Happy Fishing! Here is this weekend’s Big Bend fishing report
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Otto Hough (Facebook @myhometownfishing) says, ” Ian! That event sums it up for this past week through Thursday. Fortunately for the Big Bend, the direct storm impacts were dodged as the hurricane slid by to the southeast where conditions were life threatening to say the least. On the backside of Ian, expect backside north-northwest winds to be somewhat elevated Friday across Apalachee Bay. If making plans to get back on the Big Pond to wet a line, target with weekend to experience more favorable fishing conditions. Marine conditions over Apalachee Bay should be enjoyable Saturday and Sunday, with the coolest weekend weather since the onset of Fall layered in along the coast.
“During the weekend, post new moon tidal swings remain strong. Those morning low tides happening near lunchtime hour will be significantly lower than the tide charts reflect, so, if planning on launching from the St. Marks Lighthouse boat basin this weekend, launch early or midafternoon. The basin as well the canal will be a muddy quagmire by late morning. Lots of “real” Florida will be exposed at midday.
“Getting on the water early should offer up some good opportunities for topwater plugging near the hill for trout and reds. With the northerly breeze, relative calm, cooler skinny waters around the creek mouth drains should be productive in the early morning hours at the start of the fall as well as late afternoon during the rise into early evening. During the afternoon rising tides, major solunar feed periods will be closely tracking the rise.
“Outside, over the shallow water rock piles, the near bathtub water temps have continued to forestall the annual Fall migration of the quality size gags into fishable waters well inside the 9 Mile Limit for the small boat anglers. The passing cold front that kept Ian away from the Big Bend has served to slowly draw the mercury readings downward. With some degree of luck, those bigger gags ought to begin to put smiles on the faces of many anglers, myself included, by mid-October, if not a bit sooner.
“Whatever the fishing plans are over these three days, take time to check the wind and sea readings before dropping in the hole, especially Friday. As always after a major storm, be alert when motoring as storm pushed debris can wreak havoc all too quickly on the boat and/or motor. Boat safely while wearing an auto-inflatable PFD. Then, have some fun, just FISH!!”
ST GEORGE ISLAND
Captain Russ Knapp (850-653-5072) reports, “As I am writing this report on Wednesday afternoon, Redfish Pass on the north end of Captiva just had a wind gust at 123 mph which makes you realize how lucky we are for this storm. The weather forecast for the weekend isn’t too bad with winds running NW 10 to 15 knots and seas 2ft to 3ft on Saturday while Sunday is forecast at 10 to 15 knots from the West and seas of 2 feet. Tides at the Cut are projected to be a 2.0 high around 5:30 AM followed by a 1:30 PM low of .2 feet on Saturday, while Sunday times are 6 AM and 3:15 PM but, given that strong offshore have blown a lot of water out of the bay for three days the tides may be a bit different. Given the weather situation this week with Ian you definitely need to recheck the weather before you head out!
“In the bay, the water looks sort of like a caramel milkshake so if you do go fishing your mission will be to find clean water somewhere. Capt. Randy Peart (850 320 4214) suggests it may be a good time to check out the river and creek mouths while fishing with lures that are either bright or noisy or both. Before the weather turned bad, Capt. Dan Fortunas (850 980 0101) was finding large Jack Crevalle feeding on bait balls just off the beach. Capt. Dan says if you see diving birds, head over and throw a Silver Tarpon Lure with a Red head on a fluorocarbon leader into the mess and hang on for a major battle. Early in the week Bull Reds were cruising the Cut in hopes you would offer them a live Greenback or a nice piece of fresh Mullet, while Silver Trout and good Whiting were hanging out both off the beach and on hard bottom in the bay eager to eat a fresh Shrimp or a bit of cut bait.
“Offshore, Capt. Clint Taylor (850 370 6631) says things need a few days to calm down before the fishing returns to being good. Early in the week, Capt. Clint put some nice Triggerfish and Scamp in the box fishing live bottom in 145 feet of water using small bits of squid for the Trigers and small live baits for the Scamps. In the you never know what you’re going to catch department, a very lost African Pompano was quite hungry and bit one of Capt. Clint’s baits. After things settle down for a few days, Capt. Clint suggests revisit spots that seemed to “fished out” as the stormy weather may will have repopulated them.
“Tip of the week — don’t be kicking yourself if you over prepped for Ian, when dealing with Tropical weather it’s always better to over prepare than underprepare, this is a subsection of Murphy Law dealing anything for which you have a spare never breaks.”
Capt. Pat McGriff of One More Cast guide service, (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports, “I took Julie and Bob Jabon of Valdosta, Ga. out and we had a great day Sunday with ten trout and Julie caught her bbte biggest and best trout ever, a 27 inch beauty which weighed 5.3 pounds. We caught all our trout and one Spanish on live pinfish under Back Bay Thunders from 4.5 – 3.5 feet . We had 7 of the ten in the boat in the first three hours of the incoming then spent 2 more hours getting the last three. Dave Bosch from Tifton and a bud had their limit Saturday and Sunday on live pinfish under Cajun Thunders. The Hardegree clan was down from North Ga. and caught limits for three days in two boats on a mixture of topwater, Assassin electric chicken , live shrimp and live pinfish under Cajun Thunders. 4-5 on Jim’s boat and 8 – 9 feet of water for Tracy’s boat Monday.”
Capt. Kevin Lanier of KC Sportfishing Mexico Beach, Fl (850 933 8804) reports” This week we are all watching and waiting for the arrival of Hurricane Ian. Attention has turned from fishing to home and boat storm prep. I often remind those eager fishermen that safety is far more important that one more trip out before the storm. Most of all make sure everything loose on your boat is secure and nothing can fly out and become a missile.
“Early this week we ventured offshore and had good success with a nice mixed bag of fish. Bee Liners, Black Snapper, Almaco Jack, Triggers, and kings made for a great trip. Always remember to put that flat line out while bottom fishing.
“We hit a local farm pond and caught a nice mix of Bream and Bass. I grew up fishing that way and had forgotten how much fun it is. Bobbers with a fat NightCrawler worm about a foot underneath the float was the ticket. It was a lot of fun watching my wife and friend laugh and have fun catching these fish. Stay sheltered and safe this weekend and we will keep everyone in the storms path in our thoughts and prayers.”
BIG BEND/PANHANDLE KAYAK
Salt Strong coach Matt Lanier, (email@example.com) tells us, ”This should be a no-brainer, but if you plan on getting on the water at all this weekend, be sure that you are clear of any weather or outlying storm bands that could potentially put you in harms way.
“Mother Nature is nothing to play with and I would strongly encourage you to be very careful before trying to brave the waters this weekend. With these storms comes high water surges and they often carry with them floating debris that can be unseen until it is too late, and the damage has been done.
“These large water surges also mean that structure that may normally be able to be seen under normal tidal conditions could be underwater and not visible when you are underway. Again, this can be a costly accident so be sure to be careful.
“With all that being said, if you insist on looking for a tug on the line this weekend, there can often be a good bite after a barometric pressure change that comes with a storm system. But the key is the fish will be pushed into the backwater areas with all of the extra water in the area. The fish will likely be pushed in tight to structure and places they can’t normally get to. (Again, this can pose a navigational issue so be sure to chase the fish with utmost caution in new areas.)
“The best presentation to use in this case is likely any that will be weedless. If you are fishing in thick flooded grass for big redfish, the Salt Strong Power Prawn on a Hoss Helix Hook is a tried-and-true deadly combination.
“Trout will still be looking for the depth changes and structure to associate to while feeding. Find the current coming around points and you can find the fish. Be sure to use the appropriate weight to get your bait down in the water column where those fish are and wait for the thump.
“Topwater will likely be a great presentation with this post storm bite, so be sure to throw those favorite topwater lures (Moonwalker, Skitter Walk, One Knockers) with that enticing walk-the-dog action for those big fish looking for an easy meal. Safety is most important this weekend. If you are planning on getting on the water, please be careful and know your limits. Always make sure you check (and double check) your gear and the weather. STAY SAFE! “
Capt. Paul Tyre reports, “The Hybrid and Bass fishing on Lake Semiinole have been very good this week when we could get on the water because of the strong winds feeding hurricane Ian!
“As we close out the month and move into October, the Bass and the Hybrid/Striper fishing will get even better as the water temperature comes down. Lake Seminole has an EXCELLENT Fall bite! I had a great time with Jerry Bagera from Titusville, Florida. Jerry caught his PB Bass and Crappie!
“When fishing for Hybrid and Stripers, the correct rod paired with a 6:2-1 reel is critical. On the business end of the A-rig, you can’t beat the Bass Assassin 4” or 5” Sea Shad rigged on a Bass Assassin jig head.
For a Lake Seminole Fishing Adventure give me a call to check availability at 850-264-7534 , follow us on Instagram @ Capt.paultyrefishing or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.”
JR Mundinger reports, “Hit or miss with local winds gusting to 30mph the past couple days. This, in regards to fishing area lakes and rivers. If you’re able to get out of the wind you may find the bite somewhat slow on Lake Talquin. Bass seem to be transitioning to the shallows right behind the bait fish. This is a great time of year to get on numbers of bass in 4’ of water or less.
Bass seem to prefer the backwaters of creeks and areas off the main lake. The more scattered the vegetation the better. Top water stick baits like the good old Rapala 13 in Black/Silver work very well. Sometimes less is more. Once you’ve made your cast let the bait sit until the splash rings are several feet away. Next, a twitch/pause retrieve should get you plenty of bites until the sun gets high. Those same areas can also be mined with a paddle tail worm or swimming, bladed jig.”