September and October 2012 Fishing Report
September was pretty much a continuation of August in the Clearwater and Dunedin area as the fishing and catching action went. All of the targeted species were available at any given time. The water temps were slightly lower around 85 degrees and the air temperatures were around the middle 80’s. We did not cool down until later in the month and into October.
Most of my clients were catching trout, reds, snook, mackerel, sharks and a number of other species. The key to September and October fishing was to keep moving around and chumming the spot with shrimp and white baits. This created a very active area and drew in lots of hungry fish.
On into October, we had a few cool fronts that dropped the water temps below the 80 degree mark. This seemed to turn on the bite and move the fish to different areas. I checked the mangrove cuts and found redfish and trout had started to show up. Also some larger trout were making their way into the bays. I spotted a few snook in transition from the gulf passes to the bays. These cold fronts should set up some great fall and early winter fishing.
The following are samples of fish caught and the clients that caught them during Sept. and Oct.
Jim and company came out on a nice warm day and we fished in Clearwater Bay. They caught a variety of fish on shrimp and white baits which included several nice redfish, a dozen nice trout, mackerel and lady fish. We put in an effort for a snook but had no takers.
Richard and Joy joined me on a midweek trip to the shallows. They caught redfish, trout and mackerel throughout the day. Joy landed her first shark, a small Bonnet Head and had fun doing it. I think she liked holding it for the photo better.
Jordan and group picked a great day to go fishing. Winds were calm and we had a great incoming tide. They both started out catching some fighting redfish. Nothing large but some great fighters. Jordan’s biggest fish was 25 inches. As we moved around the bay, they added several dozen trout, a few large mackerel and a shark or two. At one of our stops, Jordan landed a 27 inch snook. He did a great job catching the fish on light tackle. This gave Jordan the slam of the day.
Keith came out on a windy day. We caught fish moving around to the cleanest water possible. When the wind blows it dirties the water and scatters the bait fish and the fish that feed on them. They usually migrate to the cleaner water around the bay. Keith ended up with several nice redfish and trout. He also added several mackerel and lady fish to the catch.
Kevin and family joined me for some fall fishing. We moved around the bay fishing the areas that had the cleanest water. Of course, the women struck first catching some nice trout, mackerel and a small shark. It took a few more spots before the men finally showed up. Kevin and dad caught some nice size trout with one measuring in over 20 inches. They also added some mackerel and lady fish. We put some time in for redfish but had no takers.
We had some great weather for Chase and Casey. Moving around the bay paid off as we were able to cover more stops which resulted in more fish. Both caught redfish up to 22 inches and trout up to 19 inches. Several mackerel and lady fish were added to the pot as well. Casey caught a small Bonnet Head shark and did a fantastic job boating the fish on light tackle.
Late October I could tell that fall was in the air. Most of the fish caught at this time were very hungry and aggressive. Even the smaller reds and trout took the bait like a freight train. This is a great indication of things to come.
Watch for November to continue this trend of aggressive fish action. Now if a strong cold front hits the area and drops the water temps 10 to 15 degrees, the fishing will disappear for a few days. But give it a day or two and the sun will warm it back up.
Get out there and have some fun winter fishing.
Capt. Gary Burch