Florida West Coast Fishing Report, September 2014
I am a proud Evinrude Ambassador and Pro Staff member and will be doing monthly fishing reports. I mainly fish in Tampa Bay, FL but also frequently fish in the Keys, Palm Beach, the Bahamas, Costa Rica and Boca Grande. I will be providing fishing reports and forecasts, please feel free to contact me if you would like personal tips or more information on any of my reports. I am happy to help out my fellow Evinrude owners.
The month of September stayed relatively hot and the water temps did not fluctuate much. The snook that were in the passes just now started moving into the flats. Redfish has been our main target and huge schools upwards of 600 fish are staging up inside the passes and all the way up to North Tampa Bay.
Most of the fish have been over-slot ranging from 29-36 inches. They have been relatively easy to catch on both natural and artificial baits. For the larger fish we have been throwing big live pin-fish and cut lady-fish. On the few days they have been picky they wanted frisky live bait and wouldn’t touch the cut-bait. On days like these don’t be afraid to throw a top water at them. If it was moving they were eating.
We have lucked out with some gorgeous weather making it tempting open up the E-TEC and head out into the Gulf. The offshore bite has been surprisingly slow and the warm water temps along with the red tide coming from the North have slowed things. We managed to perfect the inshore gag grouper bite and were rewarded with fish up to 18 lbs in just 12 feet of water inside the Bay. The key is fishing structure, there are plenty of inshore wrecks that are holding some big fish right now. Expect these spots to improve as the cool fronts move through. Bog magoes are being reported on almost every rock pile in the Bay.
As we roll into October we are already seeing the pelagics move in, look for the kingfish bite to light up with the next cool front. When the water hits the magical 72 degree mark the kingfish bite should peek. There are several tournaments coming up on the West Coast and we are looking forward to putting Evinrude on top of the leaderboard. The trout bite inshore is starting to get hot and will only improve with the cooler water.