September fishing is consistent for flats and migratory species
This week marks the beginning of fall, and the overnights temps are falling.
Fishing around Anna Maria remains consistent for the month of September.
Fishing structure for snapper and flounder and the flats for trout, reds and snook are proving worthwhile during morning incoming tides. Even migratory species — Spanish mackerel, bluefish and ladyfish — are being found with regularity along the shoreline in Sarasota Bay.
The mangrove snapper bite is still the most consistent bite. Limits of mangoes are attainable right now with respectable sizes being caught, too. Snapper 12-15 inches are nice but, when they start to reach 18-20 inches they become a real trophy, especially when caught within a mile of shore. Chumming with fresh-cut shiners is definitely aiding in getting the snapper to rally. While this is occurring, live shiners on a knocker rig or free-lined baits are producing the bite.
On the flats, spotted seatrout are abundant. Free-lined live shiners over grass flats in depths of 4-5 feet are producing slot and over-slot trout with some consistency. In between trout bites, I’m seeing Spanish mackerel, bluefish and ladyfish coming to the hook.
Finally, the slight drop in overnight temperatures that we are experiencing is causing the snook to begin their movement in numbers into the backcountry. The fall bite is not quite here yet, but I think this could be the very beginning of it. Numerous small snook in the 20-inch range are being found on shallow grass flats around mangrove shorelines and spoil islands. Free-lined live shiners are like candy to these feisty little snook. so don’t be surprised to find rallies of fish when using these baits. Remember, these are post-spawn snook so they should be on the feed.