Things are getting better and better for the coastal anglers. The month of October ushers in some of the most comfortable weather and some of the best fishing. All sorts of fish get more predictable this month. Let’s look at a few places to try.
During October, saltwater fish will start their yearly pilgrimage to the north. The fish I’m talking about are redfish, speckled trout and white trout. All the species mentioned will make you a hero at the football party. Your cooking skills may come into question, but if the fish are crispy and the beer frosty….You are on your way to glory and history among your football-loving peers.
One of the best ways to fill an ice chest with tasty white trout for the party is to concentrate on East Fowl River. Loads of shrimp invade the river in October, as well as school-sized specks and white trout that are chasing the shrimp. White sparkle beetles and glow colored (limetreuse) sparkle beetles will also interest the aggressive white trout when hopped along the bottom.
“One of the best ways to fill an ice chest with tasty white trout for the party is to concentrate on East Fowl River.”
Farther to north, speckled trout will be schooling just below the Causeway. Look for swooping seagulls trying to pick off fleeing shrimp. During October this is almost a surefire method for locating specks and whites. Tossing a live shrimp under a cork is a no-brainer to catch these fish, but you can also be successful using smoke colored grubs or a D.O.A shrimp under a popping cork.
The area near Daphne pilings is always a great place to start for the above mentioned fishing. You can also find some really nice trout on the Buddy Beiser Reef. Drift across the reef bouncing a grub off the bottom to locate the marauding whites. Farther to the north you can find rat reds in both North Pass off Blakely River and Crabber’s Channel behind Felix’s Restaurant.
The majority of tournament season is over and the competition offshore is minimal. For some reason, offshore anglers also seem to be deer hunters as well. This means a lot of them will be taking care of chores at the hunting camp or actually in the woods with a bow this month. This allows for some great room on the offshore waters for ‘hardcores.’
Waters are normally clear and getting clearer this month and that means the super salty water moves in closer with each tidal movement.
October is a great month for mackerel, both king and Spanish, according Captain Skipper Thierry of the Charter boat Escape. “We catch a lot of kings and Spanish by trolling this month. For the kings we use large Drone Spoons and for the Spanish we pull Clark Spoons,” explained Thierry. “We also like to troll Ilander Lures, rigged with ballyhoo for yellowfin tuna around rigs or other structure.”
October is also a good month for catching nice Wahoo trolling in much deeper water, according to Thierry. “We like to use a large Halco Trembler lure, pulled in 400 feet of water around any structure, rigs or rocks,” Thierry said.
If marlin is your target, Capt. Thierry suggests you head out and eastward to connect with them.
“We head east off Pensacola to find marlin, both blue and whites. We use soft head lures in blue and white as well as blue/green/yellow color combos. October can be great month to connect with tuna, wahoo and dolphin in the same area using Ilander lures and ballyhoo,” Thierry said.
With the salinity rising in the Mobile Delta because of October being the driest month of the year, shrimp become a more important ingredient in fall fishing. Bass have suddenly share an area they have dominated all summer. This causes the bass to be more aggressive in order to stay at the top of the Delta food chain. This aggressiveness makes them suspect to a variety of baits. White spinnerbaits retrieved over grass beds and being allowed to fall at the edge nearest deep water will cause the bass to clobber them. Not wanting to size-up the baits as they could have without the added competition makes bass prone to bad decisions. Much like the guy at the bar when ‘Last Call’ is shouted before closing, the fish strike to keep from losing out on what’s left!
Besides spinnerbaits, bass will readily attack shallow running crankbaits casted at the mouth of creeks or ditches coming from the Delta marsh. Shad color and crawfish colors are solid producers in this situation. Should you find any wood, no matter how small, you should fish it thoroughly, even trying to bump into it to trigger strikes.
Bream can be caught in nice amounts by concentrating on lower Delta creeks. Jim’s Creek, Mudhole Creek and Oak Bayou can yield great catches of bream this month. Live crickets and seed shrimp will be the best bait options, although sometimes the bigger bream will hit small Beetlespins and RoadRunners when retrieved down the middle of the shallower creeks. Use yellow/black on the Beetlespins while using chartreuse or white on the Road Runners.
Catfish can also be caught in decent numbers in lower Delta Rivers by using fresh cut bait fished on the bottom. This could be cut mullet or even fresh shrimp. Concentrate on areas of the river with mild current in depths of 10-15 feet. Don’t be surprised to catch a few rat redfish or black drum at the same location as the cats.
Many anglers consider October to be the best fishing period of the year, while others consider it the kick-off to a marvelous two months, including November. Either way, when you have to put on a flannel shirt or windbreaker to make a boat ride…it’s gonna be good!
See you on the water!
Captain Skipper Thierry
Charter Boat Escape 251-861-5302
Live shrimp- Mobile Bay
Scott’s Landing 251-626-5323