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Fishing’s in high gear, in and offshore, up and down both coasts

By Staff | Oct 29, 2020

The seatrout are getting bigger as winter approaches. PROVIDED

With changing water temperatures and bait on the move, fishing is in high gear both in and offshore, up and down both coasts. For the traveling angler that likes to follow seasonal Florida fishing peaks head north for a few days and try Port Canaveral. Hire a local guide or tow your rig and cast your bucktail at one of the seven, 35 to 50 pound cobia riding along atop a giant rays back in the clear green water not far off the beach.

The IGFA lists an Australian cobia caught in 1985 as the All Tackle World Record. This beast weighed in at 135 pounds 9 ounces.

Florida anglers also own some incredible world record cobia catches on light line. Angler Pete Peacock holds the world record for 2-pound test with a cobia that weighed in at 46 pound 4 ounce caught in 1985. Capt. Jay Wright claimed his world record for 6-pound test

with a 67-pound brute landed in 1979. I have a feeling that all three world records will stand for many years to come.

While you’re in north Florida don’t forget that you’re also at the home of some of the largest tripletails in the state with fish over 35 pounds being caught.

This is a must do Florida fishing trip to add to your list. Just to see those huge rays congregated just off the beach is worth the trip.

Back home redfishing is in high gear. Always remember that a redfish’s nose see’s better than its eyes and smell can draw them from quite a distance. If you’re fishing the bushes with dead baits have patience especially fishing a high percentage spot like a point. If I’m running a long stretch of regular shoreline I’ll quietly set up, fish, and after 15 – 20 minutes with no takers I’m moving to the next interesting spot.

Any good dead bait redfish menu would include ladyfish (slice a ladyfish into 1″thick discs loaded with a circle hook), mullet chunks, clams, pinfish, small crabs (or ¼’s – ½’s of a large crab) or one of the redfish’s favorites, the shrimp (live or dead). If they can smell it they will follow.

If all else fails try this old recipe on the next trip. Cut up six raw hot dogs into one inch pieces and place into a plastic bowl (with tight lid). Cover with GULP and refrigerate them on Wednesday night for weekend duty. Put them in the boat ice chest and fish them on a circle hook or simple jighead. Six dogs make 36 baits.

Don’t knock odd ball baits till you’ve tried them. Years ago when fishing for powerful hybrid stripers at Maryland’s Conowingo Dam the hands down go to bait was chicken tender sized pieces of raw chicken breast, unbreaded of course.

This time of year not only brings us migrating cobia but also hordes of ravenous Spanish mackerel and one of my all-time favorite light spin and fly tackle species the bonito.

If you enjoy fast moving incredibly powerful fish on light tackle get offshore and scout for schools of bonito crashing bait. Whether looking for bonito or schools of feeding Spanish let the birds guide you to the gold. Bring the binoculars to aid in your search.

Highly competitive mackerel will bite anything flashy including swivels and clips on your line. Use a straight line to leader connection without hardware. For razor toothed mackerel add a short piece of wire to the end of your leader or try 40-pound fluorocarbon for more bites.

Throw a topwater plug for some incredible top water strikes from the larger macs.

Having a fat blue runner out behind the boat might get the interest of a jumbo kingfish that’s picking off baits near the mackerel frenzy.

The local trout like colder water and the average size continues to grow as the cold water period draws near.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or captgeorget3@aol.com.