Tropical Storm Nicholas skirted the gulf coast this week, adding a decent amount of freshwater to the saltwater flats. This influx of freshwater will typically push the speckled trout and redfish into deeper, saltier water. The Keaton Beach area didn't receive much rain from that storm, so we don't expect much to change this week as far as the location of the fish in that part of the gulf.
We're looking for fish in 4-6 ft of water on days with good tidal movement. Be sure to check the tides before you make the trip. If the tidal movement is not projected to be significant, it's going to be hard to get a bite. Fish will bite better on the incoming and outgoing tides, and sometimes it's best to just take a break when the tide is still.
We're catching decent-sized speckled trout on the flats using popping corks and soft plastics. We prefer the 4 Horseman popping corks (any color) followed by 36" of 30 lb, monofilament leader. We use a 1/4 oz, chartreuse or red jig head at the end of the mono leader. For soft plastics, we're having success with Z-Man and Unfair plastics. We like the Houdini color for the Z-man plastics and the Mardi Gras color for the Unfair plastics.
We've had good luck catching Redfish on gold spoons around the oyster bars. Be sure to use a swivel anytime you're fishing a spoon to keep your line from twisting. Topwater fishing is still a bit tough due to all the grass on the flats. But when we can catch a break in the grass, we're having success with Rapala Skitter Walk topwater lures. We like the mullet-themed colors along with the orange/silver patterns. We're also having success with the Yo-Zuri Pencil topwater lures.
As the temperatures are cooling, the fishing should only get better at this point. We'll just have to deal with influx of freshwater on occasion as hurricane season is still in full force. But if the weather is nice and the water is moving, get out there and catch some fish!
This fishing report is brought to you by Captain Jason Witherspoon of Spoon Fed Charters in Keaton Beach, Florida.