Redfish in September

//Redfish in September

Redfish in September

Red fishing in September-Homosassa and Crystal RiverIMG_1783
Red fishing in Homosassa and Crystal River is at its peak in September. What makes Homosassa and Crystal River a great area to catch redfish? The shallow hard rocky bottom. This area doesn’t have beaches or high rise condominiums for massive amounts of people but it does have a diversity of underwater structure that creates a substantial amount of homes, for fish.
Annually, large schools of redfish show up along the rocky mangrove islands points between Homosassa and Crystal River. You can’t set your watch to it, but generally it’s predictable. And there are a couple of steadfast reasons for this behavior.
1. The water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico is still warm (75-85 degrees Fahrenheit) and the redfish anticipate a change in the weather (Fall) and instinctively recognize that it’s important to feed as much as possible while bait fish are plentiful and active.
2. Redfish spawn August-November. Redfish realize it’s important to feed and store as much energy as possible if they are heading out to deeper open-water to breed. Instinctively redfish will gather together in groups at their breeding age, 3-6 years of age or approximately 27 inches in length, and leave the estuary to join the spawning stock in deeper water.
Decipher the Redfish Clues
9-19-13There are clues to decipher to successfully catch a red in September. Redfish associate with schools of mullet. And mullet, when they feed, stir up the bottom leaving a trail of small shrimp and crabs in their wake. If you find the mullet, as a rule of thumb, Redfish will be close by.
Sight fishing and casting for reds is exhilarating. In less than 3 feet of water, on an elevated platform, you can spot a redfish in the gin-clear waters along the nature coast. Once you locate the fish, watch to see if it’s idle or pushing water and cast near or in front of it. Captains Tip: Redfish are very sensitive to noise and have an awareness of what’s going on above the surface in shallow water, be quiet and keep conversation to a minimum when approaching a redfish hot spot.
The tides have a strong influence on when redfish move around the flats. The ideal time is during the incoming tide. With a very shallow draft boat I’m able to place my clients in the ideal location before the water rolls in.
Bait and Tackle
David VossCut mullet and live pinfish work well in September. To cover a larger territory it’s best to be outfitted with a trolling motor and tossing a gold spoon along the west side of the mangrove islands (more rocks, less mud on the west side.) I use quality light tackle which makes a big difference landing these brutes. My standard tackle is comprised of St. Croix rods and Penn reels outfitted with 10 lb. braided line and a 20 lb. fluorocarbon leader and a circle hook.
Now is the time to plan your next adventure, don’t hesitate to call me at (352) 303-9399 or email me at Happy almost…Fall.


About the Author:

Don Chancey is the Captain and owner of Flats Chance Fishing Charters. Don took his passion, love, and knowledge of offshore fishery and created a highly rated Flats Fishing Charter located in Homosassa. Don is also married to his wife Marla who joins him on most of their fishing trips.