Yellow Butterflies Mean It Is Time To Fish
The changing weather of fall triggers many feelings and emotions. Yellow Butterflies start flying around the yard, leaves start changing color and falling from the trees. Cold weather swoops down from the north at an ever increasing frequency. One day the weather is hot and the next day cold. For many coastal fishermen this is the secret “weather” signal that indicates it is time to go salt water fishing. A lot of people start focusing on inland deer hunting during cooler weather and the boat ramps become less crowded. The fish can feel the weather changes as well and begin eating anything that moves. There are many a video on the Internet of fishermen catching Redfish on jalapeno peppers, pickles, and standard artificial lures. The real question is do Flounder, Red Fish, and Speckled Sea Trout feel barometric pressure changes below the water? They can sense the shorter daylight periods and dropping water temperature for sure.
Inshore Fishing The Fall Migration Pattern
One thing we do know is the mature 2nd year shrimp that have been growing all summer are now on the move. They put on their red legs and begin the march to the sea. Not much is currently known about the new Asian Tiger Shrimp patterns but one might assume they are very similar to native shrimp. The fish know what the shrimp are doing and begin staging up in creek mouths, oyster bars, and grass edges. With that in mind it is not too soon to start thinking big Trout or Flounder. The fall mullet are also looking good at this time and with big bull Reds over 23 inches coming inshore to breed, they get hungry. Just about anyone can catch fish in the fall inshore, even by accident. Just remember that, “One more cast” is a disease!
Big Bull Red Drum In The Surf Zone
As the weather of the fall season wears on the water temps in the low 70’s can begin to feel a little chilly to the average person who has a body temp of around 96 degrees. With big Red Drum loitering in and around the surf zone now is a good time to pick up a nice set of waders to keep the chill off your legs and extend the fishing day. If you are lucky enough to have a boat then a good place to stage up for Redfish action in the surf is just outside the breakers. Many times you can actually see the schools of Reds through the back of the waves. If you can see them than you can cast right to them with Gulp on a jighead and this is a good thing. Make sure you use a good amount of caution doing this though as many a boat has went down in the breakers.
Nearshore Reefs Produce Seasonal Fish
Mature Flounder, Sheepshead, Black Sea Bass (BSB), and many others species all move to near shore structure and live bottom to over winter the cold weather in deeper water. This also makes them less susceptible to drastic temperature swings that can happen during the severe cold spells of winter; thus improving the mortality rates. However, a fish still needs to eat every day just like you and me. A standard grouper style rig is the rig of choice here or a jig style lure tipped with squid/cut bait. On another positive note the fall season offers a good deal of what you would call perfect sea days. Smooth glass like sea surface conditions with low wind can make for an all day enjoyable fishing experience and also put food on the table as well.
The 100 Ft Snapper Line
The weather is colder but the water is still warm so if you have the time and the means to get offshore than you will most likely find your way into some good fishing. Offshore is generally accepted a approximately 100 feet or more of water depth. 16 Fathoms deep is actually 96 feet and 16 fathoms deep is a nautical term that has a lot of old school sea lore behind it. Offshore is where you will find the Ocean Pelagic fishes that generally stay in deeper offshore waters. And they tend to be much larger than inshore or near shore fish. You will need some heavy gear for these fish and many people choose to hire a professional.