The water temps in the Big Bend flats are consistently between 65 and 70 degrees, which means we're well in the transition phase from tougher summer fishing to great fall fishing. The fishing seems to get better each week as the water temps consistently cool and fish begin to congregate more on the flats. We've been catching some nice trout and reds when the weather and water temperature cooperates.
The cool spell last week did slow the bite for a few days. This tends to happen when rapid changes in water temperature shocks the fish and they won't bite well until they adjust or the water warms again. These big water temperature swings tend to affect the trout more than the redfish.
On the cooler mornings, you'll find the trout gathered around patchy bottom with sandy spots and oyster bars. The rocky bottom absorbs a significant amount of heat at low tide. That heat then provides warmth to the trout who are seeking that heat on cooler days. Once they're warm enough, the trout will tend to move to the grassy areas to feed on pinfish.
The redfish don't move as much as the trout in response to the changing water temperatures. Because redfish feed mostly on crustaceans and baitfish, they tend to stay congregated near the grassline. Understanding how the fish respond to water temperature changes will go a long way to helping you have a successful day on the water.
Our preferred bait is still shrimp and pinfish at the moment, although we'll soon start using more suspending plugs as the water cools. Once the water temperature consistently stays in the 60s, we'll spend much more time throwing Redfin and Mirrodine suspending lures. A slow twitch with these lures usually does the trick. Be sure to have a few colors on hand as some days they tend to like the gold colored lures while other days they prefer the silver ones.
This fishing report is brought to you by Captain Jason Witherspoon of Spoon Fed Charters in Keaton Beach, Florida.