October fishing forecast by Captain Van Hubbard

October should welcome some cooler temperatures and great catching.<br />
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With the way 2008’s weather has been I’m not going far out on a limb to guess what will happen next. We had fronts all summer and several big storms in September. Just be sure you find time during fair weather this month to go fishing. Everything should be biting as hot as that August heat was. Snook are the number one target now inside. Redfish and trout are excellent also. Pompano should reappear with the mackerel near shore. Offshore it’s time for the big Fall migrations to move in and light up our fishing with kings and everything else. Grouper may even pick up earlier this year with the hurricanes. Bottom line is this is the time to go fishing before winter blows in and cools it down.<br />
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You are going to need to deal with whatever weather we confront. We don’t need blue bird days just stay safe. Windy days are fine inside just work protected areas and run sheltered shorelines back and forth. Do not play with lightening. Fish react to conditions so your game plan should be adapted to current conditions. <br />
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Hurricanes messed us up for the snook season opening but that just means more fish are still out there. Boating traffic is at a minimum, enjoy the quiet time while we can. With hunting season and football, etc… many folks are tied up and busy so enjoy the opportunities. <br />
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Snook are a primary target now. We should have good snook action this month. With such little time to harvest snook you need to take advantage of this opportunity. They will be moving, where depends on weather conditions. Linesiders are moving inland now. They duck into sheltered areas on cooler fronts which should start this month. Live minnows are abundant now but lures are also productive.<br />
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Redfish are looking better all the time. They are bunched up now and you can expect to enjoy rallies with multiple hook ups and steady action. Many are slot sized but some will be oversized. You can have a ball with top water lures like the, Mirrolure Top Dog now. The rattles help here; because reds are attracted to noise. Popping corks help call in fish with natural baits. They only help if you remember to pop em! Soft plastics can be substituted for minnows here and it works on trout too. Reds are migrating towards the Gulf the opposite of snook but you frequently get a rally of one species and then the other; all our inshore big three come together now. <br />
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Trout are open but will close next month. Our specks have rebounded now from past red tides. You can expect some quality action as waters cool off even slightly. Pinfish will move off the flats as it cools off and gamefish will be hungrier and more aggressive. Shrimp work but I believe you will catch more fish on soft plastics if you give them a chance. Hard baits can entice those big ones. <br />
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Pompano and Spanish are due to move in any time now. Schools of migratory fish will move inshore with fair weather and duck in or off shore as weather blows thru. I like jigs for both. You can select hair jigs or the metal Doc’s goofy jigs. Both are proven producers. I even mix them together in a tandem rig. Small bits of fresh shrimp or sand fleas help excite these fish. <br />
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Fall migrations of bait and game fish are due to move in now. You will notice flocks of birds and feeding fish striking in near shore waters as they come ashore. Live minnows are perfect but you can match the hatch with spoons and jigs to catch plenty of fish. I like to match the gear to the size of the fish; it’s more fun and hotter action. Remember to carry plenty of ice to maintain the freshness of your dinner. Both macks are tasty if kept fresh. I like to broil or grill em. Migrations work inshore on easterly winds and out with west winds. West winds also muddy up inshore waters and both species require clear waters. Sharks, cobia, jacks etc… all move with the food fish and tarpon can pop up so be ready for what ever you stumble into.<br />
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Grouper should be moving into shallower waters now. I like to troll large lipped lures to locate moving fish. You can explore and learn new areas of hard bottom this way. Be ready to swing back and note any structure when you catch a grouper. It is prime time and do not miss this change to get out and enjoy our great Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande fishing. <br />
Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan><br />
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Captain Van Hubbard

P.O. Box 146
Placida, FL 33946

941-468-4017

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