I refer to October as Red October because redfish are in the midst of their annual spawn and large schools of bull-reds could show up just about anywhere throughout our region. It’s not uncommon to see schools of 100-300 redfish this time of year. At times schools of large bull-reds can be spotted just about anywhere throughout Tampa Bay. When I’m out and about and see a big red blob moving through the water, I know it’s most likely a school of reds. Should we be fortunate enough to run into a school while you’re on a charter, it’s possible to catch fish for hours on end.
October’s cooler days and nights also trigger snook to go on a feeding frenzy. After months of spawning, they develop a huge appetite and begin to put on weight for the pending winter. When pursing snook, I always have a live well full of scaled sardines and chum my fishing spots generously.
The seatrout population took a hard hit during the last red tide, but upper Tampa Bay wasn’t affected, so it’s possible to catch a limit. The seatrout are in the deeper areas of the grass flats right now, but as the water temperatures continue to drop, they will be moving to shallower water.
The mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel fishing will continue to be active around any submerged structure, bridge pylons and rock piles. I always, get the action started by chumming. Chum and they will come!
Red October only comes around once a year, so if you want to catch a beast, now’s the time.