Fishing Report

ShieldsAS OF SEPTEMBER 28TH - 

“It’s all a matter of timing. Despite summer-like temperatures, muggy humidity and water temps in the hot tub range, autumn is officially here. Acorns are dropping and the fish are chewin’ in anticipation of leaner months ahead,” says Capt. Dave Lear of Tallahassee.


Trout and redfish are staging in the shallows gorging on the buffet of finger mullet, pinfish, pilchards and glass minnows. Spotty bottom with a mix of grass and sand is the best zone lately in depths as shallow as a couple of feet. Floating grass continues to be a hassle, but the fish are still pouncing on noisy topwater plugs like Rapala Skitter Walks, Heddon Super Spooks and MirrOlure Top Dogs. Lighter patterns with pearl and chrome get top billing. To minimize the grass fouling, try ones with single in-line hooks instead of trebles. Trout up to four pounds and mid- to upper-slot reds all found the walk-the-dog action irresistible.


Schools of big black drum are showing up on the flats, with some true bull reds mixed in. The drum are finicky about lures, but a jig with a dead shrimp would likely tempt their taste buds. Aqua Dream or Capt. Mike’s weedless gold and pink spoons are tops for fooling the reds.


There’s no shortage of sharks around, including blacktips and some hefty bulls. Blacktips and spinners will eat a well-placed plug or swim bait. A short trace of wire leader will minimize lure loss. Cobia are wandering back through on a gradual swim south. Pack a medium-heavy spinning rod with a bucktail lure or Gag’s whip-it Eel to be ready for the brown bombers. A lighter spin outfit armed with a DOA standard shrimp is another good weapon for tripletail lurking around channel markers and crab pot floats.


Tuesday’s full moon will yield to a Waxing Gibbous by the time this weekend rolls around. Tides won’t be as pronounced as a result, with late morning lows and returning water by the dinner hour. Average solunar periods will occur around lunch each day. The winds were forecast to be light out of the east, but it’s still all about the timing. And the time is right to get on the coastal water regardless