September is a great time to head out to one of the local fishing piers in the Central West Region. Snook season will have reopened, and a lot of other species will also be roaming the piers because it’s the time of the year where there’s a lot of baitfish along the shorelines.
September can be a tough time to catch bonefish in the Southeast Region because it’s such a hot month, and bonefish aren’t like permit, they don’t like it super hot, so they’ll move into deeper water. The classic sight casting to tailing fish does happen on a daily basis, but it’s usually in the first couple of hours of the day before the sun has gotten on the water and really heated it up.
Snook have made a major comeback in the Southwest Region since the big die-off during the winter freeze of January 2012. The snook fishing still isn’t as good as it was back before an estimated 70% of the snook population in my region died, but it’s very good and getting better every year.
August is one of the best months of the year to target wahoo in the northeast region. It’s a time where there are a lot of juvenile bonito offshore, and the wahoo are targeting them as a food source.
Permit like warm weather, so the permit season in my region typically runs from late spring into early fall, so like from May through September. It’s all based on water temperatures. Once the water temperatures get close to 80 degrees, the permit show up.
August is a great time to target sharks in the Central East Region because the ocean is calm and the baitfish are schooling along the beaches within a mile or two of shore. For the most part, the bait schools will be Atlantic menhaden (pogies), but there may be an early push of mullet along the beach with the fall mullet run. By the end of August, there’s certainly a lot of mullet in the mix.
Amberjacks in my region are going to always be on the deep water structure, the deeper the structure, the larger the fish. They like natural bottom and man-made structures like the artificial reefs, with the best action in anywhere from 150 to 380 feet of water.
Late July and early August are prime time for spearfishing in my region, particularly since it’s the time of the year when the seas are calm and the ocean waters crystal clear. Unlike other types of fishing done with rod and reel or nets, spearfishing is more of a selected harvest in that you choose only the fish you want to shoot or keep.
The calm seas of July are really a boon to swordfishermen because they can fish almost every day. I’ve caught swordfish every month of the year, but we probably catch more in the summer months because the weather is more consistent for fishing offshore.
Tunas in July are usually Blackfin Tuna and they’re almost exclusively targeted on the “humps” or atolls that rise up from the bottom in deep water. There are three humps that we fish; the Islamorada Hump, the 409, which is off Duck Key and the top of it is in 409 feet of water; and then the West Hump off Marathon, which is in about 800 feet of water.