By Capt. Sergio Atanes October 2022
October has a lot to offer depending on the weather. Some years water temperatures drop quickly due to some early cool fronts (not cold fronts) or normal they should start a gradual drop as the month comes to an end. Two things are normal for this month Cobia make their last showing around buoys and range markers making them easier to catch. Redfish get pumped up and start getting ready for the winter weather both are great catch and eat.
Cobia Fishing, I prefer neat tides the slower the better makes them come up around the surface more to feed and easier to catch. I use medium spinning tackle 40-pound breaded line a 3-inch float (Four Horsemen) with 40-pound leader and about 5-feet long tied to a 3/0 circle hook. Live Baits top choice for me live pinfish or large threadfin sardine.
Artificial Baits many of the imitation crabs or long ell types work great and should always have one rod ready to go in case the cobia shows up close to the boat.
Buoy Hopping is considered one of the best methods for Cobia fishing in October simply put get there first early as you can and go from one buoy to another you will find them it takes time and money for gas but well worth the trip when you can end up a nice one for dinner. New rules are now in effect for size and total allowed on a boat per day.
Redfish Fishing patterns have changed over the past years and the redfish have shifted from the flats to the docks from Covert Isles to Snell Isle. Most of us captains haven’t quite figured out why this has happened, so we can only guess. We have noticed more action around the docks and structures than on the flats. So, what is my secret to catching the big redfish? Using cut dead bait on the bottom? My years of experience tell me they love cut pinfish, threadfin sardines and ladyfish. Remember that you want a nice chunk but not too big, because you want them to be able to take it on the first bite. I switch from my regular 1/0 to a 2/0 or even a 3/0 kahle circle hook and 40-pound fluorocarbon leader about 3-feet long. Depending on the depth of water, I add a number 3 or 4 split shot or even a 3/8-ounce egg sinker rigged Texas style to keep the bait on the bottom. I have an advantage using my 2-10 ft. Power Poles. My method is to drop the anchor just past the dock and back my boat between the two docks and then drop my Power Poles keeping the boat anchored parallel to the docks. This way I can fish clients from either side of the boat depending on tide movement. First, I bait my clients up and cast their baits about midway under the dock. Then I start tossing some small pieces of cut bait every few minutes to create my own feeding station or you can make your life easy and use Lee Fisher Chum Ring which makes chum from any bait you have on board or use pre-made chum to put inside of it patience is the key word here, so don’t be in a hurry. Sit and wait and the big ones will come, and yes there is a chance you could catch a few catfish but it’s worth it if you can land a few big reds.
Speckled Trout fishing for the big ones is just starting this month and as the weather cools seems the bigger, they get. Look for the big ones around the edges of channels and any drop offs in the flats that tend to be at least 4 to 6 feet in depth. Gandy bridge has always been a great spot for me at the cold fronts move in so don’t overlook this great eating fish and fun to catch. Trout are excellent to fish for with artificial baits. Use light tackle to make the adventure even better.
Tackle for cobia:
Okuma Cedros 7 ft rod with Okuma Azores 6000H reel
Line: Fins Windtamer braided 40-pound test
Leader: SoftSteel stretchable Fluorocarbon 40-pound test
Hook: Trident 3/0 circle
Tackle for redfish:
Okuma SRT Inshore Elite 7-6 MH rod with Azores 4000H reel
Line: Fins Windtamer braided 20-pound test
Leader: Softsteel stretchable Fluorocarbon 40-pound test
Hook: Trident 3/0 Kahle circle