September has arrived and thunderstorms are still part of our day. Later this month we can expect the storm activity to wind down. We’ll still have to contend with the 90-plus degree air temperatures and high humidity, so please drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
August was hot but on most days we had a little breeze and earlier-than-normal storms to help keep the temperature in check. The fishing was good, and I expect that to continue if not improve as we get later into the month.
Redfish have been a bit slow biting but I’m hoping it will improve. This year I plan to fish the annual Longest Redfish Tournament held by the Southshore Anglers Club. This year’s event will take place Sept 27. Visit www.southshoreanglers.com for details. I hope the redfish remember to show up.
The Spanish mackerel bite was tremendous in August, and I don’t expect any change for at least another month. These fish will be around until the water temperature starts to drop into the lower 70s. Fish mackerel with live greenbacks, and chum with a frozen chum bag or cut white bait.
The tarpon bite was very slow this past month but I expect to see a few caught through September and into early October. I’d fish for tarpon on a strong outgoing tide using big pinfish or a larger threadfin herring.
Snook bit well throughout August, however we’re not catching many over 22 inches. Snook season opened Sept. 1 but most responsible anglers will continue to limit the number of snook they keep. This will help the snook population continue its slow rebound from the 2010 cold snap that killed so many of our prized fish.
The trout bite was very good in August and I expect it to continue as we move into the fall months. Look for them in the grass in the 4-foot-plus depth range. I fish for trout with a popping cork and use shrimp or a free line with white bait.
Each year in September Florida Sportsmen brings its Fishing Expo to the Florida State Fair Grounds Sept. 13-14. This year it promises to be one of the best. I attend each year looking for deals on both fishing tackle and hunting supplies. Check out www.floridasportsman.com for details.
September sometimes can be a slow month for fishing but if you use a few tricks you just might improve your catch ratio. Nonetheless, it’s still good to get out on the water and experience this beautiful area we live in. Sometimes fishing is simply a reason for spending time with friends and family. Catching fish is the bonus.
Danny Guarino is one of three Ruskin-based fishing guides and charter captains who share this column. He can be reached at (813) 956-2010 or [email protected]