2014 October Fishing Forecast
The temperature of inshore waters in St Joseph Sound and Clearwater Bay are cooling down. The days are shorter and there’s a lot less sun light for one and there probably will be some cool fronts that pass by, both helping with cooler water. In October you can get a down right cold front that drastically droops the temps way below normal and shuts down the fishing for a few days. Hopefully we maintain some type of consistency. Look for our local flats fish to start shifting into their fall patterns. The magic temperature is just below 80.
What to look for:
Redfish will show up in bigger numbers on the usual grass flats all around the bay. On all of my trips this month, I will be in constant look out for schooling redfish. Search flats with grass and sand holes and scattered oyster beds along a mangrove shore line. Stealth is the way to go when approaching a redfish school. Best live baits are sardines or small pin fish and even fresh cut bait works great. If you find schools of redfish, they should remain in that general location of the bay through November.
Trout fishing on the flats will improve in Oct. and get much better next month as the water temp cools further. Trout move into the bays in the fall and winter and supply plenty of action. Search areas around 3 to 4 feet deep with grass bottom. You may have to cover a lot of ground to find them but when you do, there will be a lot of fish in the school. They can't resist a well-placed artificial with noise and flash. Get some live shrimp at Barracuda Bobs Bait and Tackle on Dunedin Causeway and drift the grass flats on the north side of Dunedin causeway, there should be some trout out there.
Snook are on the move as well. As the water temperature cools expect these fish to move away from the beaches and passes to fall or pre winter locations. Depending on how cold the weather gets, some snook can be found just inside the passes. Also explore the spoil islands in the bay and investigate lots of docks on the east side and cuts leading into the backwaters. Live white bait may be your ticket to catching the linesiders.
Mackerel and King Fish will be on the menu later October when the water temperature drops below 75 degrees. Lots of fish will be caught just off the beaches of Sand Key, Johns Pass, St. Pete Beach and along the ship channel of Tampa Bay. Slow troll blue runners, ladyfish, mackerel or large threadfins in these areas. There are some 40 and 50 lb. fish caught every year in these locations.
Fall fishing can be the most exciting time to be out on the water. You can pick your species to target and most of the time you will find and catch’em. It doesn’t matter if you are on a boat or the causeway, there will be fish to catch. And just think, there are no 95 degree temperatures to worry about. Enjoy.
Capt. Gary Burch owns and operates All Catch Charters and specializes in live baits and artificials. He guides inshore, flats and backcountry from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. To reach Capt. Gary for a charter, please call 727 458-6335 or visit his website: