I am going to talking a lot about the fall/winter bite in the next months to come. The good news is that the information that I will be sharing with you is going to be very good. There are many reasons for me to make that statement. The first the "fall/winter times" makes for some great inshore fishing. The fact of the matter is this time fame offers all fishermen inshore or offshore the best fishing ever. I know you are looking for my second reason and it’s the simplest of them all to explain. Since my father taught me, I am going to share with you some of the best suggestions that there are! Come join me to where writing is a pleasure and the reading is even better!
Beach Side Reds
In my book of fishing I put the red fish in several categories. I am talking about the same fish, but in my world I believe that there are those fish that go and those fish that stay. With that being said, I had better go to explaining.
Large red fish AKA "bull reds, stag bass, spot tail bass, or channel bass" fit into that category of fish that "GO!" It’s said, that they spend their summer months lurking and holding in deep holes in creeks, rivers, and sounds. However, when fall weather gets channeled into the mix this class starts their migration to the beachfronts. With that being said, let fish the beachfronts.
My definition of "beachfronts" is a simple one. I’m talking about those beaches that face the ocean, which get the "ocean’s roll". The "roll" that I am talking about is the wave that crashes the beach bringing with them all sort of feeding possibilities. Once large red fish make the move to this area this is one of those areas that they come to feed. So therefore this where you need to fish!
Here’s how it works…
My father always likes to center his fish day on an incoming tide. At the end of the out going tide stage we would stake out the area in which we were going to fish. He would pick an area and we would watch for any surface schools of bait or any swirling near surface activities. This routine became known as "the training of the eyes". My father always told me that to catch fish you needed to be aware of everything in the area in which you were fishing. He called them "fish signs".
Daddy’s Fish Signs
Birds in waiting or feeding, fish wakes caused by surface activity, any surface baits, any sort of floating sheens on the surface, any sort of surface swirling, or formed rips.
Heck, if we had all that I mentioned above we would have been in fish catching heaven for sure! According to daddy if you had any two of these signs you could be in catching business! So lets assume that you have found such a place. Your best bait could be any of these listed: finger mullet, mullet fillets, large pawn shrimp dead or alive, live pin fish, menhaden, and etc. It’s best to use a single "J" style hook and put your bait on the bottom. I suggest any sort of rig that had sinker first, leader, and then hook. The sinker used is going to help keep your bait near or on the bottom. Rigs that have sinker first allow you to move your bait in a more natural manner. This boils down to the fact, that you can cast out far, let your bait sit still, and after a few minutes reel in a few times. This technique allows you to get more bottom coverage and to move your bait more naturally. The sinker first when slowly retrieved sends out so called smoke signals that normally gets the fish’s attention. As you slowly move your bait the sinker causes any loose sand particles to float up a bit looking like a meal that trying to flee. It a known fact that small fish and those crab types swim close to the sandy bottom "lay quite a underwater sand storm, which is basically the trail to follow!" Fishermen as well as fish find this occurrence is interesting to watch and in turn makes them most curious.
Another way to present your bait is to go with the oldest stand by, which is "float fishing." My father with all of his fishing wisdom always said, "the fish are coming in from out there not in here!" This means fish don’t come from the land, but from the water. I know this all sounds stupid to say, but hear me out. No matter what "fish stage" while waiting for that feeding opportunity, which in this case is the rolling action of the waves on the beach. He always suggested fishing this area with a float. He still fished his bait deep keeping it close to the bottom, using a float to present your bait. It didn’t always work. However, when it did it certainly made those times that it didn’t more worth wild!
Artificial Reefs holding the attentions of Large Spanish Mackerel!
Captain Ken Kennickell of Miss Judy Charters put Spanish mackerel trolling to the test this past week. While deep trolling with #3 planers Captain Ken fished the artificial reef "KC" with some great catching results. According to the report there were a few feeding seabirds, but no actual surfacing schooling baits or fish. After looking the bird-feeding situation over it was ascertained that oils and fish pieces from the underwater feeding frenzy were floating to the surface.