October fishing on Pier 60 was very good, even excellent at times, with many different species of fish seen. Cold fronts heading through our state brought us high winds and churned up waters briefly. Good fishing returned within a couple of days. As the heat of summer is past, water temperatures are starting to moderate significantly and there are blooms of tiny plankton, and small minnows which draws predators close to the structure of the pier. Jack Crevalle were busy corralling schools of small fish then rushing in a vicious attack; a feeding frenzy we call a “Jack attack”. Schools of Blue Runners, Ladyfish, and BlueFish have all made a showing this month.
Parts of the Gulf of Mexico north of us had been experiencing a red tide bloom which kills sealife. There were many concerns that it was going to move this way; however it appears as if this years’ threat is past. Water temperatures are dropping and the chance of a fish-kill event is low.
We saw quite a few Spanish Mackerel this month, along with a few King Mackerel or KingFish showing up. The Macks usually like small minnows, shiny lures or live shrimp. Preferred methods of rigging include free-lining or fishing under a float. King Mackerel strike hard, and run fast. The larger, loner fish are called “Smoker Kings” for their propensity of emptying spools and smoking the drags of fishermen’s reels.
Again we saw many many Flounder caught at the pier in October. Many of the Flatties were of decent size over 18 inches – well above the minimum size limit of 12 inches. Most of the flounder were caught on live shrimp; however the Flounder can also be enticed to strike a grub-tail lure especially when tipped with a bit of fresh shrimp.
Quite a few Cobia were caught off the pier this month. One angler had the rod ripped from his hands when the Cobia attacked his bait. The rod was seen cruising past the end of the pier and was caught by another angler who managed to catch the line, retrieve the rod, and release the undersize fish!
RedFish or Red Drum were seen cruising off the end of the pier, and quite a few bruisers have been caught and released lately. The Redfish fights until it is spent; so it is important to release oversize or undersize fish with care. Anglers are encouraged to support the belly of gravid females and return the fish to the water via landing net, only releasing the fish once she has recovered her strength. The slot limit for keeping a RedFish is 18 to 27 inches. Reds will inhale a shrimp or cut bait with equal aplomb.
Mangrove Snapper appeared with some regularity here in October. Keepers above 11 inches were not uncommon. We also saw keeper Lane Snapper and Black Seabass. Sheepshead were around the pilings available for the fisherman who would like to try. For Sheepshead try using a small hook and very little weight with a morsel of shrimp. Minimum size on Sheepshead is 12 inches with a bag limit of 15 fish.
Pompano made a good showing this month. Most of the time anglers on the pier catching the Pompano use the goofy jigs with teaser to get the Pompano to bite. We had a variety of reef species this month on the pier, including HogFish, FileFish, Lookdown or MoonFish, and Atlantic SpadeFish. We even saw a strikingly beautiful Moray Eel caught on the pier this month about 12 inches long.
Spotted SeaTrout show up mostly after dark. Live shrimp are theTrouts’ favorite; however lures work equally well. The Spotted SeaTrout must be at least 15 inches to keep, with a bag limit of four fish per angler; one fish may be over 20 inches.
We saw Snook in the shallows this month, and some anglers managed to get Legal-sized 28″-33″ fish to bite. One keeper we know of was released anyway, even though the season extends through the end of November.
Extended fishing hours will end the beginning of December. We are open 24 hours a day through the end of November.
December 1 to March 1 Sunday – Thursday 6 AM -9:30 PM
Fridays and Saturdays 24 hours a day.
Good luck fishing!