Service