October is by far my favorite month of the year as far as fishing is concerned. The reasons are easily understandable. Longer and cooler nights help the air and water temperatures drop a bit offering comfort for us and the fish alike. Fall water levels rise allowing the shallow water oriented redfish to spread out in the backwater areas. The breeder reds are doing their thing in earnest. Mature tarpon can be found with some regularity feeding along the channel edges and my favorite species; snook are aggressively feeding throughout their range. In essence, there is a lot going on!
Much of this surge of activity can be attributed to the fall season mullet run. Finding an area packed with this important baitfish will up your chances of catching a trophy redfish, tarpon, snook or spotted seatrout! Certainly an angler using a live mullet has an opportunity at catching any of the species mentioned above. The savvy angler can also accomplish great catches with artificial lures and for me this adds to the excitement of the task.
When targeting the trophy sized fish some of my favorite surface lures include the Z-Man Pop Shadz, Banks Lures Fender Walker and the old standby Super Spook by Heddon lures. Going sub surface opens lots of doors but starts on my boat with Z-Man swimming baits four inches or more in length. Same for jerk shad type lures. Make sure you use hooks properly sized for the larger lures. A 4/0 or 5/0 hook tends to be too small and too short for most lures longer than five inches!
For those targeting the breeder redfish please take special care in their release. Warm water holds far less dissolved oxygen than cool water. This factor alone increases the stress of a fish fighting for its life not to mention the stress of spawning. Additional time spend in the revival of your trophy catch will reap great benefits to our future redfish population.