With the help of shorter days, fall is slowly working its way in and pushing out the summer heat as water temps are dropping to the low 80’s upper 70’s. I love this time of year because if the wind cooperates, you can target a variety of species from beach kingfish, cobia, mackerel, grouper, flounders, reds and mackerel as well as the usual suspects of backwater species: snook, reds and trout, drum and sheepshead.
This mixed bag can make for tough decisions as to what to target. My first love is big game species on the beach, especially kingfish this time of year. I usually let the wind decide on what I will target. If the beaches are calm I am hitting the beach and slow troll a small Spanish mackerel. If the beach is blown up, then I look to the tides to figure out where I want to spend my time on the water.
Inshore fishing, and off shore for that matter, is very tide dependent. Certain spots are best at certain tides. Keep a journal, my wife calls it my fishing diary, of when and where you catch fish and on what tides. If you want to get even more detailed log in the so-lunar and water temps as well. Fishing your favorite spot on the wrong tide or at the wrong time of year does not add up to success. Its about hitting the spot at the right tide and at the right time of year. For example one of my best redfish spots is explosive on a flood high tide from April through October, but try it on a low or an in between tide and expect to catch nothing but catfish and sting rays. Put a few years in logging trips and success and you will see noticeable patterns that will make your time on the water that much more productive.