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!
Many small Cobia were caught and released this month, with all the larger fish outmauouvering the anglers. Black SeaBass were frequently caught, but only a few keepers over 10″ were taken home.
During the middle of the month we had some squalls, which dampened the fishermen, but didn’t hurt the fishing too much. We had a lot of fishing action before the storms, with Pompano, Croaker, LadyFish, and more species landed. Lots of small Gag Grouper are feeding around the rubble and pilings off the end of the pier.The normal Spanish Mackerel daytime bite has been sporadic. Some days we see them with some abundance, and other days we don’t. The waters have been black with small fry surrounding the pier, and this attracts schools of Jack Crevalle and Blue Runners. Once small fish are surrounded, the feeding frenzy ensues, and for a few minutes we see a “Jack Attack”.
Snook season opened Sept. 1st. and since that time we have not seen any slot-sized fish of 28-33 inches kept. A few undersize Snook have been seen in shallow waters underneath the pier in the swim zone, and it appears that the larger fish have moved into the passes and bay already.
Spotted SeaTrout have shown up in some numbers, with a few fish taken during daytime hours. The best time for the Spotted SeaTrout by far has been late at night. The later it gets, the more fish are seen. An hour before dawn there are hundreds, if not thousands of Spotted Trout working the lights. Small lures can be used to good effect, while live baits always are a good bet too.
A Red Tide outbreak and bloom was reported in the Gulf of Mexico to our north. We have been monitoring it, and it did not enter our waters to any noticeable extent. We have seen no fish kills here, or seen any other signs of an outbreak.
We are pleased to tell everyone that our fishing hours have been extended this year. We will be open 24 hours for 9 months of the year.
March 1st – November 30th we are open 24 hours for fishing.
Dec 1st- Feb 28th – Sun-Thurs 6 AM -9:30 PM Fri-Sat 24 Hours
Good Luck Fishing!
August usually brings us some of the hottest weather and highest water temperatures of the year. We saw water temperatures climb just shy of 90 degrees for much of the month. My advice to fishermen this time of year is to fish early in the morning, before sunrise if possible, and then also late at night. During the heat of the day, many of the fish tend towards inactivity. There are flurries of action during the heat of the day, but the most consistent fishing is found both early and late.
Flounder have been biting well all summer, with keepers well above the 12-inch minimum practically every day. Most of the flatties have been taken on live shrimp, but lures also work well for those who use them. The soft-tail grub lures work best if tipped with a small piece of fresh shrimp. Flounder will also take a flashy small spoon, smaller twitchbaits like the Mirro-Lures we sell, or even chunks of cut fish. Of course, small live fish are always a good producer for Flounder.
We saw the Spanish Mackerel bite inconsistent in August. One day we would see a flurry of Mackerel, and then we might not see them again for a few days.
Pompano were caught with some regularity in August, with mornings the best time. Live shrimp and the goofy jigs were the best baits.
Mangrove Snapper were abundant here this month, with fish ranging from undersized to well over the 10-inch minimum. A few Mangos went about 15 inches.
Various reef fishes were seen, including HogFish, Puffers, SpinyBox, and SpadeFish. We also saw a few Lookdown, or MoonFish, and a Permit or two. One Whiting measured 17 inches.
Small Gag Grouper, locally called Grass Grouper, were caught and released. A fair number of Sheepshead were seen feeding around the pilings, and could be enticed to bite by small morsels of fresh cut shrimp or small crabs.Spotted SeaTrout were most frequently taken well after dark. It seems that the fish show up closer to the baithouse, moving further towards the end of the pier as the night progresses.
Snook were frequently caught and released this month, with all the fish returned to the water as the season was not opened until Sept. 1st. Snook were biting large free-lined Shrimp and live fish like Sardines, Pinfish, or Grunts.
A few Lane Snapper were seen, along with some Whiting, Jack Crevalle, Silver Trout, and Blue Runner.
Good Luck Fishing!