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September Fishing Forecast

There’s plenty going on in the Florida Keys, you just need to pick your poison.  From the backcountry flats that are teaming with tailing redfish to the Oceanside flats full of tailing bonefish to bullynetting for lobster at night there’s plenty to do here in the Keys this time of year. 

If you like chasing those grey ghosts of the flats also known as bonefish, fall is great time of year on the oceanside flats of the Upper Keys.  Many of the largest double-digit sized bonefish are captured during the fall months which bring strong tides and hungry fish.  The best time to target these fish is on a early morning low incoming tide which floods the flats with cooler ocean water and is the perfect conditions for tailing and waking schools of bones.  Nothing is more productive than using live shrimp and quarter-sized crabs on a circle hook.  Bonefish are the pinnacle of flats fishing and can be the most challenging of all our species.  But, for those who enjoy the thrill of the hunt, nothing is more exhilarating and satisfying than landing a bonefish after the fight of a lifetime. 

There’s still a few small tarpon around the backcountry.  But, the best time to catch them along with the snook is at night.  For the live baiters out there spend some time to catch some good live bait like pilchards or finger mullet.  There’s also plenty of pinfish around, just drop a block of chum on any grass flat or channel marker and the pinfish will come right to the back of the boat.  The trout bite has remained steady with good numbers of fish in the 15-20 inch range.   You’ll find these fish hanging with the mullet muds on the grass flats around Flamingo.  It’s hard to top a popping cork with a HookUp Lure and Gulp Shrimp under about 3 feet of 25lb leader.  The influx of mullet will also mean the return of some nice sized jack cravelles to Florida bay.  The jacks are the bulldogs of the water and are a blast to catch on light tackle.  My tackle of choice for the backcountry has 10lb braid on medium action 7 foot Fenwick HMG rods.  This set-up can handle most fish that you will encounter this time of year in the bay. 

For those lobster hunters it’s still early in the season which started August 6th and there are plenty of “bugs” still around.  My bullynetting charters are a blast, we catch them at night with underwater lights so you can stay out of the heat and you don’t have to get wet.  The outgoing tide provides for the best conditions with clear water and produces the biggest lobster making for a fun night on the water.  For additional information, check out my website http://www.keylargocharters.com.

'Til next time, Tight Lines and Light Winds…….

Captain Lain