I am ready for these summer rain showers to cease and let the fall weather move in and take its place. The three F’s are here and they consist of fall, football and fishing.
For some reason the magical day is always around the 15th of September. This is when we receive our first real cold front and the temperatures begin to drop off a little. The cooler dry air that these fronts push down will bring us some gorgeous days and some great fishing.
The water quality will be at its best for the year during the fall and that will bring in lots of baitfish and just behind the baitfish is a what we are looking for, action.
The King and Spanish mackerel will begin showing up in strong numbers as they too follow this bait. These fish can be caught back up in the bay area, along the Ft. Pickens beaches and off any of the gulf fishing piers as well.
For those with a boat, the buoy line in the ship channel always hold a lot of mackerel as well as all the near shore artificial reefs. Of course live bait would be the bait of choice and preferably a cigar minnow.
Also near shore back up in the intracoastal waterway, the Redfish and Speckle trout will begin to move onto the grass flats and can produce some great light tackle action.
The bottom fishing off shore will be at its finest for the next few months. This is again due to the increased water conditions that are brought in with the southeasterly currents. All that Mississippi River water will be pushed back to the west where it belongs.
Our staple Snapper here during the fall is the Vermilion snapper. These fish are a cousin to the Red Snapper and are very plentiful. The daily bag limit is 10 per person as compared to 2 for the Reds. A limit is easily caught on a ½ day trip and they are very tasty.
Another reef fish that locals enjoy is the Greater Amberjack. Often referred to as the “reef donkey” because they are large and stubborn. These jacks hang around most any of the larger public reefs and love live bait. They are very tough fighters and can range in size for 20-120 pounds. If you want a fight that will put you on your knees, here it is.
Further off shore on the bottom, all species of Groupers will remain open thru the end of the year. The shallow water Groupers consist of the Gag, Red and Scamp. The deeper groupers are the Snowy and Yellow-edge and they are found in depths of 350 feet and deeper.
The off shore trolling will also be heating up. The water quality offshore has already changed to a cobalt blue and that brings in the pelagic species. These consist of the Mahi-Mahi, Tuna and Wahoo. There are typically a few White Marlin and Sailfish caught near the 100-fathom curve as well and an occasional Blue Marlin.
The Rig fishing for Yellow-fin Tuna will be getting better each week as the fishing pressure decreases due to football and hunting seasons coming in. An overnight trip is recommended for rig fishing.
So, if a fishing trip is on your bucket list or you just have a group of friends wanting to get out and enjoy the water, don’t hesitate to check us out at www.entertainercharter.com. Let us hook you up on your next fishing excursion. As we always say aboard the Entertainer, “may the good fishing be yours!”
The 2018 Red Snapper season was a good one, but unfortunately it came to a close on July 21, 2018. The weather patterns during June and July were not the typical summer time weather that we usually experience here along our coast. It was way too wet and windy.
The good thing is that fall is just around the corner and the best weather and fishing is yet to come here on the gulf coast. Just about everything that swims will be biting and the only closure will be Red Snapper.
August 1st Gray Triggerfish and Greater Amberjack re-opens and will remain open until the quota is met for the year. This is huge because both species have been closed for the last couple of years.
Greater Amberjack, commonly called Reef Donkeys, are absolutely one of the toughest fighting fish that one will encounter while reef fishing. They love live bait and can be caught on most any of the larger public wrecks.
The daily bag limit is one per person per day and they have to be 34 inches to the fork. It is not uncommon to catch these fish 40 to 60 pounds.
Our staple Snapper now is the Vermilion Snapper. These fish do not get as larger as a Red Snapper, but eat just as well. The daily bag limit is 10 per person per day and it is hard not to catch a limit every trip.
Of course, there are other species of snapper that can be caught such as the Lane, Black and White Snapper.
All Groupers will be open throughout the fall as well. The Gag Grouper is our most common shallow water Grouper. The others such as the Scamp, Snowy and Yellow-Edge are all caught in the deeper waters.
If your into pelagic species such as Kingfish, Mahi and Tuna your in luck as well. The water quality is at its best during the next few months and these species love clean blue water.
Also the big game fish such as Marlin, Sailfish and Yellow-fin Tuna generally turn on during the fall months. Rig fishing is a favorite here, but it generally requires an overnight trip to score big due to the long distance run.
Maybe a fishing trip is still on your bucket list, but you don’t know how to go about it. Then give us a shout and let us hook you up on a great fishing adventure. As we always say “may the good fishing be yours!”